I remember the days when I would go through themes like it was cool. Although there are thousands of free themes on WordPress, I just felt the need to get a premium one.
Today I want to show you how to pick a theme, so that you don’t go through the troubles I went through when I started my first blog. Here are the biggest mistakes that I went through while picking my theme, and I’m pretty sure there are thousands that do the same.
1. Making Your Decision Based on the Photos Used in the Samples
The sample will always look better. This is actually the biggest mistake I’ve made when trying to choose my theme. If you don’t know this, most sample themes have it setup to make it look like the best website ever.
Then you hit a big speed bump, because yours doesn’t look like the one you just saw. You know you’re not going to use the pics on the sample page, so put that into consideration when choosing your theme.
When I first started, I came across the lifestyle theme (looks totally different now btw) that ran off of the Genesis Framework and I immediately got it because I liked how the home page looked. Please don’t do that.
2. Forgetting About Your Niche
I remember when I’d see sample themes of photography blogs and I would think, “that’s how I want my blog to look”. Big mistake!
Not every site needs to be flooded with pics on its home page or blog posts. Content is what’s going to make you money, not having pics all over the place, like it’s some kind of art show.
If you’ve seen any of the themes from Elegant Themes, you’ll see that they offer like 87 themes for $69. Although I think that’s a great deal, I didn’t like most of the themes and you’ll see why in the next few mistakes people make when choosing a theme.
3. Not Thinking About Your Readers
In case you didn’t know this, people do read your blogs. Although this wasn’t the first problem I noticed, it is what really makes my final decision for my theme.
The FONT! Most people spend too much time worrying about a nice little header and having widgets setup in the right places, but that’s only half the battle.
People need to see what you wrote and if it’s written for an ant to read, then you can kiss your website visitor goodbye.
Your bounce rate will be so high just because of your tiny font that Google won’t even like your site. If you know even just a little about coding, you can fix that in 5 minutes.Make sure your font is easy to read!
4. Getting too Fancy
Oh I want my site to have this and to have that. One of the big ones is the social share buttons. Just because it looks nice, doesn’t mean it’s the best bet for your website.
I once had a plugin called Shareaholic, and as much as I loved the look, it made my site super slow. So out the window Shareaholic went.
Keep it simple. This goes hand in hand with the pictures in the samples. You don’t need to make your decision off of all the extras that you see, because they are nothing more than a plugin, that will slow your site down.
5. Picking a Theme Because it has Your Favorite Color
Most themes give you the option to change the color of your theme, so this shouldn’t be the reason for why you chose a certain theme.
I like blue, and I seriously stuck with that color all the way up till now. As you can see on this blog, the theme is blue.
Once again, these samples will get you. DO NOT let them make your final decision when choosing your theme.
Screw the Bells & Whistles
From my experience online, it’s the simplest things that provide the greatest results. Notice how simple this site is? This site right here brings in some good money and there is nothing special about it.
It doesn’t come with a fancy slideshow on the homepage and it doesn’t have any crazy effects going on, but it does the job.
The best thing I love about this theme is what? The font! Although I can just mess with the code and get it to a bigger and better font, this one comes ready to go right out of the box.
If you see the sample theme for the one I’m using for this site, it looks nothing like the one below. Don’t let the samples get you! The simplicity of this theme is what got me to purchase it.
Paid or Free?
Let me just tell you that there are free themes that do just as good as a paid theme. I mean if you have the money, I would always suggest you get one so that you can stand out from the rest
I recently purchased the themes from Elegant Themes and I couldn’t find what I was looking for. It can just be me, but I really don’t know.
The theme I’m using here is from Studio Press and it has the basic necessities that I was looking for in promoting my chosen niche.
I hope this article can help you be more productive when choosing a theme, so that you don’t have to waste your time trying to make your blog look like some e-commerce site when it’s really not. Now you can spend more time focusing on what really make the money. Until next time, good luck!
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