2014-01-27 19:09:36 - Sometimes choosing a WordPress theme is like choosing your outfit. What you put on represents who you are and the image you want to present to the world.
Often I find myself sorting through my closet, trying on a variety of different outfits and clothing combinations. Somehow I can never find the outfit that is just right and I waste time changing constantly because I don’t know what kind of “look” I want. Often WordPress bloggers find themselves sorting through and trying out WordPress themes over and over again. This can become a waste of time and takes away from time you could be spend on actually blogging! Instead, take the time to consider these 5 factors to help you find the WordPress theme of your jeans! Doing this will save you time to blog more and maybe even re-organize your messy closet!
Theme Width and Columns
The first thing
you will need to consider is the width and columns of your chosen theme. Most themes provide you with an option to choose a 2-column or 3-column format. 2-column designs are great for blogging if your intentions are non-profit. Having only 2 columns makes your blog look sleek. Plus, they are easier to view for your readers. Fewer columns mean fewer distractions so your readers can truly focus on the content of your writing.
3-column themes are ideal for bloggers who wish to earn a profit from their page. Not only will you be able to present the content of your blog, but you will also have column space for ad codes such as Google Adsense, Chitika and Text Link. Having 3 columns gives you plenty of space so that ads and blogs are not right on top of each other, plus it gives you room for expansion. Keeping columns organized and separate keeps things neat, appealing and more effective.
Use of Images and Icons
While pictures and other decorative icons may seem appealing, they really won’t do anything to increase traffic to your blog or stimulate your subscriber base. Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple! Many of the most successful bloggers have clean pages with minimal images. Most of these pages simply present a simple logo on top for a unique touch with neutral colors. Using minimal images will allow your page to load quicker and you server will not be so strained. This is definitely a good design plan to ensure your blog will grow with you as your web traffic increases.
Not only will images slow down load time, but also they are distracting to your readers. Images can pull reader attention away from your blog posts as well as your ads. If you must use an image, follow the lead of blogs such as Engadget and Tech Crunch who only use images in content areas to add value to a post. As a rule of thumb, use images within your blog content only. Avoid images in the header of your blog or scattered throughout. Keep your blog theme simple and streamline. The only time you should incorporate a header picture is for promotional purposes such as posting a logo to spread the word about your brand. In addition, always replace images and icons with links and text whenever possible.
The installation of plugins on your blog can also consume a great deal of your time, which could be better-spent blogging! Plugins are necessary and really do improve the functionality of your blog site. They are usually free, and their functions are endless. However, many plugins can become very difficult and frustrating. Entering the plugin codes to your site, one by one, can take a really long time! Even inserting one code can become a pain if your site is more complicated such as an AJX-based WordPress theme. These themes have multiple files and are heavily coded. Therefore, choosing a simpler theme can make the use of plugins much easier to do so that you don’t have to waste time figuring out petty, trivial codes! Instead, spend more time on getting quality information and content out to your readers at a quick pace. Keeping your page’s theme simple will improve the reading experience for all of your followers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as “SEO”. While SEO is hyped up a great deal, if you blog has quality content that people want to read, you will get the ranking and attention that you desire and have earned. While this is the case, it does not mean you should forget about SEO altogether. Every blog can benefit from SEO in some form. You need to make sure that you optimize your “search-ability” by doing the following:
Format all tags properly. List the name of the post followed by the name of the blog. Often themes will do this automatically without using a plugin or modifying the code in any way.
Be sure that each of your blog-content titles use the H1 tag. This includes the main keywords used instead of non-descriptive text so that it is more appropriate and accurate for optimal SEO purposes.
Keep your theme clean. This means your theme uses clean sources codes. If you are able, try to link all formatting to an external CSS file. This can be edited independently.
Plug-and-Play Ease of Use
When theme shopping you also want to consider how easy and practical the theme will be to use. You want to be able to install the theme easily to an existing blog without having to move things around too much on the page format. Also, you will want to know if the theme will be available to customize on your other blogs for a uniform look. You want a theme that will be versatile and well as practical.
There are so many themes, free and paid, available to WordPress bloggers. While it is nice to have variety, sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. Avoid the confusion. Understanding which qualities to look for in a WordPress theme can help you avoid using one that will become complicated and irritating. Always test a theme out before using it on your actual blog. Think of this as a “test drive”. Make sure you test the theme with all widgets and plugins that you would use on your real page for the full effect. Testing on your own site is a bad idea. You don’t want your readers to see strange codes or error messages on your page that may deter them from continuing to read your blog!
With so many options and details to consider, it is often a better idea to outsource the task to a professional like Anglo Designs. This way you can focus on what you do best—product creation or marketing! Dedicate your time to creating your own product or marketing instead of fussing around with themes and formatting.
About the Author
Kenny Jola is the owner of Anglo Designs and his web design company specializes in creating client-attracting websites for small businesses, big businesses and self employed entrepreneurs. If you want to see how Anglo Designs can help you to create a client- attracting website, you can visit him on the web at anglodesigns.com
for more information and to get a free web design quote.