Here is a blog that another active rain member posted that begins a series of blogs on the value of wordpress. I think wordpress will be the game changer for budding bloggers.
Hi guys, and welcome back to the next part of the WordPress in Plain English series For those of you who are just joining us, you should probably be following my Build a Better Blog series as well. The topics compliment each other and will fill in a lot of the gaps that cause so much of the confusion when setting up a blog either here on ActiveRain, WordPress, Posterous or just about any platform you can name.
Since I began the WordPress in Plain English series I've probably received more questions and inquiries about themes than anything else. I'm gong to break this topic down into several easy to digest parts answering most of the basic questions I've been asked like...
- what exactly is a theme?
- what themes cost, from free to $$$$$$$
- premium themes
- finding and installing themes
Then we'll look at a few more advanced topics you might have heard about or at least should be aware and I'll be sharing some advice from my years in using and developing WordPress blogs including...
- which themes I recommend and use for my own projects and on client's sites/blogs
- theme frameworks and child themes
- how I would create a custom looking blog if I only had $100 or less
Basically a theme is like clothing for your blog or website. The most visible parts of a theme are the colors and graphics. Beneath that is something called PHP files and CSS code that controls how your content is displayed in a browser i.e. sidebar placement, blog header size, etc...
example, the default WordPress theme Twenty Ten
a highly customized version of Twenty Ten using custom graphics and CSS
a work in progress, another customized theme built on top of Twenty Ten
Like everything else in life you usually get what you pay for, themes are no different but as you'll see in the next few tutorials, you can create beautiful, professional looking themes without having to empty your bank account.
If you're setting up a WordPress blog/site for the first time, you don't need a fully custom designed theme to start with. Most of us don't buy a $1,000,000 house as our first home or a Ferrari as our first car. It's the same with themes, you don't need the most expensive thing out there to get your WordPress blog off the ground.
Prices for themes range from...
- free themes... there are literally thousand of free themes available for the WordPress platform
- premium themes... range in price from as little as $20 or $30 to hundreds of $$$
- custom themes... can range in price from a few hundred to thousands of $$$ depending on the complexity of the project, amount of custom graphics to be created, if content has to be moved from an existing blog or site, etc...
FYI, don't be misled by the word "premium", even tho most premium themes have features built in to make some general customizations easier, you still have to know how to use CSS and create custom graphics to really customize the look of your theme.
Premium theme sellers don't usually point that out. That is why 90% of blogs using Thesis for example (a very popular premium theme) look more or less the same.
So the reality is that if you're not a designer, premium themes can give you the ability to customize themes to a degree but... as you'll see in the next few tutorials, many free themes offer the same options as premium themes.
In an upcoming tutorial I'll be showing you 3 of my favorite themes that have enough premium features for most users and don't cost a penny!
If you're confused about anything or if you have any questions about this tutorial, just ask me in the comments.
If you're just joining us, you can catch up by reading my earlier posts in these series at...
If you have additional topics you'd like to see covered or would like more information about custom graphics, themes or to book a 1 on 1 consultation to create or customize your WordPress or ActiveRain blogs, you can reach me here Later...
If you'd like to participate in any of our upcoming marketing partnerships, monthly challenges or to stay on top of all the new tutorials and graphic goodies . . .
You can also connect with me at...
For more info about how we can help you stand out from the crowd, contact GiselleStCyr@garaughty.com