If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog [affiliate link], you know how easy it is to change themes. Download, save, upload, extract and click. And, if you’ve checked in here lately, you know I’ve been doing lots of that.
Changing looks runs in my family. If we have an outfit for everything, why shouldn’t our blogs be as expressive?
What I look for in a theme:
– clean and simple backdrop to the content
– room for widgets
– three columns, 2 look nice, but don’t hold everything
– a plain header with room for a banner ad
– quick loads directly from the theme; one I recently purchased loads with all the categories scattered on top lending a refrigerator poetry magnet feel, which is artsy, but cluttered and not the way the template is supposed to look
– colors I like – I like most colors so this is a pretty simple test to pass
– an obvious comment link – my last theme’s comment link was buried in the post footer, making it almost impossible to find out how to respond
– a designer I like, the current theme [probably different by the time you read this] is from a company in India, while I like international design, I would prefer to imagine that someday I would meet the blog designer at a conference
Update: above is now false because the theme is different
– user guide, which is missing from most of the free themes
Some places to find free themes:
Osskins – free WordPress, Joomla and Drupal themes
I must confess I’m on the edge of updating to a more professional, staid presence. What’s holding me back? I’d have to look the same everyday. Maybe I could just change accessories. . .
From a marketing-PR perspective, changing your look may be fun, but it’s also confusing [I know, I should listen to my own advice.] People feel comfortable when they see things that look the same.
Your turn – how often do you change themes?
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