Well you have managed to get WordPress installed onto your server and are all ready to stun the world with your knowledge and enlightenment. Thats when you take a look at your mangy default wordpress theme and have the fiery embers of doubt enter your mind and tell you that if you really were enlightened then you would have a theme so cool that people would keep on coming back to your site just to admire the smooth curves.
Well you are already on the path to higher enlightenment then because choosing a great theme is one of the most important ways of bringing people back to your site. Theres nothing worse a turn off than bad presentation and design.
Your site should entice your audience to navigate your site easily and encourage them to click at every link.
1. Space for Advertising
Yup! Space for advertising is the most important thing you want to be looking at when choosing a theme for your blog. Around 90% of the serious bloggers out there have advertising of some kind on their blogs and you definitely don’t want your blog looking ugly because of it. Take some time out and decide what kind of ads you would like to setup on your site, whether you would like to have banners or just text links. No matter the choice make sure that your theme would be able to accommodate them just fine. Try to get a theme which has the advertising area above the fold (i.e on the area of the page which comes first into sight). Advertisers like their ads getting a lot of attention and even pay a premium for sites which have their ads on the top.
2. Blog or Magazine
Wordpress is a content management system and I have found it to be flexible and good enough to even run a online magazine. Before you select your theme I would suggest that you decide whether you would like to feature your blog as a magazine or a personal blog. If you write multiple articles which are related to each other in a superficial way and that you believe that your style of writing is professional and magazine worthy then I would definitely suggest that you go for a Magazine Style theme. But if your blog is totally random and you write about everything from your pet cat to how you removed a stain from your favorite sweater then I would suggest a layout much like the traditional blog.
The number of columns you choose not only affects your blog aesthetically but also allows you to provide navigation to people who visit your site. Columns are also a good way to effectively divide advertisements from your actual news content. The biggest advantage of using a theme which has three columns is that you will have ample of space for both advertising and navigation for your users. Use one of the columns for providing your navigation links and use the other for displaying your ads.
4. Special features
Some themes offer a few extra features apart from the standard vanilla blog themes available out there. Some themes provide an area on the top of the main page where you can post featured articles, others may provide areas which display your most read posts. Which features you want is your own choice and often you can add those features in later using plugins but the outcome is not always that good looking. So for the best match try finding a theme which you feel will provide the best accommodation for your particular feature.
Selecting the color for your theme is one of the most important tasks. Keep in mind that while selecting a color let it be in accordance with the content of your blog and not according to your favorite color. This is also an area where you can experiment but be careful. Using the wrong color might create the wrong impression in the minds of your readers. For eg. Pink is definitely not the color for a blog which deals with Mens Interests, No matter how much you go about telling everyone that real men wear pink.
This is where you need lots and lots of foresight. You might start up with a pretty normal blog but towards the future you might decide to add on a feature or two, like maybe an advertising space or a space for your highest rated blogs. You might also want to put up a few site badges or site rating meters. Whatever you are putting up make sure that it is arranged properly on your site and not like a teenagers room.
7. Premium or Free
If you have the money then there are whole lot of premium themes which are there out in the market. There are two kinds of premium themes which you can purchase the first kind is one of a kind and is unique, the designer who designed the theme does not sell the same theme to any one else, which means you can have your own identity. The second kind of premium theme is usually a theme which is built for a particular functionality such as a photoblog. These themes are not one of a kind and you might have a few dozen other blogs sporting the same theme. However there are a few designers out there who provide unique blogs with the features you want.
8. Business or Pleasure
I really don’t need to emphasize this much as it is more of common sense than something which needs to be beaten into you by a Zen master. In simple words if your site deals with the stock market then using a Hello Kitty theme is not going to impress many people.
So there you go, keep these points in mind and you should be able to select a great theme for your blog. I leave with one last piece of advice the theme that you think looks the best is not always the best, be sure to match it with your list of requirements before you choose.