If you’re like me, you’ll want to find the best free WordPress theme for your blog! Choosing a great theme is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a blogger — especially if you want to earn money blogging! I’ve created and maintain six blogs on WordPress; here are my tips for choosing the best free theme for your blog.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression,” says Hugh Macleod. “Some are better at it than others.”
If you want to express yourself well, make sure your WordPress theme and blog suits your personality, needs, and message. If you want to make your blog really popular, read ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income –Darren Rowse has been earning hundreds of thousands of dollars as a blogger for years. And, read on for my tips for finding the best free WordPress theme for your blog…
How to Find the Best Free WordPress Theme for Your Blog
Choose a theme that represents your blog’s purpose. My main website is The Adventurous Writer; it showcases my writing experience, published articles, book ideas, etc — anything that make me look like a “real” writer. I also update all my “Quips and Tips” blog information there weekly. It’s a simple, basic website and so all I need is a simple, basic theme. That WordPress theme was free, and it works like a charm. When you’re choosing a theme, make sure it suits the purpose of your blog.
Consider buying a WordPress theme for your blog. I purchased three of my six themes from Solostream. They have a forum on which they answer questions and help troubleshoot problems, they respond quickly, and they make sure their customers are satisfied! The most recent theme I’ve tried is Vybe, on my See Jane Soar blog. I love it.
Consider buying a recently created WordPress theme. I bought the Magazine theme from Solostream about a year ago, and was able to customize it the way I want with minimal discomfort (that’s my Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals blog). Solostream created Vybe just recently – and the features they added to make it easier for users is amazing. I can play with colors, fonts, sizes, column placements, on and on with ease! Whether you choose a free WordPress them or you buy one, make sure it’s a fairly new creation.
Expect glitches when you “load” your blog. My best tip for finding the best WordPress theme is to be prepared for snags and snafus. Even when you buy recently created WordPress themes, you’ll run into problems – but the beauty of buying a theme is that the programmer or creator may help you solve problems. I wrote all about solving my WordPress blog problems in 10 Tips for Starting a New Blog for Writers.
Make sure the theme creator is available. I’ve tried several free WordPress themes, and found that some programmers just don’t have the time or desire to help you solve problems. If you’re buying a theme, make sure the programmer has an active forum or discussion page – anything that shows that she or he actually interacts with bloggers who purchased the theme.
Find bloggers who use that theme. To find the best free WordPress theme, find bloggers who actually use the theme you’re considering. Ask them how they like it, if they paid for it, if they’ve had any problems with it. This is easy on Solostream because the forum is packed with people who are using all the themes they offer.
Learn to tweak your WordPress theme yourself. Whether you’re buying a WordPress theme or installing a free one, I think it’s important to know how to fix your problems – or at least find the solutions! For instance, I now know the piece of code that centers my Quips & Tips widgets in the middle of a column. I learned how to create my own blog widgets or buttons – and I wrote about that in 9 Tips for Creating a Blog Button or Widget in WordPress. Learning those little things is empowering, good for your brain, and not that difficult!
If you have any questions or thoughts on finding the best free WordPress theme for your blog, please comment below…
Also — my websites are hosted through Host Gator — their technical support is amazing. They’re knowledgable, friendly, polite, and offer 24 hour support. 🙂