Choosing a Wordpress theme

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  1. Mikeydoes profile image44
    Mikeydoesposted 12 years ago

    I can't really decide which theme I want. I have been suggested not to get a free one. I have heard Semiologic is awesome, but I'm not sure how much better it really is. If it is really worth it for me. and it is way better and easier to use, then there is now doubt I would want it. Any tips on the best themes?

    <link snipped>

    1. kirstenblog profile image78
      kirstenblogposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have not used it yet but there is a non premium version of semilogic and once I get my butt in gear I plan on trying it on a personal art site I have. Mark gave me the link to the free version so you might want to drop him a line if you want to try the free version smile

    2. recommend1 profile image60
      recommend1posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The best theme for beginning in this game is the one that Wordpress offer as the standard - the twentyten.  Other themes may be good for one thing or another, others may be good for advanced users but hte twentyten is the easiest to play with and does everything you would want at the beginner to intermediate level.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Stick with a free one.  Leave paid themes for when you know what you're doing - themes like Genesis or Thesis have their own learning curve, and you've got enough to learn already. 

      Twentyten is fine if you just want something plain.

      Plugins are totally separate from themes.  Occasionally you'll find a theme that doesn't allow you to place widgets in the sidebars - avoid those, as they're too limiting.  Otherwise, most plugins work with most themes.  All of them will work with Twentyten since it's Wordpress's default theme.

      I wrote a couple of Hubs on Wordpress which you might find helpful.

      Don't worry too much about plugins at first. When you come across something you want to do, go to your plugins menu and search for a plugin on that topic - then install the one with the most stars.

      I wouldn't worry about starting a forum until the site has built up some traffic.

  2. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 12 years ago

    Until you know what you like and don't like etc, go with a free one I reckon.

    For the basics etc, most of them are very good. And you can use TAC (Theme Authenticity Checker) to check they're not stealing your Adsense or inputting any bad stuff.

    Paid themes are good if you're going to be doing a lot of niche websites that you have very specific needs for, but until you know what those specific needs are - use one of the thousands of free ones available (install from wordpress with 2-3 clicks) and play around.

    Or have you tried a free theme?

    1. Mikeydoes profile image44
      Mikeydoesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No, I'm scared wink When it comes to Wordpress it is overwhelming so I have been taking baby steps. I am not at my house and working off the laptop is hard, so when I get home that is when I plan on picking my first theme.

      Not really sure what I am doing though, and I am afraid I might pick a crappy theme(or at least one that is not good for what I am trying to do). Is there any theme that you recommend? The more options the better and as long as it has forums, members, and is very user friendly. I'm good with it. Thanks.

      1. WryLilt profile image88
        WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Ok first - themes are VERY interchangeable. Trust me, once you've got WP installed and login, you can literally change themes at the click of a button (and as long as you didn't code change the theme itself) all your content will go straight into the new theme. I often have about five themes which I swap around for a bit to find which works for me.

        I'm talking easy. As in EASY. It literally takes just a couple of clicks on one page and you can have a theme ready to go. And each theme you download is saved for you, so you can swap whenever you like.

        And what do you mean forums and members?

  3. Mikeydoes profile image44
    Mikeydoesposted 12 years ago

    All the themes allow for members and forums?

    1. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No. You use PLUGINS for adding logins. Think of a theme like a HP page, and plugins like Capsules - you have a plugin for news, a plugin for links etc. Themes are just the base, the background (general layout, pages, header, colour etc).

      Forums would be installed seperately and then you'd add them from your wordpress site. So if your site was, your forums would be at

    2. Ultimate Hubber profile image65
      Ultimate Hubberposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Wordpress have options where you can allow signups of other members and themes don't make a difference in it.
      If you want a forum, use one provided by phpBB.
      BTW do you want to make a website like that of Ryankett?

      1. Mikeydoes profile image44
        Mikeydoesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No, not really. I am not 100% sure what I am going to do, although I do have a good idea. It depends on the limits of Wordpress and me. Right now I more or less am looking for experience and to learn. I do want the site to succeed as well, so I just don't want to go in there with the wrong theme ETC.

    3. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Mikey my best advice is go make your site and play around. Much easier to understand then - it really is easy.

      You should only have to pay for the DOMAIN name and HOSTING at this stage. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any Qs. Bedtime!

  4. Bill Manning profile image70
    Bill Manningposted 12 years ago

    I prefer Genesis myself, which is a paid theme package. However if your new to WP then it might be a bit too much to start with.

  5. transinata profile image63
    transinataposted 12 years ago

    it depends on kind of sites you develop.
    But, I recommend the Woo themes, It came with many varies of themes. Themes for shop, company, personal, study and more.

  6. Mikeydoes profile image44
    Mikeydoesposted 12 years ago

    Well I was looking around on the theme twentyten and trying to get familiar with it. If I were to try to get going, boy would I be lost. I think my problem is I'm not sure which widgets I need, and also where to get them.

    No idea where ads or anything are at right now, haven't got to look much. I felt this way at Hubpages at one point too, just got fight through it.wink

    Once again thats for any and all the help!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Widgets are created by plugins. You get plugins by going to the "plugins" section on your dashboard, and clicking "Add New".

      1. Mikeydoes profile image44
        Mikeydoesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Good to know! TY.

        I think my first task is to get a phpbb(forum up). Not tonight, but if there are any tips or if I shouldn't, or can't use phpbb let me know!

        1. Marisa Wright profile image85
          Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Just curious, why do you want a forum?

          1. Bill Manning profile image70
            Bill Manningposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Wordpress has come out with their own forum software called bbpress. It's free so I'm going to give that a try next time I make a forum, which will be soon. smile

          2. Mikeydoes profile image44
            Mikeydoesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Forums are great. There is plenty of great information that can be learned. I go to the forums whenever I have a problem with anything, at any site.

            I also have a reason for wanting a forum I'd rather not say.

  7. seamist profile image59
    seamistposted 12 years ago

    I agree with Recommend I and Marissa. For a beginner, twentyten is good starter theme. It's not only free but very customizable too without having to know coding. Even better than twentyten is Weaver 2010. It's just like twentyten but even more customizable!

  8. thisisoli profile image72
    thisisoliposted 12 years ago

    The biggest question you should have when looking for a theme is whether or not you are comfortable customizing it via code or not.  If you are not comfortable with coding you want to aim for a theme that has a nice interface for changing the layout, or look for a free theme that already looks how you want it to look.

  9. brandonhart100 profile image77
    brandonhart100posted 12 years ago

    ok watch this video on changing the twenty ten theme... and I think you'll have all the answers you need

    1. brandonhart100 profile image77
      brandonhart100posted 12 years agoin reply to this
      1. brandonhart100 profile image77
        brandonhart100posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Does anyone know how to make pictures like this guy and then do a redirect like he's doing it? (trying not to leave a link)

        It's driving me literally crazy... because I want to use a php redirect for my WP amazon links and then automatically generate pictures like these people do but I just don't know how.. Tips would be appreciated.

        For now I just no follow text links on my own WP sites which seems to work pretty well...  but I'd like to add a similar "picture system" to mine (not the scraping part)

        1. brandonhart100 profile image77
          brandonhart100posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I've noticed that the squidutils site also automatically generates "banners" that are image redirect links like these... that also accomplishes what I'd like to do... but back to the main subject.. use twenty-ten and wpweaver do easily modify your WP theme without any experience... and then add your own banner on it.. It's really very simple.

  10. Mikeydoes profile image44
    Mikeydoesposted 12 years ago

    I've learned quite a bit with the free themes. I am thinking about purchasing one now.

    I've had some great suggestions already, but it has been 7 months since.

    What is the best interface wordpress theme? Coding is not for me. Although if I have to add code to something, with instructions that is not a problem.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Mikey, I'm not sure there is one with a good interface!  I've tried buying several paid themes recently, and always found myself bamboozled, even though there's no coding required. 

      I signed up for a couple of the big theme providers like Woo Themes - the themes look gorgeous on the site, but when you download them, you find yourself with something that looks nothing like the pictures!  You then have to slog through pages and pages of configuration, often with jargon you don't understand, to set it up the way you want it.  Yes there is documentation but it's a big learning curve IMO - too big for me!

      I've heard the same thing about Thesis and Genesis, even though they get such great reviews from developers.  Lissie tried Thesis and gave up on it because it was too fiddly - and she's an ex-IT person!

      The other thing you have to watch is that a theme with a complicated "back end" can wind up being slow - which Google will penalize you for.  I found some gorgeous themes on Elegant Themes with easy-to-follow configuration menus, but they ran like a dog so I had to give them up.

      Luckily I don't want to do anything too fancy with my sites, so I just did searches to find ready-made free themes that could do what I wanted.  Then I bought Artisteer and just design my own - but like I say, my requirements are quite simple.

      If you can tell us what features you want (without giving too much away), I might be able to suggest some suitable themes.

  11. Hamad Irfan profile image65
    Hamad Irfanposted 12 years ago

    Well, I read somewhere that most of the free wordpress themes available out there, insert malicious links into the code. Some blogs hideously insert backlinks to certain websites, other their own blog that showcases the theme for download. I would always go for free theme from premium theme providers for this reason and buy a good premium theme once I start making money with the blog. Else if you are a little techy then analyse the code yourself for any suspicious links or script.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That's just scaremongering, I think.  I used free themes for a long time and never had a problem. 

      That's not hideous, that's the way free themes work.  You get the theme free, they get a link to one of the designer's websites.  That's how you pay the designer - with free backlinks.   Why would anyone give you something totally free?

      1. Hamad Irfan profile image65
        Hamad Irfanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I wouldn't mind linking back to the author of the theme. Infact I would love too! But in some of the themes I downloaded, there are affiliate links at the footer. So this made me to believe what the blog was saying; however there are really good free themes from premium theme publishers as well, which I am currently working with.

  12. LindaSmith1 profile image61
    LindaSmith1posted 12 years ago

    There is a theme authenticity checker by WP that you can install which does the work automatically.

  13. CloudExplorer profile image78
    CloudExplorerposted 12 years ago

    I recently started using wordpress myself, and I like many of the free themes their, I don't know who recommended not using them. They work wonders for me thus far, I receive high traffic volumes from wordpress, and in a very short 2 months span.  Maybe it might just be the way I configured the background and logo imaging, or the content I built into it.  Did you know, that you can do such a thing there as changing the free theme's appearance.  I think if you take a free wordpress theme and learn to adjust things a bit, you'll find it very useful as well, & no matter the theme. You need graphics editing tools though to play around with cool imaging for sure.  Good luck hope this info helps.


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