Blogging has become so popular that even my grandma (who knows nothing about computers or the internet) knows what the word “blogging” means.
With so many blogs out there how can you ensure that your blog that you’ve invested so many hours in remains unique and stands out among the masses? One of the primary ways is to make sure you are utilizing a great WordPress blogging theme.
What Makes A Great Blog Theme?
A good blog must excel in two different sides: the public side that all of your visitors will see and experience and the private side that you, as the webmaster, have to deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important that a great blog theme excels in both aspects. Lets look a little deeper at both sides.
For Your Visitors:
User Friendly: Visitors are essential to a functioning (profitable?) blog and, therefore, their experience on your site is of utmost importance. Your theme should be very user friendly which means it provides clear navigation and simple organization.
Aesthetically Pleasing: A good theme should make your website look good. It doesn’t need to be a marvel of graphic design but you definitely don’t want to have a website that scares people away by its sheer ugliness. After all, most of us aren’t graphic designers so we must rely on our theme to help us out A LOT.
Mobile Ready: Any website in this age MUST be mobile ready and fully responsive to fit on any size screen. Surprisingly, there are still many themes providers that do not produce mobile ready themes.
Site Speed: Nobody likes a slow website and surprisingly your theme plays a significant role is your website’s speed. A poorly constructed and coded theme can dramatically slow down your site and hinder your users’ experiences.
Unique Presentation/Customization: It is difficult to stand out if your blog looks like countless others that are using the exact same theme. To counter this it is important that your theme allows you to customize certain aspects such as colors, graphics, and page layouts. This way your blog can stand out to your visitors as a unique user experience.
Easy To Use Dashboard Features: As a blog writer or webmaster you will be spending much of your time working in the Dashboard of your blog. Therefore it is really helpful when a theme provides dashboard customization that allows you to easily access and edit all of the additional features the theme provides.
SEO Optimization: Having a theme that is SEO optimized is critically important in today's Google world. Surprisingly the way a theme is constructed and coded can have a HUGE effect on your Google ranking and consequently on your traffic.
Customer Support: It seems like there will always be a problem with something on your website. If the problem is with your theme you could either spend hours sifting through Google search results looking for solutions or you could insta-chat your theme’s customer support and have a solution in minutes. Which would you prefer?
Affordable: You will find that some themes are super expensive and some are super cheap and even free. What’s the difference? Generally the more you pay, the more customization, features, and support you will receive. However, you must keep in mind that after a certain point the increased cost will not be worth the additional benefit. You must find a balance that is appropriate for your budget and vision.
Regular Maintenance And Upgrades: If you haven’t figured it out yet WordPress updates itself annoyingly often. When the WordPress framework is updated, your theme may need to be upgraded as well to work properly and provide a safe experience for your visitors. Therefore, you need a theme provider that is actively updating their themes and providing the needed maintenance.
Where can I find these themes?
Luckily for us, there are quite a few companies that produce very high quality themes that meet all of the requirements stated above. My two favorite theme providers are MyThemeShop and Elegant Themes. I have used both of these companies’ themes and can personally vouch for their quality. (This very site is using the “Nominal” theme from MyThemeShop)
Both of these companies produce extremely high quality themes for very reasonable prices. In the case of MyThemeShop you can even get some quality themes for free. Another great thing about these two providers is that all of their themes are produced in-house. Because of this, you know you are purchasing a quality product that will have adequate customer support and be updated regularly.
I hope this post has helped you in your search for a great WordPress blogging theme. If you have can think of any other qualities that make for a great theme or if you have any comments or questions please drop me a comment below.
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