So, let me guess – you just finished installing your brand spanking new blog and you’re looking at it you’re thinking, “Well, this doesn’t look anything like how I want it to look.” Right off the bat you’re completely overwhelmed. Well, don’t be. True. Right at the beginning, there are like 15 things you have to do before you can officially go live, but I will walk you through the steps. The first step I will teach you is how to choose a WordPress theme.
Please note that this is step #9 in my FREE How to Sell doTERRA Online Training. If you haven’t already, click here to see the complete training and complete steps 1-8 first.
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Basically, your theme is what makes your blog look the way you want it to look. You can have the exact same words and photos with one theme and they will look one way and then change to a different theme and it will look all different, but all the content is the same.
What to look for in your WordPress Theme
It’s very important to keep in mind that after you install your new theme, your blog won’t look hardly anything like the example they show you. So don’t get too caught up by all the flashy things they show you in the demo. They always have lots of plugins and other things added to their theme to match it look pretty so you’ll want to get that theme. Don’t get lured by all the bells and whistles. Try to stick to simple themes that are more popular and more simple, aka have less problems.
The main things you want to look for are:
- The color options
- The overall styling, such as the fonts used
- The homepage layout
- The archive page layout
- The category/index page layout (if applicable)
- Instructions of how to make your website look like their demo.
- Mobile responsive
- Lots of ratings and good reviews. This is not a time you want a unique theme no one has heard of.
The Best Free Themes
When you’re just starting out, I recommend a free theme. You may outgrow it fast; you may not. But you don’t need to pay for a theme right away. But don’t spend too long looking for the perfect theme. I hate to tell you, but you get what you pay for and at the free price point, you’re just not going to get the perfect theme. Don’t spend too long. Just find out that’s good enough for now that will do you for a little while while you figure the rest of this blogging thing out.
Then when your blog is making you some money, you can come back here and see what I recommend for a premium/paid theme and do that option.
Reasons You May Outgrow a Free Theme
- The developers are often questionable and learning and just copying code from who knows where
- There is often not documentation
- They are usually not updated, which is especially bad for security
- There is usually not support
- It could cause conflicts with plugins
- Many are abandoned completely
- They often can’t be customized, but with a good premium theme you can often change a few things, like a few colors to choose from, different menu layouts
The Best Premium/Paid Themes
The part I can’t stress enough with a premium theme is that you should use a framework and I highly recommend The Genesis Framework. When you use a framework, it’s kind of the nuts, bolts and security of your theme. It is widely used and updated often. This way you get your theme updated with the latest security and technology without having to update your actual theme. My very expensive developer made me promise him to never install a theme that didn’t use Genesis and I think you should follow his advice. (so don’t even look at Elegant Themes)
The Genesis Framework has to be purchased separately and is a “parent” framework and then you have to find a “child” theme to go with it.
Favorite Premium Themes:
- It’s hard to go wrong with any StudioPress Theme
- Refined Pro is the theme I use on all six of my blogs. I like it so much that I replaced my custom $10K theme on one of my blogs with it.
- Foodie Pro is very popular on food blogs, but there’s no reason it can’t be used on any type of blog.
- I love all the Restored316 themes. Concentrate on the ones near the top of the page since they are the most recent ones with the most current features.
What to do next:
Here are more posts on my blog of some important steps to take next: