Picking out a theme for your WordPress blog is often an overlooked area of importance. The design you pick is really the first impression that a reader will have of your content. Sometimes, when you scroll through the themes you will be 100% sure of which one would be perfect for your blog. Other times, however, it isn’t so clear. For these times, we have created a list of 3 often overlooked elements to consider while choosing a WordPress theme.
1. The Home Page
When creating a blog on WordPress, there are three main types of home pages: dynamic, static or blog roll. When you go to many websites, blog roll is used by default.
A blog roll homepage links readers to other blogs that the blogger likes.
A dynamic page is built to update as soon as new content is added. The landing page will always display the newest post or entry.
A static homepage is one that remains constant all the time. When people land on this page, they will always receive the same information in the same order, unless manually changed by the author.
Whatever of the three homepage styles you choose, make sure it coincides with the topic and feel of your blog.
A lot of elements of typography are small things that make a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your blog. Simple things to consider when choosing a theme would be: fonts, headings, links and lists.
In order to search for font styles, newer themes have a page option called “typography”. This page will show you the rest of the elements that we will list below, but the older styles do not have this little cheat sheet. If the demo is a blog roll as the landing page, you can usually find posts with the various formats in the titles. On static pages, it’s typically under Page Layouts- Content/Sidebar.
The font you choose can set the entire mood of the content you are writing about. This may be a basic way to change the feel of your post, but it is an effective one. Have you ever had to read an important business memo typed out in comic sans? I hope not. Luckily, many WordPress themes have a great selection of easy to read, professional fonts.
Headings are another often overlooked element of blogging. Not only do they help readers understand the flow and direction of your post, but when used correctly can improve your SEO. Typically, headings are differentiated by the size of the text used, but in some themes (such as Modern Blogger) they are customized with colors and fonts.
Check on different themes to see how links are formatted. How are the links going to display on your posts? In some themes, links are simply underlined. In others they are a different color. Make sure to hover over links to see how/if they will change reader experience.
When blogging with lists, make note of how they look in each theme. Are lists bullet pointed? Indented? Are they ordered or unordered? Check to see what shapes are used for bullet points: solid circles, squares, open circles, arrows, etc.
When choosing a theme, another aspect to consider is how the comments are organized. Most current themes are using threaded comment sections meaning that readers can see if someone is replying to a comment or to the post in general. Each theme, however, will arrange comments differently and it may change the entire look of the section.
For example Parallax Pro theme uses a pretty basic threaded comment section but has it indented slightly to the right when a person replies to a comment. The theme Going Green uses enlarged speech boxes in order to contain the comment and alternates threads in different colors. No matter what theme you choose, there will be a slight variation, so be sure it aligns with how you want your blog to look
Now You’re Ready!
When you take these three tips into consideration, you are sure to choose the best theme for your blog that will display your content and style. What do you think? Are there things you like to consider when choosing a theme? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!