WordPress has the ability to be customized using themes. There are many options of themes both free and paid options. Themes make your site look different from other sites and also the themes can allow you different functionality. This is one of the main reasons that WordPress became and remains so popular, the ability to make it your own quickly and easily.
I am using a paid theme here on this site, but usually start with a free themes when I start a new niche site. A theme can be changed as your site grows, but be aware that since the theme also controls functionality your site may not work the same once a change is made. You don’t have to be committed right now. I do suggest that you start with a free theme to get an idea of what you do and don’t like. Start a wish list so that when you are ready to upgrade to a paid theme (or a different free theme) you will know what you are looking for. Unless you already know of a theme that will be perfect for you needs, then go ahead and jump on in.
Choices, Choices, Choices
Themes can be a subject that can stop people in their tracks. Don’t let this happen to you. Use the theme that comes with the initial WordPress download, especially if you have never used WordPress before. The theme that comes with the download is updated often and has lots of features to get you will likely want to get started. The current theme even comes with an image already in place until you decide what you want your site to look like.
Some considerations when deciding on a theme:
- Compatibility (for plugins)
- Recent updates/support
Just because you can have all the bells and whistles,doesn’t mean you should. Google likes sites that load quickly, so make sure you don’t choose a theme that will slow your site down. A site that has too many plug-ins can also slow down your site, but some plug-ins are going to be useful, so make sure your site is updated to the latest version of WordPress to keep your site running as smoothly as possible. There are lots of paid themes out there and lots of marketers will tell you that you must have a paid theme to get the functionality that you need, but don’t fall for the hype, make your own informed decision.
Once you have made your choice of theme, you want to get it customized as soon as possible, but again – don’t get to caught up in this step. To customize your theme, you will want to add your own image to the header, or change the header to text. If you have color options, or want to make a color change do that now. Once your theme is looking good, you are ready to get more customization by adding plug ins – which we will talk about in the next post.
If you would like to know more about why I recommend WordPress, please read this post.
I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur. I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized. To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.