Support » Themes and Templates » What features do you look for in a WP Theme?

  • Simple question, list the features you most commonly look for when choosing a WordPress theme ordered by importance.

    This might already have been done, if so, could someone point me in the right direction? Thx.

    Cheers, Andy.

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  • Personally, I look for simplicity, minimalism. Don’t want to have a lot of “junk”. I usually look for at least 3 columns so that I’ll have room for affiliate banners and adsense, as well as rss feeds.

    I’ll have to confess something here, though – I’m a theme whore. Anyone else have that problem? I get a site together, customize my theme, etc, and then find another theme that I like better or that I want to try. Or, I’ll have a theme working ok and a glitch will come up that I can’t work around, so I’ll switch themes.

    Maybe wp makes it too easy to switch themes!

    Having set up myself (and a few clients) with WordPress blogs, I’ll give you my order of precedence–for whatever that may be worth–for finding an existing theme. (Some of this won’t really apply to custom themes that you create or have made.) Keep in mind that prior to any of this, there should be a fairly clear idea in place of what you plan to accomplish with this blog and the technical level of the backend users.

    1. The Look & Feel Phase
      • This is where I look through a bunch of themes trying to find some that will convey the overall impression that I think best suits the kind of blog that’s being planned.
      • These may include themes that are not right initially but look like they could be quickly modified (change background images, fonts, etc.) to fit.
      • This includes getting a look at them in several browsers.
      • I try to find a good five to ten of these to run through the rest of the process.
    2. Validation Phase
      • This is where I validate the themes and make sure they don’t come with any inherently obvious coding problems or accessibility issues.
      • This will usually eliminate one or two.
    3. Widget Support Phase
      • This is where I check to see if standard WP sidebar widgets are supported.
      • Depending on the planned usage of the blog and the technical level of the backend users, this may or may not eliminate some of the choices.
    4. Problem Checking Phase
      • This is where I run a search through the WP support forums, Google, and Technorati to see what kind of problems, if any, that people have reported or what their opinions are.
      • This can sometimes reveal a theme that experienced users love and newbies are constantly having problems with.
      • This is also where I try to purposely break the theme just to get some idea of what might go wrong.

    After all of this, I usually end up with one primary theme and a few backups that can be used for later when people get tired of the one they’re using.

    The only way to get a theme that is perfect for you is D.I.Y.

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