One of the most important things you’re going to do aside from filling your blog with content is to choose the look, design and feel of your blog. You want the theme to match your technology needs as well as impart a specific feeling to your audience that matches the niche you’re trying to represent.
1. Keep It Simple – It can be tempting to get a theme with many bells and whistles but you may not need that. Today, clean lines and simple colors are more popular than busy themes that distract from the main point of your blog. The theme needs to evoke the right feelings in your audience while also providing you with the tools you need to get the job done.
2. Consider Your Industry – You want to avoid having to change a theme too much using PHP or other code. The best theme for you has already been made with your industry in mind. No need to reinvent the wheel. Plus, when you choose a theme that already has your industry as a focus, avoiding messing with the coding of the theme, you can make changes and updates easier.
3. Choose Responsive Themes – Today, it has become imperative that a theme be responsive to the tools your audience will use to access the information. That means the theme needs to be responsive to whatever device anyone who wants your information is using. If they cannot access the blog and read it easily on multiple devices, you’re going to lose a lot of your audience.
4. Read the Fine Print – This is especially true with free themes. But, always read the rules and terms of service of every blog theme that you want to use. There may be limitations, or you may learn that the theme is no longer being supported and updated. You want a current theme that will continue being safe for a long time, and that is legal to use as you see fit.
5. Understand Which Features You Need – Do you want one column or two? Do you need the ability to download PDFs? Do you want to put up a lot of videos? Do you want a discussion board? Do you want a certain color? Ensure that your theme is capable of adding the functionality you want, or already has it to start with. The more features you can have before customization, the better.
6. Know the Purpose of Your Blog – Each blog has a purpose and point of being. When you can identify the point of your blog, it will be easier to determine which features are most important. It will also be more likely that you can identify what will make your audience feel impacted by the look of your blog.
7. Determine Your Budget – While you can get some awesome free themes from the WordPress.org website, consider purchasing a premium theme because you’ll get more support, help, and updates to keep your blog safe. There are premium themes within a wide price range.
8. Check User Ratings – Once you’ve identified several themes that will work in terms of features, colors, feeling, functionality and budget, check the user ratings to ensure that there is nothing that stands out like poor customer service or compatibility issues with plugins you know you want to use.
If you keep all these factors in mind, you’ll have a better chance of picking the perfect theme for your website that conveys the message you want to impart to your audience and works well on the back end too.