As you can plainly see, I am again in the middle of a blog theme change. I thought I had picked out the design and theme that I wanted and would serve me well for quite a while but I was wrong.
A few weeks into the new design and I realized that the theme I chose does not have the full width post option. You may not need that option but it is an option I like to have available. I was completely sure and convinced that I had went over everything I needed.
So what I decided to do with this post is to make a list that you can go over when you are in the market for a new WordPress Theme; whether you decide to go with a free theme or a paid version, think about what you want your blog to look like and always plan for expansion.
I know there is no way that I will be able to list every option that would work for everyone but my intention is to at least give you some ideas to think about when choosing your next theme.
Theme Options To Consider
1. Header – Can you add your own or does it have to be changed by entering code?
2. Colors – Do you have an option of colors that you can choose from?
3. Is the width of the theme fixed or flexible?
4. Do you want 1, 2 or 3 columns?
5. Is the theme responsive for mobile devices? Some of the older themes work on mobile devices already.
6. Does the theme have full page width option?
7. Do you require or want a content slider?
8. Is the theme you are considering compatible with the recent version of WordPress?
9. Do they update the WordPress theme often?
10. Are your widget areas limited in any way?
11. Can you use the footer space if needed or is it wasted space?
12. Do you need a translator for your readers to read in their language?
13. Are you able to work with the theme or will you have to hire someone to manage it for you?
14. Is your theme cross-browser compatible that works on all leading web browsers.
15. Are custom menu options available?
16. Do you need a static page or not?
17. Is your theme compatible with the most popular plugins?
18. What is the load time of your theme?
19. Can you create custom backgrounds?
20. Do you need a magazine or newspaper type of theme?
Most generally changing from one theme to another does not present much of a problem, but there is always that slim chance of something going wrong. Make sure you have a backup of your WordPress files, as well as the database before you start testing new themes. I use BackUpWordPress By Human Made Limited. The file will probably be too big to be emailed to you, so you will need to download the backup file to your computer.
Another tip that you may want to try without disturbing your current blog, is to set up a test site as a sub-domain. For example, I set up another instance of WordPress on (not a real site, example only) to test out the look and options of other themes before making the change on my main blog.
Different hosting servers will probably have their own directions on how to set up a test site. If you want to do this and are having problems, I may be able to help. I will at least give it a try to help.
Doing it this way, also makes it easy if you have changed color schemes and widget placements, etc. You can have two tabs open on your browser and after you have installed your new theme, you can copy and paste the settings from the test site to your main site.
So, I hope that this little error on my part will help you to make a better choice than I did and prevent future problems when you are working daily on your WordPress blog.
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