How to start a blog series

How to start a Blog series – Post #4 – Picking a WordPress theme.

So you are ready to get started with WordPress!

Congratulations, you’ve done the hard bit, now it’s time to write.

Well, hold on. There are a few things to do first.

I hope you’ve gone through the process so far, if you have, then you’re in a great place.

In step #1 we tied down your niche
Step #2 saw us looking at your Domain name
And in step #3 We sorted out your Web Hosting

If you’ve skipped these steps and come straight here (naughty), then I encourage you to take a look at them first.

Now we have WordPress installed (I won’t go through the process as if you went with either of my recommended web hosting providers, then it was a 1 click deal anyway) let’s take a look and get you started.

Picking a WordPress theme

When you first start your WordPress site, you will be faced with thousands of themes to choose from.

Which one you go for is largely a matter of preference, however, there are a few things to consider.

What are you going to be doing with this site?

As you have installed WordPress then I will assume that you are predominantly looking at a blog.

But what do you want it to look like?

Do you want to:

  • Use a sidebar
  • Include a lot of imagery
  • Place videos on your site
  • Set up a store

There are a lot of things that can affect which theme you go for so before you pick one, have a think about what exactly you would like to do with it.

Don’t worry too much, you can change it later, however, this can cause a lot of headaches if your site has a lot of content by then.

If possible, it is best to get this nailed down now.

The best advice is to check out WordPress.com, there you will find all of the available themes sorted into all of the different categories.

Wordpress themes

Theme speed

Once you know what you want out of your theme, the next thing to consider is speed.

Site speed is one of the key factors when it comes to Google rankings and SEO (search engine optimization).

A large part of this is down to your theme.

With all of the processes running in the background, if you have an overly complicated theme, it will slow down your site.

This, as well as affecting your SEO, will just annoy any visitors to your site, so let’s make sure you get one that is optimized for your needs.

A few recommendations

If you perform a google search for WordPress themes, fastest WordPress themes or best WordPress themes, you will get a huge amount of results.

There are plenty of articles out there so if you want to do some more research there is plenty of material available.

For now, I will give you my top 5 themes for starting a blog.

I am going to concentrate on the free themes as when you are just starting out I see no need to pay, but that’s up to you.

Astra

Astra wordpress theme

The Astra theme is a fully customizable theme built for speed.

It is suitable for blogs, business websites or woo-commerce sites alike and comes with a vast array of functionality.

With support for a variety of page builders, it ensures you can get your site up and running with the minimum of fuss.

Zakra

It would be terrible of me not to mention the Zakra theme (it’s the one I use, on this page).

Wordpress Theme

Again built for speed, the Zakra theme is lightweight but durable.

With a large number of customizable options and support for the most popular page builders (like Gutenberg), the versatility of the Zakra theme makes it suitable for most styles of sites.

Colormag

Wordpress theme

Colormag gives you an amazing looking, functional, magazine-style site perfect for blogs or news style sites.

With both free and premium options, the theme is both affordable and professional.

With seamless integration with Woo-commerce, you can also get a store up and running in no time.

Sydney

Sydney theme

The Sydney theme is built for business.

With a full sweet of customizable option and full integration with the Elementor page builder, you can make an engaging front page with ease.

Incorporating a full-screen slider, it is ideal for those with a lot of imagery.

News portal

news portal wordpress theme

My last recommendation is the News portal theme.

Similar to Colormag. News portal gives you a sweet of options in which you can make a professional-looking news, magazine or blog site.

With support for a large number of widgets, high customizability, and multiple demo options, you can make a site to be proud of in no time.

Summary

Although many would think that your theme is just a starting point and will only affect the look of your site, it affects so much more.

From being able to set out your pages the way you want, to site loading speed and SEO, your theme has a large role to play in how successful you can make your site.

Take some time and try a few themes before you start writing.

Use the demos available. These will show you ideas on how you could best layout your pages.

I hope you find one that you are happy with.

In the next post, we will look at some recommended plugins.

We will start writing soon, I promise.

To check out all of the other articles in the series, click the link below.

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