This past weekend, I needed to find a WordPress theme for my new recipe site.
As I was looking at different themes to find the perfect one, it dawned on me that I should write a post on this to point out what to look for.
Let’s me be blunt: if you are at all serious about your site/blog, DO NOT USE A FREE THEME. Why? well a few reasons.
- it won’t look professional
- it could include a link at the bottom that has nothing to do with your site
- there is no support
- it won’t have all the features you need for a well balanced site
- it won’t have a Wow! factor, it will look basic
Think of your theme as the clothes for your site.
If you want to dress your site in p.j.’s, no problem, just don’t let the world see it…treat it as an online journal for your eyes only!
On the other hand, if you want to eventually make money, attract visitors, get subscribers, sell products, and let the world know about your site, dress it up with some fine clothes and be proud to say: Here’s my site, isn’t it amazing?
So back to our main topic: how to find the perfect WordPress theme.
Before you shop around, you should have made a list of what you want on your home page. This is important because it will determine which layout to look for.
a) Choose a theme with a home page widget layout
- if you offer services
- if you offer services and also blog
- if you have lots of categories
- if you want to emphasize certain pages
b) Choose a theme with a home page blog layout – will have a sidebar
- if it’s a blog only
c) Choose a theme with a home page blog layout with widgets – will have a sidebar
- if it’s a blog only
- if you also want to show categories with latest posts
The rest of your site will be the same for any theme: a page and a blog archives layout. If you need a portfolio page, you will use a plugin. If you need a theme for an e-commerce website, you will need to look for one that supports Woocommerce.
Now that you are equipped with this info, it’s time to go shopping.
If you don’t already own the Genesis framework, you will want to make your way to StudioPress.com. You can buy it by itself and use the Sample child theme which is free. It has a blog layout (option b above). OR you can look at their themes and buy the combo. Once you own the Genesis framework, you don’t ever have to buy it again and you can get a theme built for Genesis from other reputable designers selling their beautiful themes.
So the next step is to only look at themes that have the layout you need, as per a, b or c above.
DON’T look at the colors, just look at the layouts.
It doesn’t matter if it is showing as a recipe site, or as a photography site, you could probably use one of those no matter what your niche is. Example: Gallery Pro Theme This has a combo of widgets near the top for pages and blog posts listing with a sidebar near the bottom. This one supports Woocommerce. You could use it for any kind of niche and if you offer services.
You might also take note on whether the theme has a full width top image under the menu as opposed to a framed look.
For my recipe site, I decided to go with the Brunch Pro Theme, because after watching the video of what it could do, it made it really easy to change different elements from the customizer.
I will be creating a video as I set up my site to show you how using a theme right out of the box is perfectly fun and easy and looks great. And yes I chose a recipe theme because everything was in place already for such a niche, such as the index, and the recipes themselves.
I’ll let you know how it went soon 🙂