For those that have been following for a while, you know that I’ve been making some changes to the blog. With a new theme, new schedule of posts, and a re-focus on content subjects, I’m loving being able to check out what you guys love, and what you guys could do without. One topic that was a huge focus for me was the overall theme. What speaks to me, what speaks to my readers, and what accurately conveys the message that I’m wanting to portray.
I’ve been around for 9 months now, which is absolutely cray cray to me. While I wouldn’t call myself anywhere near an expert, I have tried out several themes. If you’re new, or maybe even considering a new blog theme, then I thought I’d share some of my top considerations for picking my page theme. These won’t apply to every blog, but you can take at least one of these lessons I’ve learned across my time here to apply to your blog. CHEERS to making our blogs better than ever!
Have a side panel
There’s nothing more obnoxious to me than when I find a new, great blog, and I can’t even figure out how to follow them! I’ve found that a side panel is incredibly useful to helping tell the story of my blog. The awards I’ve won, the categories that fit my primary focus, and a simplified way to follow my blog are all included in an easy to access format. Blogs fitting other subject areas (such as photography) may prefer themes that allow a greater focus on content on their front page. If this is the case, then I would just be certain that the follow button is on the header or is an easily accessible footer.
Use a responsive theme
Many WordPress themes, especially free themes, are not in a responsive format. This means that the page will not adjust depending on if the reader is on their mobile-device, desktop, or tablet. As an example, picture you write your content on your desktop. Your overall page is just going to look like a teeny-tiny version of what you’re seeing on your page when somebody reads it on their phone. Size 4 font on a mobile device isn’t very appealing to the eye, now is it? The way that you’ll be able to find a responsive theme is by using the search function on the theme page. Type in the word “responsive” and it will instantly narrow down your options. (This actually narrows down your options but a few thousand, which could be helpful if you’re slightly indecisive about this kind of thing… not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything.)
Allow a header image
This is a personal preference, but I think that it’s beneficial for my theme to allow some differentiated branding. My cupcakes have been around since the very beginning, and I don’t expect them to go anywhere anytime soon. Finding an image or picture that speaks to the content of your blog allows your blog to stand out and allows the reader to see your personality right off the bat. I’m hoping that the cupcakes say that I enjoy a fun, carefree life, filled with simple pleasures. What do you want your readers to see at first glance?
Easily accessible posts
This one seems almost silly, but it’s crazy how many themes out there make it incredibly difficult for the reader to understand what your posts might be about. I’d recommend that your reader can at least see the subject of the post when hovering over an image. As a reader, if I could only see a picture, with no idea what the post was going to contain, then I’d likely quickly lose focus. Use the theme previews to understand what the reader might see and what information you need to include when posting for your content to show up (ex, feature images are required for some themes, whereas others will just pull the first image in the post.)
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
If you’ve been blogging for a while, what are your top considerations in picking a theme? If you’re new to the blogging world, what are the first pieces you notice when viewing your favorite blogs?
Create a great life!