5 Characteristics of Effective WordPress Themes – Part 1

If you're running a blog on WordPress, the first thing you'll most likely do is to put in a new WordPress theme. Even if you've been running a blog for years you might continue to be a theme "fan", wasting a lot of time doing tiny changes that when summed up simply distracts you from focusing on content.

It's definitely straightforward to see why this one aspect of managing a website requires so much attention. The right theme will enable your to place all or your widgets and codes wherever you need them to be, and may also get much better search engine scores and tons of fresh traffic each and every day.

A Clean Theme to Enjoy! 

So what are the elements you need to take into account to make theme-hunting a lot easier? Here are five important elements:

1) Theme Width and Columns

Traditionally, WordPress themes have always had either 2-column or 3-column formats. If you're running a blog for non-profit, a 2-column theme can appear more compact and easier to brose and read. Given that you have fewer pictures of products or hyperlinks to other internet websites to display, you can concentrate entirely on the content material without leading visitors away from your web page.

Having said that, if you're blogging for financial gain, you may well want to check out a 3-column WordPress theme that will enable you to use Google Adsense, and other kinds of Text Link Ads codes easily without compressing everything in the content area. 3-column themes give the webmaster enough room for growth, but if at some point you've filled up all available space with adverts, then it's time you eliminated the non-performers and use only the ones that do perform well in your specific website.

2) Use of Pics and Icons

A theme with pictures and icons can look Fantastic, but it hardly ever improves your website traffic or subscriber base. Actually, the majority of top bloggers have simple themes with a basic logo on top. Getting rid of unnecessary images also usually means faster loading time and less pressure on your servers. This critical aspect of server burden becomes crystal clear only if you have thousands of site visitors a day, but it's worth planning for the long term.

An image-laden theme also distracts people from the content material itself. That's why many important blogs use stunning pictures in the content areas to increase value to a posting, but the theme itself is very simple and quite minimalist.

Ideally, a theme should really enable you to use your own header graphic for more powerful branding reasons, but substitute pictures and icons with hyperlinks and text, or simply not use them at all unless of course, it is completely vital.

3) Compatibility with Plugins

Another time-consuming activity is setting up plugins that boost the overall performance of your web-site. There's a plugin for practically everything you need to do with your site, but although most of them are absolutely free and easily available, it's not often easy to set up the plugins and add the codes into your WordPress theme.

If your theme is far too complex, it might be a hassle to even add a single line of code you require to make a plugin do the job. This is frequently the case with highly developed themes that have too many data files and major coding. I've always favored less complicated themes that adhere to the default WordPress theme as much as possible, so I can dramatically reduce the learning curve and just move on to the things that really matter more.

To be continued in part 2

My Drama With WordPress Themes

It all started in the late 90s I wanted to put some news on my website. A diary. A list of upcoming events. I started with simple HTML. A page with sections for each position. Simple.

Then I heard of blogs and blogs. Be smart, took WordPress, the most popular software. How clever, I thought. If the WYSIWYG editor that is, anyone can put up a website. Very democratic. And I soon learned how to install themes. It wasn’t difficult at all, like this video shows.

Installing WP Themes is a breeze!

This encouraged me to publish my outermost thoughts; in politics, in London, and personal grievances. As a webmaster, I saw appear in the Google index them. “Here we go,” I thought, “soon, my jewels extrospection belong to the ages.”

Except Google did not like my blog. I would not give much beyond the first page. Why, why, why?

Duplicate content? I started putting a single post per page.

No improvement.

I looked at what Google was indexing. Then I looked at the blog HTML code. Suddenly everything became clear.

In sum:

– WordPress was still duplicating my content, and <BR>
– I did not have proper META tags, and <BR>
– There was a lot of HTML irrelevant, and <BR>
– The provision obscured the content.

I had a quick search on Google to find tips search engine optimization. There is a plugin ‘head META description’ (http://guff.szub.net/plugins/). But I do not use that, of course not.

For some reason, he gave me the idea that a whole theme would be the ticket. I tried to modify an existing one. Better, but not perfect. Google started to index more pages, but all had the same title. They were being ignored my missives to an uncaring world.

So I got someone to do based on my criteria, which were:

– Take ‘title’ META blog post ‘title’; <BR>
– Grab a META ‘description’ ‘statements blog’; <BR>
– Put pages robots tag “noindex” without content. <BR>

But that was not enough. For best results you need to configure WordPress brutally SEO. You have to be _mean_ to it. You have to _man_ enough.

I did some research and came up with the following tips.

WARNING: They are extreme. If you already have a good ranking, made radical changes in their URLs may affect them. In my case:

– Move my blog http://www.ttblog.co.uk the Web root directory, <BR>
– MOD_REWRITING their URLs, and <BR>
– Removing a 301 redirect,

… It made my PageRank to go to 0. However, not affected indexing pages.

This was temporary, as Google saw it as a “suspicious” behavior. I had radically changed my site.

Here are the tips for real _men_, you can see in the face of death and laughter Internet:

1. Activate permalinks by going to ‘Options / Permalinks’. You may have to enable Apache MOD_REWRITE on your web account.

1a. Shorten permalinks code to just postname% variable%. Do not bother with date codes. This keeps your URLs short.

2. Point your blog in the top directory possible. http://www.ttblog.co.uk is better than http://www.ttblog.co.uk/wordpress/

Thus a typical position would be:
<BR>
http://www.ttblog.co.uk/Im-hard-as-nails-me/ <BR>
rather than <BR>
http://www.ttblog.co.uk/wordpress/2006/08/03/Im-hard-as-nails-me/ <BR>

3. Then install a theme SEO’d.

My blog posts are being indexed very well. “Site:” The Google command returns all my posts, and little else.

For my next challenge, the volume in Windows XP, and turn it into an operating system.