How to Customize the Perfect WordPress Theme for Your Blog
By Dan Western
WordPress themes can make or break blogs. It’s the decider of whether your website functions properly, whether it’s easy for people to use, and whether it actually looks good enough to attract attention.
Getting a WordPress blog to look absolutely stunning has been tough in the past; during the time where the initial themes were very basic and you had to be a coding artist in order to make things look gorgeous.
Those days are over though, as you’re now able to purchase high quality, ready-made themes that include a lot of different options for customization.
This makes having a stunning blog design a much simpler process.
Even though this may be the case now, there’s still some very useful tips that people can use in order to install and customize the perfect WordPress theme for your blog. This is regardless of whether you are a newbie to the blogging scene, or an expert.
1) Take a Look at Your Competitors
Every blog is going to look different, not just for the reason that someone else is behind the design, but because different niches will require different styles.
I’d recommend maybe taking a look at 5-10 of your main competitors, and have a look at the general design of their blog. Write down the kind of layout they’re using, the colors they’re using etc.
If these competitors are fairly big blogs within the niche, then it’s likely that you’ll know what works from examining what they’re doing.
You can then incorporate this into the decisions you make for the exact same aspects of the design.
Obviously you can’t make things exactly the same. That’s copying, and the loyal audience of those blogs won’t be happy with you for doing so. Secondly, why would you want to? You are your own person and your own blog. You have your own imagination, so use it wisely.
2) Pick a Solid Contrasting Color Scheme
Color schemes are so important for websites. As soon as a user is faced with the front page of your blog, you have an opportunity to keep them on the blog for a long period of time. If you’re color scheme is not appealing, or doesn’t really stand out, it won’t make for a memorable or pleasant image.
They won’t want to spend much time on the website.
When you look at some of the top blogs online, they have very bold color schemes, with no more than 3 main colors.
The majority of the time, the background will be white, and the theme will then have a dark colored accent. So it’s a bold ‘red & white’ theme, ‘blue and white’ theme, you get the idea.
If you take a look at the theme of the website, Successful Blogging, you will notice that it has very bold color scheme consisting of red and white.
Other times, there will be two main colors that are opposites from each other.
A good example of this that I love is the Addicted 2 Success website, for its use of bright blue and bright orange. If you look on a color wheel, you’ll see that blue and orange are opposite from each other, which makes them a great contrast.
Different colors show different emotions, so have a think about which emotions you want to convey to your audience when they land on your blog.
3) Buy a Professional Theme from the Top Providers
Whenever I buy a new theme, I buy from Theme Forest. Without a doubt, they have the biggest range of themes you’ve ever seen, and what I love is the fact you can see how many downloads each theme has and the ratings it has received.
When buying a theme on here, make sure you purchase one that has a live demo available. This way, you’ll be able to test out the different layouts and capabilities of the theme in order to determine whether it’s a good fit for your blog.
You’ll normally pay $49 to $59 for a good theme on Theme Forest, and that price is 100% worth it!
4) Time to Have Some Fun
Once you’ve found the theme you want and uploaded it to WordPress, you’re able to have some fun customizing it.
If you’ve made the right choice, customization should be pretty easy. Play around with the color scheme, the layout, the widgets, plugins, you name it.
Word of warning: If you’re a perfectionist, this process will be both fun and frustrating. Don’t get too carried away. Just enjoy seeing what looks good and what doesn’t.
Most of what you want to customize should be available to do within WordPress with just a few clicks. If not, you can go the extra mile and hire a designer to do the harder parts for you.
5) Hiring a Designer to Do the Hard Work
Last of all, as I briefly mentioned above, you can always hire a professional to do the hard work for you.
If you’re a beginner to the scene, and you don’t know too much about theme configuration, you can hire companies to do this for you.
There are plenty of companies out there specializing in WordPress design, such as Bourn Creative, 99 Designs, Web Dev Studios, and I’m even offering WordPress design services now if you want to get in touch with me.
Following these steps should be all you need in order to setup the perfect WordPress Theme for your blog. A great initial theme, with a powerful color scheme and some tweaking to the layout, is the perfect combination for your blog.
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