WordPress Themes and Customization

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There a re so many WordPress Themes out there that finding the right one can be a daunting task. Should you use a free theme, a premium one or a custom developed theme? Should you use one that comes with a built in page builder or not? There are a lot of things that go into that decision. Lets talk about some of those things.

Free Themes

There are many free themes available on WordPress.org some of my favorites are: Zakra, Generate Press and Empower WP. All that’s required to pick a theme is time and patience (lots of patience).   There are some good ones and some not-so-good ones.  The most important thing you can do is test each theme with the WordPress Plugins that you’re using.  “There is no free lunch” as the saying goes.

Starter Themes

Starter themes are a relatively new idea but one which developers, like myself, really like.  They enable you to have a base layout and then build whatever you want on top of it.  Some of these are: Astra, Hello and Genesis. These type of themes are very popular among custom developers.  Not that a non-developer can’t use them but they are going to require some customization in order to really be functional. You’ll need to have some skills in HTML and CSS to get them going.  More ambitious work will require PHP, MySQL and JavaScript in order to accomplish.

Premium Themes

Premium themes, as you might guess, are WordPress themes that have been developed and put on market places such as Theme Forest, Template Monster or PremiumWP.  These can run anywhere from $15 to over a $100 for a theme.  One of the things I think is most important when selecting one of these themes is how well they are supported.  I’ve had the unfortunate luck of working with paid themes that when I came across a bug in the theme I couldn’t get any help from the author to fix it.  So check to see if the author or company is available for support.

Conclusion

In conclusion there are a lot of themes out there.  When picking one use common sense and make sure it’s right for you, it will work with your plugins and you’ll be happy with the look of the site.  Good Luck with your theme.

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