WordPress: finding a great theme

WordPress blogs make fantastic marketing Web sites. The bonus is that there are literally thousands of WordPress themes which are typically customizable with graphics, colors, widgets and plug-ins. The difficulty is of course finding the right theme.

Here are a few tips to find a great WordPress theme.

Tip #1 Research blogs you love the look of. This is the fun part of the process. There are many wonderful themes already in use. Devote some time to exploring the blogs you like. What do you like about them? Take notes. Look at the bottom of the blog or in the links in the sidebar to determine who created the blog. It’s often a website developer or a theme developer.

Both website developers and WordPress theme developers often offer free themes or custom themes as part of their services. Visit their website and explore what they have to offer.

Tip #2 Make sure the theme is safe. While there are many great WordPress themes there are also some real stinkers. On top of that you don’t want to download any old theme, you want to make sure it’s safe. WordPress.org offers a directory of themes which have been inspected and approved.

Now just because a theme isn’t available on the WordPress theme directory doesn’t mean it’s bad or corrupt. Check out the theme’s developer. Make sure they’re legitimate and they have a solid reputation in the industry. You can do this by using a search engine, reading reviews, asking for recommendations and visiting forums and blogs dedicated to WordPress themes.

Tip #3 Test the theme. Many themes give you the opportunity to test them out, to see how they look in various browsers, and to explore options for customization.

Tip #4 Explore how many people have downloaded the theme. Some themes have statistics telling you how many people are using or have downloaded the same theme. Check for the ability to customize. One of the nice things about the WordPress theme directory is they do provide this data and they provide a link to the developer’s website for more theme options from a reputable developer.

Tip #5 Lastly, ask friends and associates both online and off if they know of any good WordPress blog theme developers. It’s a small world and your friends or associates may know of the perfect theme developer for you. Remember to use online resources like forums, blogs, and chat rooms to network and find theme possibilities.

A good WordPress theme is worth the effort it takes to find it. Make notes of what you want and like, including colors, graphics, and layout. Spend time investigating the themes you like, before downloading them, to make sure they’ll provide the features you need to best serve your business and your customers.

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