A WordPress theme is basically your layout and appearance. Some of the best WordPress themes are free and some are paid. If you’re looking for a theme solely on the basis of cost, I’d recommend searching the WordPress Free Themes Directory and browsing around.
The downside to using a free theme is that if there’s anything you want to change about your layout, you’ll be hard-pressed to find support to guide you through the process. And most free themes don’t have the impressive features that come standard with paid themes.
That’s where paid themes have the clear advantage.
BLOG THEME FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
There are thousands of paid themes out there – literally. Thousands. So how do you pick one that’s right for your blog? When you’re doing your Theme shopping, look for the following features:
- Flexibility – How much do you want to tinker with your blog’s layout or design? Some themes are pre-designed (and can’t be changed), while others are more of a “framework” with movable elements.
- SEO – Does the theme allow you to code things like post titles and descriptions that will draw search engines (and readers!) to your site?
- Support – How responsive is the support team to help with your customization questions? Established themes like Genesis have thousands of answers to commonly asked questions in their support forums…and if you post a question, you’ll get a response within a few hours – if not minutes!
- Skill level required – Do you have to be a CSS genius to make minor changes to your site, or does the theme have drag-and-drop functionality?
- Visual Appeal – This is usually the first thing that draws us to look at a theme, but it’s important to remember your audience. Will the readers be able to connect with you through your layout, or will it project a false or distant image?
It can get confusing trying to sort through all the themes out there, so I’ll list a few of my tried-and-true favorites.