How To Choose a A Blog Theme, Layout Or Template?

What Do I Need To Consider When Choosing A Blog Theme, Layout Or Template?

One of the big advantages of building a blog or a website using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Blogger or Joomla is that it is very easy to manage, and that you are in control of the content – it’s look and it’s feel.

WYSIWG

WordPress, Blogger and Joomla are also referred to as  WYSIWG  editors – meaning what you see is what you get  The great benefit of using a WYSIWYG editor is that you don’t need to be knowledgeable about HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or Java Script to edit content.

Most content management systems allow you to customise the look or layout of your blog/website. WordPress, for examples, calls it’s blog layout template themes, and you can choose from a large range of free and paid blog themes on WordPress.

New to WordPress?

If you are new to WordPress you may find the listing of hundreds of blog themes a bit daunting – I certainly did when I started out. So, before considering a blog theme, asking yourself the following questions might be useful.

Quo Vadis?

■What is the purpose of my blog/website? What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to take this project?

These are great questions. The answer gives additional detail to all following questions and further provides a road map for your entire blog/website project.

■Who is my audience, specifically (gender, age group, interests, aspirations, location)? What do they like? What are their preferences (colours, images, fonts, font-size)?

■How does the blog theme relate to my audience? Is it complex? Is it simple?

I believe it is very important to ask the people you are writing for what type of blog theme rings with them.

That is not to say that the blog theme can not ever be changed. On the contrary. Once you have aggregated a loyal following, it would make sense to survey your active audience again, as people’s needs and preferences change over time. Also the demand of your blog may outgrow the existing functionality of its blog theme.

■Do I like the blog theme’s header design? Does it give me enough flexibility? Can I easily change the height, width, background colour, image etc. to match my audience’s preferences? Is the main menu editable? To what degree can I change ?the design of my blog theme?

■How flexible is the blog theme’s content and layout? Can I change post and page margins? Can I change column count and width? Are the sidebars customisable? Can I choose how many sidebars I want to display? Can I change the blog theme’s background colours?

■Can I easily edit font type, colour and size?

■Can I easily edit images and other media? Does the blog theme have a media library?

What types of media does it support? What capacity has my media library in terms basic upload space. Can I upload mp3, m4a, wav, ogg audio files and increase my available space with a Space Upgrade. Can I upload videos and embed them directly on my blog with a Video Upgrade?

■Is the blog theme widget ready? ( Dont use a theme that does not support widgets. You need widgets to increase and improve your blogs functionality and usability, user-friendly-ness and stickiness)

■Can I optimise the blog theme for mobile? Gartner research predicts that “by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide”.

The total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013, whilst “the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units and will be greater than the installed base for PCs thereafter”.

■How popular is the blog theme and how much support can I expect from WordPress? How big is the the blog theme’s user/ developer community? How much useful support can I expect from blogs and forums?

This is just a sample list. The type of questions you may need to ask yourself depend on your needs and requirements. If you have any problem selecting a blog theme contact us – we are happy to help!

Related articles
■Why Choose WordPress for your Blog (techmadly.com)
■5 Websites To Download Free Joomla Templates (madrasgeek.com)
■10+ New & Free Portfolio WordPress Themes For 2011 (makeuseof.com)
■20 Free WordPress 3.0 Themes (slodive.com)
■First WordPress Sports Theme Released by WPZOOM (wpzoom.com

3 Responses to How To Choose a A Blog Theme, Layout Or Template?

  1. Nathaneal says:

    Thanks for this extra and free resource! Thank you also for the fantastic social media training recently. Its all beginning to make sense now and we are actually having fun with it🙂

  2. Luke Abennett says:

    Cool Stuff! Are you posting more HOW TO articles? Something on Twitter and Facebook would be awesome! Cheers. Luke

  3. Pingback: 5 Social Media Tools That Save You Time And Money | Digi Marketing Pet

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