You may have an idea in your mind of how your blog should look, and finding a theme that brings that to life can take hours, even days, of searching.
So, what IS a blog theme?
Basically, the theme is code that provides all the styling on the front end of your site. It determines things like the layout and overall design, the colors, the font and typeface, and all the other little details that constitute what people see when they land on your blog.
Whether you’re using a free blog or are self-hosted and using WordPress or Joomla, you’ll need to pick a theme that suits you for your blog.
Now, because you know I’m a WordPress super fan, I’m going to get more specifically into what’s up with WP.
When you choose to use a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have literally thousands of options. Actually, you have sort of an infinity of options, because not only can you take a pre-made theme and customize, you can have a theme built just for you (although that does take some pretty big cash).
Most people tend to start with free themes, mainly because the price can’t be beat! But the truth is, there are a lot of free themes out there that look amazing. You can start by looking in the WordPress directory for free themes, but you should realize that there are bound to be thousands of people out there using the same theme, if you choose one.
Another thing to keep in mind with free themes is that support for them may be woefully absent. It’s not true for all of them – but it’s something you need to keep an eye out for.
What About Premium Themes?
Premium themes do have their advantages – if nothing else, you are pretty much assured of having support, and the theme should get regular updates to keep it functioning as WordPress changes. If you are ready to invest in a paid theme, here are a few recommended sites:
StudioPress: StudioPress is the home of the Genesis theme framework, one of the (if not THE) most popular WordPress themes available. The great thing about Genesis is that there are about a zillion and one child themes that you can buy to personalize it and make it your own.
Elegant Themes: Elegant themes is great for the person who manages lots of small niche sites -it functions as a memberships site, and with your membership you may use any or all of the themes they offer.
Creative Market: Not as well known as the previous two sites, but an awesome place to find creative content and some really beautiful themes.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a theme:
- It must be responsive. That means that it adjusts to look right on various screen sizes or devices.
- It should match your content. If you’re blog is going to be heavy on visual content, look for a theme that is made to showcase it. On the other hand if your words are going to be front and center, then make sure your theme is focused on clean lines and readability.
- Design Flexibility. You want to be able to easily make a few changes, even if you don’t code. You should be able to easily add or change the header and colors, at a bare minimum.
While finding just the right theme can be a frustrating at times, when you find the perfect one it can feel a little like love! I hope this post has given you the information you needed to set you on the path of finding the theme of your dreams. If you like this post, don’t forget to share using the buttons below.