Once your WordPress blog is installed on your domain, you’ll begin the job of customizing it for your business. You don’t want to leave the default theme intact – it looks unprofessional.
So now you have a choice – do you opt for a free WordPress theme or upgrade to a premium level theme, which you’ll have to pay for? If you’re brand new to blogging, you might want to stick with the free themes temporarily and then upgrade once you know you’re dedicated to keeping the site active long-term.
Others may want to invest in a premium theme right away so that no changes have to be made once the site is underway. To access the free themes, log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearances and then Themes.
At the top of the page you can click on Install Themes and choose from the Featured, Newest, Recently Updated – or the option to install your own. You’ll find many free WordPress themes online just by Googling for them.
But you have to be careful because nothing is truly free – the providers of those WordPress themes will have some sort of benefit included in the theme, sometimes in the form of an unsavory link pointing from your blog to their own domain.
Premium themes are usually clean and more search engine optimized than the freebies are. You can search for those on Google too and find a myriad of options. If you buy one, download the file to your hard drive and choose the “Upload” option in your blog area. Then extract the zip file so that the theme is available for you to choose.
When you see your new theme options, simply click “Activate” on the theme you prefer. You can swap these out at any time, but it’s best to find a good theme and maintain it so that your site builds brand recognition of its own.
WordPress themes vary between crisp and clean to colorful and cluttered. You want to choose something based on your personal preferences, but also keep the reader in mind. Don’t choose a theme where the words are hard to read or the colors cause people to click out immediately.
You can also choose to have a custom WordPress theme created for you if you have deep pockets, but a Premium theme will be a great alternative and it won’t break the bank. For online marketing, many people like the Socrates option, but it’s only one of many, so you’ll have to do your homework and find one that’s right for you.
WordPress AdSense Ready Themes
There are many reasons to start your own WordPress blog. Some do it for personal journaling. Some do it to promote their product or service in a business manner with a platform that’s easy to work with. And many do it for AdSense earnings.
AdSense is an ad-generated form of revenue that you can earn via Google. People pay money to get their ads listed on keyword-relevant sites, and the site owner earns money each time someone clicks through on the link.
So when you run an AdSense blog, your goal isn’t to include text links within the blog content, but to bring in targeted traffic that will then click out on the ads strategically placed around your blog.
There are some rules you have to adhere to. You can’t ask people to click on your links. You can’t place too many ad blocks around the blog. Because it can get confusing, it’s best to invest time or money in finding an AdSense-ready WordPress theme.
These themes generally have the ad blocks positioned above the fold. That means the visitor to your site sees them even before they scroll down the page. The theme may be three columns, so that there’s an ad block at the top and on both sidebar areas.
Most of the WordPress themes that are ready for AdSense codes are fairly plain in nature. They’re built with color schemes that match the Google AdSense ads, but there’s no real distinction about the niche.
However, there are niche specific AdSense WordPress themes you can buy, too. For example, you can buy a niche pack of AdSense themes for WordPress that include images in the headers for automotives, fitness, gardening and more.
They’re usually not amazing graphics, but the point of someone landing on your AdSense site isn’t for them to stick around and enjoy their stay anyway – you want them to click out on a link (because you earn money that way).
Whenever you shop for an AdSense WordPress theme, you want to look for several important qualities. First, it has to be search engine optimized. If the blog doesn’t perform in search engines, then the theme choice won’t matter.
Next, it has to have strategic ad placement. If the ads are buried, or don’t match the theme, you’ll want to look elsewhere. And last, you want the theme to look professional. Even though the goal is a click out for revenue, you don’t want the visitor exiting out of the site without an ad click because they’re so turned off by its appearance.
Thesis WordPress Skins
While the words theme, templates, styles and skins all have different technical meanings, they’re basically used interchangeably by WordPress bloggers who are seeking a new look and layout for their blog design.
Thesis is a WordPress theme that has various skins you can apply to your blog. The theme provides the framework for your blog’s mechanisms while the skins provide the look and feel.
The Thesis pack is popular because many bloggers have reported increased SEO benefits once they upgraded to this blog model. There are many skins and layouts you can choose with Thesis WordPress skins, from clean and crisp to more complex by design.
Thesis is considered one of the Premium themes – it’s not free. But it allows the new or advanced blogger to customize their creation with as many (or as few) bells and whistles as they prefer.
You can change things easily and quickly. For instance, instead of scouring the ‘net for a 3 column theme, you can log in and change your Thesis theme from a 2 column to 3 column with a simple click and choice.
With many themes, you’re stuck with the font and layout you’re given – but with Thesis, you can control how all of these things appear. Install the theme and then pick and choose from a variety of skins to alter the look.
Security is another reason many bloggers pick Thesis. Many free themes are plagued by sneaky SEO that benefits the creator of the theme, but not the end user – but with Thesis, your SEO works for you.
One of the frequent issues plaguing blog users is that they’re left vulnerable – sometimes due to the fact that the theme they’re using isn’t updated to prevent hackers from breaking in and invading the system.
Thesis is a major blog theme brand, and the creators have worked hard to ensure it’s kept updated and full of new features that can provide your business a more professional, streamlined site presence.
You can buy Thesis in a single or developer’s option. If you have more than one site, you’ll want a developer’s license. Then if you want, you can find free Thesis skins and premium skins for about $35 to add to your layout options.
Magazine WordPress Theme
One of the trendy choices for bloggers to use when it comes to layouts is the magazine WordPress theme. It’s a little more complex than a simple column layout, but it makes for a professional look.
You don’t have to run an online magazine to use the magazine WordPress theme – that’s just a way of saying it spotlights a variety of stories on the home page. Many online news sites use a magazine format to allow users to pick and choose among topics and categories by reading a teaser of the story’s headline and then being able to click through.
Any blogger can choose a magazine format – it can be used for personal blogs, review blogs, marketing and consumer shopping. You may have a bit more difficulty learning to navigate it as a newbie than you would a simple columned theme, but most premium themes have a tutorial to accompany it.
Aside from the standard magazine theme, there is also a mini magazine theme that can be utilized on your blog, which is built with an image-laden focus on the home page. This would be perfect for those who have products to feature with stunning photographs.
Whenever you have a normal magazine WordPress theme, you’re going to have the small preview boxes that preview the most recent posts. And you can either do a text-based, image-based, or mixed preview.