Choosing a theme for your new blog can be exciting and frustrating all at once. There are many different kinds and many different opinions when you ask experienced bloggers. What you need to remember is that “one size does not fit all”. While people will try and talk you into buying professional themes for outrageous amounts, it is perfectly fine to start out with one of the many totally free and gorgeous themes provided by WordPress. In this tutorial, you will learn how to preview a range of themes before deciding which one works best for you.

how to choose themes for your wordpress blog savvyproblogger

Before we start, make sure that you have already downloaded and installed your WordPress platform and are familiar with your dashboard. First thing is to go to your “Appearance” menu and choose “themes”.  Click the “Add New” button. This is where you can go down the rabbit hole. There are literally hundreds of themes, maybe thousands. You can narrow your choices by looking at the popular ones. Once you pick one , you can click on details and preview to see what your blog would look like.

On the left side, you will see how many ratings the theme has so far. You need to be careful choosing a theme with very few reviews, no matter how pretty. It might have problems and you wouldn’t have anyone to ask for help.

 

What to look for in themes:

Responsiveness – This is probably the most important thing to look for. A responsive theme means that your blog looks the same all across the board, whether your viewer is on a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Google has started penalizing website that are not mobile responsive. You can save yourself a lot of headache by choosing one that already is. otherwise prepare to learn coding or change your theme at some point.

Simplicity: You want a blog that is simple and easy to use. Being bogged down by a lot of useless frilly stuff may slow your site down, and that’s not a good thing. If it doesn’t load quickly, people will go away and yes..Google will ding you too. Clean and simple is a delicate balance and one you should strive for.

Plugins Ready: One of the reasons l said up above about choosing themes that are popular or have a lot of reviews is that they are also usable with lots of plugins. Remember your plugins help to make for a cohesive website. The more popular themes have had lots of testers before you and any problems would have been shared and most liked fixed thanks to the reviews. Even if you run into problems down the line, you can ask for help. A theme that’s only been downloaded 4 times though? Good luck trying to find help.

One last thing to do is to check how your blog theme looks across several browsers. Try it out on Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc. just to make sure it’s just as nice on each screen. More than likely it will, but you want to be sure anyway.

Once you’ve picked a theme, you can activate it and go live with your posts just by clicking on the instructions of the theme. This usually means replacing their words with yours.

Here are some responsive themes that l like and use.  Don’t have too many as it slows down your website. I am cutting down to four. You can always download and install whenever you want. it only takes a minute to download themes.

Accelerate (my favorite, great for blogs)

Radiate (blogs and business)

Capture (fantastic for photography. Simple, clean)

Hueman (great for magazine type blogs)

Customizr (great, but l don’t love it for photography)

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