Having an eye-catching design for your blog is fundamental. Think of it like this: the more impressive your blog is the more visitors you will get. Ultimately, more visitors equal more subscriptions and social media shares.
So, your first job is to pick the right theme for your blog. After you have chosen your niche and the primary blog platform to use, the only thing left to do – before launching and promoting your blog – is to figure out how it will actually look like.
However, there might be a small problem. Usually, when people decide to create their first blog, they don’t have the budget to work with a skilled designer. But, worry not, the free Internet is here to support you with plenty of great themes that you can work with for free. Even with all these free themes, you will still need help in choosing the right one, this is why we created the following guide:
Searching for a template is extremely easy. Just type your platform and the word “theme” and dozens of free and premium themes will show up on the first page of Google. The difference between free and premium can be seen in the quality of the theme.
Most paid themes tend to be of a higher quality than those which are free. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that all premium themes are worth buying. But, hey… there are great free themes as well! So, before deciding which theme to pick, use the following criteria to find the right one for you.
First off, before beginning your search, you should figure out what are your actual needs when it comes to a blog template. The theme you choose should make your content shine, that’s one of the main criteria’s you should take into consideration.
If you can’t decide which theme to pick, take a quick peek at your favorite blogs. Use them as inspiration to find your perfect blog theme. Here are a few questions that might help you throughout this process:
While creating your ideal blog, make sure to gather all the ingredients needed in order for your blog to have a powerful impact on your reader’s mind. An easy way to do this is by putting yourself in the reader’s shoes.
Let’s say you run a fashion blog. In this case, having beautiful big pictures is a must. But in case your blog is focused on text more than images, choose a theme that will emphasize the text. Let’s not forget about plugins. If you are using WordPress, there is a big chance of finding a great plugin that will supplement your theme.
In order to understand what a plugin is used for, let’s say you want to feature a video in the sidebar of your blog, and you can’t find any theme that will allow you to do that. A plugin can solve this problem. Plugins are a great way to update your blog.
Nowadays, a site that doesn’t work well on mobile is completely unacceptable. There are more people who access the internet from their phone and tablets than people who use it from their desktop.
Therefore, if you want your readers to be able to read your blog, you should make sure that your template works well on mobile. While searching for templates, ensure that you’re looking for responsive templates. Those who aren’t responsive are soon about become, or they’ll simply disappear in a very short time.
You should focus on creating a blog that is filled with your own personality. So, the theme you choose should be customizable. While looking for a great template, try not to fall in love with themes that are already filled with someone else’s style.
Before choosing a beautiful pre-made theme, think about your content. Will it fit naturally within the theme? If the answer is no, look for another one or create one of your own from scratch. Always add your personal touch and never use an entirely pre-made template.
You might think that these pre-made templates look great and that they would be a perfect fit for your content. However, without any personal touch, your blog will look just like other blogs that used the same theme. Make sure that in your niche, your blog is unique and easy to differentiate from others.
Keep in mind that your content should be the first element that draws attention when people enter your blog, so make sure the theme does not outshine the content. A great pre-made theme is one which is basic and allows your content to make the first impression. The template should allow you to change the colors, edit the fond, and upload the logo. This is the only way you can create something that’s completely unique.
If you’re not a tech savvy, you will require clear instructions on how to install the theme. An advice: before paying for a premium theme or downloading a free one, make sure to read the theme’s documentation and website page.
This will tell you what kind of support is available in case you need help. If support is offered, read the reviews as well! Are the reviews mostly filled with satisfied clients or with desperate bloggers that can’t manage to make their theme work?
If it really gives you trouble, try purchasing a template from a reputable company, like D5 Creation. These sites help you with the entire installation process, so you won’t need to struggle to make it work all by yourself.
WordPress can provide you with loads of features for each custom theme. But let’s focus on the most important stuff – the things you use every day.
Whenever you are choosing to invest in a template, you must take this factor into consideration. You should have a clear budget available, so try to stay within the limits. But, before everything else, you should be aware of the following aspects:
If you are a WordPress developer and you are planning to use a theme for more than one site, it would be recommended to buy a multiple site license. But if you are using the theme only for your own site, just get the basic license. That would do just fine.
SEO is one of the most important marketing factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding to create a blog.
If you are thinking about performing SEO optimization for your website, using D5 Creation or WordPress will make everything much easier for you. All the themes provided by D5 creation are coded maintaining all WordPress standards, so any standard plugin will run without issues.
Here’s the great thing: even if you don’t want to do any SEO optimization, owning an SEO friendly theme can still improve the reach of your website.
Is there a way to find out if a theme is SEO friendly? Yes, by checking the following factors:
When choosing a theme, you should pay attention to this important feature. People who will visit your site will be visiting you using different browsers and devices. So, as a website owner, your job is to make sure that your website looks well on all the possible platforms.
In case the theme doesn’t provide this service for you, doing it by yourself might be pretty challenging. One way you can check if the theme works on all browsers and devices is by accessing the theme’s demo using all the browsers and devices. Or you can just look for info regarding its compatibility. Another quick way to find out is by using the following tool.
Before deciding on a theme, be certain that it gives you enough customization features. Remember that your site must be unique and should reflect your brand’s message, so a customizable theme is vital at this moment. Most theme developers understand this, and manage to offer you the option of changing your layout.
Any good theme should feature options like moving your side bars from right to left or even creating two sidebars. You should be able to edit the layout for each page of your blog. The theme must be dynamic, and it should allow you to choose more than one layout for your site.
Let’s talk a little bit about colors and their use. If you wish to make your website successful, then you definitely need a brand identity or a unique value proposition that will differentiate you. If you already own a logo, that’s great.
In order to keep everything in tune, all the colors that are used on your website should go with the colors of your logo. A good theme has a few predefined colors build in it as well as options that allow you to design your desired color.
When you personalize your chosen theme, the first thing you’ll edit is the header. That’s totally normal. Everyone wishes to include their logo, their menu, or their promotional banner. Having the option of customizing your header is an important aspect that a good theme should provide you with.
So, if the theme you’ve chosen doesn’t provide you with this option, better forget about it because it would take you hours to do any modifications by hand.
You may either create a home page that lists your recent posts or a custom homepage. If you are a daily poster and have lots of content, transform your home page into a "news feed".
However, in case you are running a business which is rather a service, a custom home page will be much more appropriate. The main page of your website should list the most important information about your company and the offer of the day.
Therefore, make sure to choose a theme that allows you to customize your homepage however you want!
Just so you know, videos and images can be displayed on every theme provided by WordPress or D5 Creation. Most blogs support images, but there are themes that make working with videos and images extremely easy.
Just look at how easy it is to embed a YouTube video on your blog. Go to YouTube, find your video, click the embed button, copy the code, go back to your site, open HTML editor and paste the code. Easy, right?
But, in case you will be posting loads of multimedia content you should focus on a theme that is specially made for visual content.
Selecting the right theme for your website is not such a hard task after all. You just need to know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind that a theme must be unique, and more than that it must represent your true personality.
A quick tip: Through colors, you can send a powerful emotional message, so make sure you make a little research before choosing your brand colors.
Always study well the potential themes before investing in them. I’ve done my part and explained you everything you need to know to choose your ideal theme. Now it’s your turn, start working on your blog, today!