How did you choose your theme?

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  • #1521438

    I chose my theme after trying out a few different ones. My first theme, Misty Look, had what I needed–simple, clean layout, sidebar. It was a good starter them. After playing around a bit with others, Twenty Ten had much the same draw as Misty Look, but was even simpler and cleaner. When Twenty Eleven and Twenty Twelve first came out, I gave each a try. I actually stuck with Twenty Eleven for a number of months, experimenting with the new Showcase, and first experimenting with responsive designs.

    Eventually, I decided that Twenty Eleven and Twenty Twelve, while having great features, added things I didn’t necessarily need, and so I went back to Twenty Ten. When Twenty Thirteen came out, I fell in love. It was simple and clean, responsive, and had lots of functionality. I tried it, and haven’t looked at another theme since. Twenty Fourteen looks absolutely dreadful to me, so this will be the first default theme I won’t be trying. It’s too flashy, too jumbled–not at all clean and simple.

    #1521440

    amnasgd
    Member

    hello guys !
    I am a new in the world of web blogging, i have started my new website so i need some help from all you the expert persons, i have much confusions regarding to my website theme some people say good or bad theme directly affects the website’s ranking. my friend has suggested my to use WP-zoom theme because it is good responsive theme for seo. Please check out my website thecountriesof.com and tell my is my theme better for the good performance in search engine or not. please guide me. I will be very thankful to you.

    #1521468

    timethief
    Member

    @amnasgd
    The blog linked to your username is a free hosted WordPress.com blog. The theme you point to cannot be used on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. The other URL you provide is to a blog that’s not being hosted by WordPress.com. We cannot help you here at all with thethecountriesof.com site.

    WordPress.com and WordPress.org are completely separate, have different log-ins and run different versions of themes with same names. If you don’t have a username account at WordPress.ORG click http://wordpress.org/support/ and register one on the top right hand corner of the page that opens, so you can post to the support forums there and receive advice from WordPress.ORG bloggers.

    re: http://amnasgd.wordpress.com/
    There is no FTP access to free hosted WordPress.com blogs and we cannot upload any third party themes, create child themes or our own themes or edit templates.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/ftp-access/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/adding-new-themes/

    There is no upgrade you can purchase that changes that. WordPress.org offers free software that you can install on a web server. You can upload and install themes and plugins, run ads, and edit the database. Learn about the differences here. http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

    #1521470

    eurello
    Staff

    @ecumenicallife I’m like you – I like simple, clean themes. In fact, I most like themes that are as simple as Manifest, but the post column on that one is too narrow for me.

    If I ever sprung for a Premium theme, I’d probably go with Duet – I love how text-focused it is, and how it splits into columns on the front page for a more article-like feel.

    @amnasgd Choosing for a self-hosted site is even more difficult, because not only are there a ton of themes to choose from, but there are also a ton of theme shops! I recommend choosing a theme shop first, based on how active the theme’s support area is. Are the theme authors responsive to their users with questions? You can ask for advice in the WordPress.org forums about theme shops people have had a good experience with.

    #1521488

    nwosites
    Member

    Three or four, try over ten. I literately went through ten or more themes before I fell in love with the Oxygen theme. All the others didn’t meet my ideas and future projects.

    Picking a theme is all about individual taste. You will know when you find the right one, when you click publish and love the next page. :)

    #1521495

    I like to change my theme a few times a year. I sort of feel like I have to :) but I’m never satisfied with anything I have for very long. Like Time Thief I’m only going to use a Responsive-Width theme because I like knowing that my blog is going to be tweaked specifically for phones and tablets. Actually, my phone is where I do most of my blog reading. Mobile Safari is my primary “casual” browser. Besides responsive design, I like knowing that my blog theme will work well for any kind of content I throw at it, from photo posts to short snippets of text to longer essay-length entries. It’s tough to hit all of those items!

    #1521500

    I saw someone else using Duotone for a photo blog and fell in love with how it picks a color from the image and uses it to display custom colors for each photo post. I love it! I thought about changing to AutoFocus or Fontfolio when they came out, but in the end I stuck with Duotone because I love the color stuff.

    #1521501

    auxclass
    Member

    I literately went through ten or more themes

    I set up a site for a non-profit sailing group I belong to – went through over 60 themes looking at each one with some early data in it before finding one that worked –

    #1521502

    timethief
    Member

    @themeshaper

    I like to change my theme a few times a year. I sort of feel like I have to :) but I’m never satisfied with anything I have for very long.

    In your case I imagine the pressure to change it up more than once each year comes with the territory. As for me, I’m a visual person, a former artist, who becomes bored with themes and all things visual very quickly.

    I acknowledge I’ll never remain satisfied with any theme for long because it’s how I feel about paintings. The one one I ♥ today may be in burn pile a month from now. It blows my friend’s minds that I no longer sell paintings I just paint ’em and then burn ’em. The whole notion of anything being written in stone or of my blog content being locked up in a specific theme (like jail cell) gives rise to this response. Thank goodness we have so many WordPress.com themes to choose from.

    I’m also lazy minded and over-extended and that’s a combination that doesn’t lean me towards purchasing a custom design upgrade learning CSS editing skills at this time.

    Without doubt, acquiring CSS editing skills opens a whole world of opportunity for creating a distinctive showcase for content and the upgrade does not lock one into a one time editing of a single theme. One can keep making changes not only to the appearance of the same theme but one can also switch themes and that makes the custom design upgrade doubly cool. Maybe I’ll make learning CSS editing my new hobby when I retire, which isn’t far off.

    Until the day when I finally do get to retire, I’m relying on the WordPress.com Theme Team to keep me well supplied with responsive width themes that work well for showcasing all kinds of content and also have some customizable features.

    #1521504

    WordPress has made many changes since I joined and often my theme choices have been due to those changes. I began, I think, with Oulipo, just enjoying the way it scrolls and the simplicity of it. I left it only because the header is far too short.
    A bit similar to timethief, I try to choose free themes, although I dearly love several “premiums” and am currently using “A Simpler Time”, I think because it is darker, but not black/grey, and because it includes a touch of red. I probably am drawn to red a lot, but would not choose a simple theme to color the background red–too much.

    I will never choose a white theme and leave it white. A purely “white with touches of neon-cobalt” site hurts my eyes after a while, for some reason, and seems coldly clinical, or something. Adding only a pale taupe paint job to the background of an all-white site truly helps all of that. “Clean Home” is gorgeous done that way and I am thinking of going there.

    “Adventure Journal” appears on one of my other sites, and I love the casual look, there, (may I say ‘humorous but not girly’?) and the total ability to change the header and background. Removing the paneling background and painting it to highlight my header photo is fun, for now. My readers are in to fun, and actually seem energized when they notice I’ve made a bit of a change.

    I have a couple of unpublished sites I use for testing various themes that interest me.

    I have probably talked a friend into using “Confit” for a “Website” for the camp she manages, replacing the food photo with a beautiful scenic photo of the campgrounds in Spring. Also, the map widget, she loves. Or she may go to Fiore because the camp is named “Cherry Hill” and the artwork seems to satisfy her. I’m worried about the widget area, there, though, for newcomers, which most of her hits might be…

    I must add, I wish WordPress would offer more opportunity to view sites grouped by theme. I know sometimes we get to see maybe three themes compared, but I’d love just gazing at sites, picking by thumbnail (or not) according to their themes, to find inspiration. I suppose that would be a monumental task? Seems there could be even a search window to look up sites by theme?

    Thanks for everything WordPress provides. It is amazing, friendly, helpful, and totally cost-effective. :) Why doesn’t everyone use WordPress? I’ll never know!

    #1521506

    I’ve been using San Kloud ever since I started my blog in May.

    For me, a theme must have the following qualities:

    1- Text that is legible for readers of all ages. That means no white text on a black background.

    2- A custom header option (or a unique header on a theme that few people use).

    3- Text and menus in boxes, separated from the background image, and preferably with a lot of the image showing. This lets me have a more eye-popping look without compromising readability.

    I actually just wrote about happiness and change on my blog:

    http://bumblepuppies.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/being-special-almost-insults-my-intelligence/

    #1521507

    rallifotod
    Member

    My aim was to make a photography blog and Nishita was the only theme I found that would let me post big enough pictures. It also allowed me to use just one column with widgets at the bottom, so that’s the theme I ended up with :)

    #1521509

    ingridcc
    Member

    I picked Bueno because visually it makes my posts stand out very separately from each other, they don’t all meld together into one run-on blog. And the sidebar is part of the background color, so it’s available, but doesn’t intrude on the posts.

    I wanted the focus on the individual posts, and their visuals, not any background visuals, so I like the boxes around the posts and how the background recedes away from them.

    My blog has a very narrow audience, because it’s on an obscure textile craft. But it’s about the only in-depth website in its area, so it doesn’t need to look different/unusual to stand out. Bueno has a sort of stately (stodgy?) look that I hope adds a little weight and importance to what is usually considered a fairly humble craft…But mainly it sets off the different types of posts – tutorials, historical articles, galleries – while keeping the focus on one post at a time.

    As opposed to the fun look of the Imbalance homepage, which I am really attracted to! But sadly decided it was just too jumbled and confusing-looking for my blog…

    #1521510

    ingridcc
    Member

    Oh, on changing themes – I started with twenty-ten in 2010, and have only changed once…Followed Timethief’s recommendation and tried out a lot of themes in a “mirror” blog at that time before settling on Bueno. I use Reddle and the Hatch themes for two different private blogs…

    #1521512

    maidiebike
    Member

    Right now, it’s Twenty Eleven. I do test drive new themes –for less than half an hr.

    Then I realize for many themes, I would have to go into my blog and do much tweaking if I switched over a different theme.

    It is impressive that wordpress.com is offering an increasingly broad set of themes …to a point that newbies might be overwhelmed. I do like my present theme but should take full of its present features. Now if you can get me away from my full-time job, my other passions (cycling, art, etc.)…

    #1521513

    I must add, I wish WordPress would offer more opportunity to view sites grouped by theme.

    I agree with katherinetrauger, I would love to see sites grouped by theme more often. Always so curious about the ways people personalize.

    #1521514

    timethief
    Member

    @katharinetrauger
    You can use Google search to locate blogs with the same footer string (theme credits). You can also search here to find links to other blogs wearing the same theme http://premium-themes.forums.wordpress.com/forum/a-simpler-time as everyone who posts there has the same theme you do.

    #1521515

    rootjosh
    Staff

    Re: looking at blogs by theme

    Timethief’s suggestion is probably the best there is right now.

    I personally would like to see each theme page have a link to a list of, say, the 50 most popular blogs using that theme. To keep it from being a drain on the servers to calculate all the time, it would probably have to be refreshed at set intervals, perhaps every month.

    I may have to suggest something like that to the theme team.

    #1521516

    ingridcc
    Member

    Re Timethief’s list of what’s important in a blog — I went to find out if my theme (bueno) was ‘responsive’ and found out it’s been retired! Can’t find what its specs are.

    When I look at my blog on my cell, the sidebar is shifted down to the bottom, which seems good, and I can read everything fine.
    Does that indicate the width is ‘responsive’?

    The thing I like about Bueno is its appearance, with posts in separate white boxes surrounded by a colored background, can’t see a current theme like that, but may have missed one… Anyone know of another one like that?

    #1521517

    timethief
    Member

    @ingridcc
    Themes are retired when they no longer support all WordPress.com features. No Bueno is not a responsive width theme. The responsive width themes are found here http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/features/responsive-width/

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