WordPress Themes Guidelines for All Things Themes
It is undisputed that WordPress is currently the most popular platform on the Internet for bloggers. It is responsible for powering millions of blogs, literally. The reason for this is that WordPress stands out in flexibility and capability, allowing so many thematic options; so much that it could be confusing to the average blogger.
The aim of this article is to give you something to turn to when considering what theme to select, and the pros and cons of selecting free or premium themes.
Introduction to themes
You may have noticed that WordPress blogs do not all look the same. The reason for this is that WordPress uses “Themes”, which is a template system a blogger chooses to determine how he or she will lay features on his or her page. Themes in basic terms just determine what your blog will look like to other people.
There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to themes in WordPress, from complex themes with robust functionality to the simplest ones offering only the basic features. If you are tech-savvy or you take your blogging very seriously, you can custom design your theme by programming using CSS and PHP or if you can afford it have a designer do it for you.
However, if you are a simple blogger, you can use one of the already available themes, either free or paid for. Of course, the capabilities and options available with paid themes are more than what you can get from the free themes, as we will examine below:
Most free themes in WordPress have the same basic outline: two columns, option to upload your own header image, option to customize the background, SEO friendliness, Lightweight and fast-loading pages and multiple menus.
Pros of using free themes
- Requires no start-up costs, simply pick one and get started
- There are numerous different designs to select from
- They offer basic support for challenges encountered
- They are easy to install
Cons of free themes
- May employ poor coding practices
- Are not the best for good search engine rankings
- The functionality is basic
- They lack extended support
- There’s the potential for inclusion of malicious code portions
- They are easier to hack into
If you want to use a free theme, ensure you get it from a well-known source of high repute.
Paying for a theme
Themes paid for or premium themes were for users who want to be able to do more with their blog templates without having to deal with the extra coding required. Having a premium theme resolves a majority of the challenges presented by free themes. If you are not running a blog just for fun, or you need to have good search engine rankings, you should consider investing in a premium theme instead.
Three of the best premium themes on WordPress
- Thesis themeBeing one of the first theme frameworks on the market, it as high flexibility and robustness. It has a large user base, which gives it an outstanding pool of user support forums and just as many tutorials on various operations
- Genesis themeThe Genesis Theme Framework was the creation of StudioPress and it offers options for multiple skins and child themes. Since its creation, the theme has grown to achieve high capability and notable status, especially after acquisition by Copyblogger Media.
- Headway WordPress themeThis visual theme framework allows bloggers who have no coding experience to create their own outstanding custom designs. As far as friendly user interfaces go, the Headway theme has gone all out to ensure easy navigability for non-coding bloggers.