Once you’ve decided to start a blog, you’ll have to make many decisions. One of them will be to choose a blog theme or template.
What is a Blog Theme?
Blog themes are templates that you can use to create a new look for your blog. You will have two choices: either hire a developer to create a custom theme for you, or choose from a pre-designed theme. I recommend that you choose from a pre-designed theme, since there are many great ones to choose from and it will be much less expensive for you as you get started with your blog. In WordPress, there are thousands of blog themes already designed that you can choose from, many of which you’ll be able to tweak to better suit you.
Tips for Choosing a Blog Theme
Since there are so many themes to choose form, here are a few things to keep in mind when narrowing down your options:
- Theme updates and support: Who is the developer and does he/she offer support? You may find a nice-looking theme that you want to use on your site. However, before you purchase it, find out if the developer offers support. Some developers may develop a blog theme and then move on to other projects so that they are no longer updating it or providing support.
- Mobile accessibility: Many blog themes these days already include responsive design, which means that your blog can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Since so many users are viewing sites on their smart phones and tablets, you should make sure that your blog is already set up for mobile devices. Otherwise, you risk turning off potential readers simply because they can’t read your blog on their phone.
- Functionality: What will you want your website to do? Will you be displaying a portfolio of your photographs? In that case, a portfolio theme would be appropriate. Will you be selling products? If so, an ecommerce theme would be appropriate. If you know what the purpose of your blog will be, it will be easier for you to select a theme that already has the functionality that you want built-in.
- Look and feel: Obviously, it’s important to make sure that the blog theme you choose reflects the look and feel that you want for your site. Whether you’re looking for something chic and sleek or quirky and whimsical, there are themes that can capture the mood that you’re trying to create.
- Readability and usability: You’ll want to make sure that the theme you choose is easy to read and navigate. Some blog themes will offer a variety of fonts and colors. Be sure to choose a theme that is clean and that allows you to read the content easily. Readers will be turned off if your blog is hard to read (for example, if it’s a dark background with a light-colored font).
Changing Your Blog Theme
Once you’ve chosen your blog theme, you may find that there are little tweaks that you would like to make to it. A web developer can assist you with this. However, you may also decide that eventually you want to change to a new theme altogether.
Fortunately, this is easy to do in WordPress. First you’ll need to purchase the new theme that you want. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to upload the files to WordPress. If you go to your Admin dashboard, you will see an option for Appearance and then Themes. Once you select the Themes option, you’ll see a new page that will allow you to upload the new theme. You can then upload your new theme and install it onto your blog!
If you’re looking for new themes to use for your blog, I personally like the themes from Studiopress. They use the Genesis framework, which is what Blogging Guidance is built on. They have many responsive designs to choose from, and there is great support available so that it’s not hard to get an answer if you have questions.