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How to Find the Best Free WordPress Theme for Your Blog

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.  🙂

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14 thoughts on “How to Find the Best Free WordPress Theme for Your Blog”

  1. Glad to hear you’ve had similar experiences with HostGator as I’ve had, Suzanne!

    I’m so glad I chose them to host my blog.
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..14 Tips for Successful Magazine Writers =-.

  2. You’re so right about HostGator! I dreaded my first tech support call to them a couple of weeks ago. But I was amazed at how quickly I was able to talk to someone and how helpful that person was at helping me solve my issue.
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog post ..Tough Dog Toys: Finding a Durable Dog Toy is Challenging =-.

  3. Whatever type of blog you use (WordPress, blogger, b2evolutation, whatever) make sure it tranfers to other blogs platforms. I started with one and tried to transfer to wordpress but I lost all my comments.

  4. Choosing the theme that best reflects your blog is a good idea. I bought a WordPress theme few days ago, and it has a lot of customizing options. I also made sure I can get support when I need it.

  5. I have just moved to Thesis after having a free WP theme for 6 months and the feedback is great so far. I also like the flexibility and of course, the SEO benefits. I feel like I need some time to get some decent time “under the hood” – if you like to blog content a lot, you have less time for techy getting to know the software! Perhaps that is why George is getting bored with Thesis! I shall endeavour to stand out in the crowd!
    Thanks guys.
    .-= Joanna Penn´s last blog post ..On Efficiency, Or How To Get Everything Done As A Multi-Tasking Writer =-.

  6. Thank for for this great idea for an article for Quips & Tips for Successful Writers, Joe!

    I’ll write it tomorrow, and post the link here. I already know the title: “Tips for Maintaining More Than One Blogs.”

    Thanks 🙂
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Finding the Motivation to Do What You Love – Julia Cameron =-.

  7. Great post, but what I want to read more about is how you maintain your five blogs and keep them all relevant, ongoing and fun…that’s the real challenge with multiple blogs. I myself feel I’ve only now just hit my stride managing more than one…it’s been a strange journey, but a good one.

  8. I don’t really know what you’re talking about with encrypting PHP files, Chris, but I agree with your agreement with my last tip for choosing the best WordPress them for your blog! 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

    Programming is such in incredibly detailed work, I can’t believe it. A period, comma, or space in the wrong place can bring down a whole blog.

    But don’t let that scare you from learning how to tweak your blog yourself, my friends!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Finding the Motivation to Do What You Love – Julia Cameron =-.

  9. Those are great tips, especially about learning to do it yourself. I’ve spent way too much time trying to contact theme creators that don’t respond to fix minor issues. It’s like if you’re going to encrypt a part of a PHP file, at least make sure it’s valid code.

  10. Hi Liane,

    Everyone I’ve talked to who uses it absolutely loves the theme. There’s no doubt there. I was just saying that I’m bored with seeing it. I see it everywhere!

    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog post ..Is content theft a bad thing? =-.

  11. I’m not sure what the Thesis theme is….anyone have an example?
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Finding the Motivation to Do What You Love – Julia Cameron =-.

  12. Liane YoungBlogger

    @ Tumblemoose: Thesis fatigue? That’s a very interesting term. I have many friends who use thesis and they are more than happy with it if I may say so. I don’t really see the problem, is it because yu are tired of seeing thesis themes? Then again, the quality of a thesis theme might explain too why so many are using it. 😀
    .-= Liane YoungBlogger´s last blog post ..Keepin The Passion Strong: Blogging For Two Solid Years Now and Counting =-.

  13. Laurie,

    I recently encouraged a friend to upgrade from Blogger to a hosted WP blog. She keeps remarking how blown away she is by how professional it looks. She chose a “magazine” theme and she is really happy with her choice.

    Since we’re on the subject of themes, I just have to say that I am suffering from Thesis Fatigue. It’s gotten so that I can spot one a mile away and while they all look great, they all look kinda the same. My opinion, of course.


    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog post ..Is content theft a bad thing? =-.