WordPress Themes: What to do?
As you continue along in the AffiliatePrograms.com Site-Building Challenge, it’s time to face one of the questions every WordPress site owner has to answer at one point or another: Should I pay for a premium WordPress theme?
Today, we’re going to help you make that decision. Before we jump into themes, let’s look at the context surrounding this decision.
WordPress is an open source content management system that was first released in 2003. Since then, it’s been supported by a vibrant, active community of users who pride themselves on their ability to customize WordPress while obtaining many of the resources they require for their sites (plugins, themes, customizations) for free.
The challenges of free WordPress themes
There are, literally, thousands of free WordPress themes. You can make your site look like a Christmas tree or diary. Many of these free themes are very cute on the outside. If you’re pulling together a site very quickly, it’s likely you can find something to suit your needs.
But these free themes can present challenges. Some of them are poorly written. They do a poor job of assembling the code, which makes it hard for the search engines to spider your content and index your pages. They can also be bloated with images and slow to download.
And these problems are not limited to free WordPress themes. In fact, premium theme providers such as Themeforest have been known to supply attractive, but poorly coded themes.
If you’re looking for a theme that won’t slow your site’s speed and make it easy for search engines to index your site, spend a little money on a premium theme. It’s a great way to support the significant investment in time you’re making as you work on your affiliate marketing site.
Here’s a short list of the premium themes I recommend to my clients and a few of their advantages.
Headway Themes – Of all the premium themes out there, Headway offers the most colorful and cute. They make it easy to switch colors and layout and give you great control over SEO settings.
StudioPress Themes for WordPress – StudioPress offers the widest variety of theme styles. You’ll be able to find something that fits your needs, regardless if you’re launching a news and review site or just putting up an attractive landing page. All of the themes are fully customizable, though you will need to know a little CSS and possibly some PHP to do so. In addition, I can personally testify for their great support community, which offers terrific assistance in their moderated forums.
Thesis Theme for WordPress – Thesis makes it very easy to achieve a custom CSS layout without needing to know any CSS. It has a great reputation and many affiliates build their sites using it. The one issue I need to point out regarding Thesis is that a long-promised version 2 has been in the pipeline for more than a year. There has been lots of terrific marketing around version 2, but little to show as of this writing. But if you want to create a custom design and you don’t want to learn CSS, this is the theme for you.
How to install
This is the easy part. Once you’ve made your purchase, you can upload your new theme to your site using the “Install Themes” dialog box (go to Appearance->Themes->Install). Then select “Activate.”
Here’s what you’ll need to do to complete the objectives for today.
• Select a premium theme
• Purchase theme
• Install and activate theme on your website
That’s it for now on using WordPress. Tomorrow, we’re going to discuss how to create great content for your website.
Have you purchased premium WordPress themes? Please share your experience in the comments below.