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How to choose a wordpress theme?

  1. I am building a Kids Site related to kids acivities, indoor games, outdoor games, fun etc. I dont know how to choose a wordpress theme. I searched thousands of wordpress themes but as I dont know much basics its hard for me to decide what to choose.
    Questions I have;
    I want three column site like http://family.go.com/entertainment/article-mm-77587-10-fun-outdoor-games-for-kids-t/ or http://fun.familyeducation.com/play/outdoor-activities/33394.html and want three coloumns as
    a) Left bar will have categories, popular articles, tag cloud etc + box with adsense ads.
    b) Middle one will have my articles + adsense links at the bottom plus link to next article in that category.
    c) third one should be wide ( like in above links) and will have box with adsense ads and affiliate ads.

    This is basic setup what is in my mind. It can change little bit based on feedback and circumstances. Now, to achieve this,
    - Do I need adsense ready theme?
    - Can I add any plugins like TAG CLOUD etc to my lef side bar?
    - Can I insert adsense/affiliate ads anywhere in the blog or need to do something to make it ad ready?

    I have selected few themes based on what is available but all say fixed width column :( Can I achieve all the above if I use following theme?
    http://www.wpskins.org/testrun/index.php?preview_theme=6442
    http://www.celebrific.com/gossip-city-wordpress-theme-release/
    I dont really like them as there are not too many kids related themes available.

    But anyway please guide what should I look intoa theme to achieve above mentioned requirements?

    Regards, Satinder
    PS: Before moving to wordpress themes, I was trying to use #5 Template in the first row at this link (neoneon) http://www.bravenet.com/webtools/template/ or partially visible at http://misssmartypantssite.com/ ( not my site, I googled it). But I am told that It wont work with wordpress.

  2. - Do I need adsense ready theme?

    No advertising is allowed here at wordpress.COM

    - Can I add any plugins like TAG CLOUD etc to my lef side bar?

    Plugins are not allowed at wordpress.COM

    - Can I insert adsense/affiliate ads anywhere in the blog or need to do something to make it ad ready?

    No, advertising/affiliate ads are not allowed at wordpress.COM

    You also cannot upload themes here. You are limited to the themes listed under appearances > themes in the dashboard.

    From those three things alone, it sounds like you need to self-host the blog. Hire a web host, register a domain name, download and install the self-hosted version of wordpress from wordpress.ORG and then configure things as you want. It can run you anywhere from $7 to as much as $50 per month or more depending on storage requirements and the amount of bandwidth needed.

  3. Although there are some ad ready themes, and plugins for use with self-hosted blogs, you could possibly still need experience writing and editing PHP script and have a working knowledge of CSS.

    And why would a kid-related site need ads and adcents? (intentionally misspelled) The don't have credit cards or anything unless they raid their parent's wallets or purses.

  4. Sorry, forgot to mention that I will be hosting it somwhere else. I didnt know that if you host it on wordpress.com you can have ads/affiliate ads etc.

    Please guide me again based on if I host it myself.

  5. thesaacredpath, You have valid point. Answer is that - 1) This would be my first site and I just wanna use my existing domain as a test. 2) The keywords in domain have high CPC. 3) The site content is focussed to be used by parents not by kids.

    I would appreciate if you guys would guide me on choosing the themes. I am scared as I dont know much programming.

  6. On wordpress.COM you CANNOT have ads. It's against the terms of service.

    This forum is for those hosted here at the wordpress.COM free hosting service and we know next to nothing about self-hosted blogs.

    The correct forum for self-hosted blogs is http://wordpress.ORG/support/ although with these questions you are not likely to get much as answers over there, but I would ask anyway.

    You might also try googling something like "self-hosting wordpress" and see what you find.

    If you self-host you will be responsible for all upgrades, maintenance, troubleshooting, uploading and setting up plugins and themes and doing all backups and such. If you install something and things go wrong, it will be up to you to fix it. Many hosts have a one-button install for wordpress which eases the initial plunge into everything web.

  7. Because we cannot upload themes here, we have virtually no experience with them. Also, since we cannot advertise or install plugins, we have no experience with those either. Most likely you know more about them than most of the people here.

  8. Thanks for info

  9. You're welcome and good luck with your search.

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