It’s Tech Tip Tuesday Again! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but when I first set up my WordPress account I naturally went with the default theme that WP gave at the time. I believe it was theme Eleven then. I started with their default, learning the basics and setting up at least enough to post blog entries as I continued to learn the rest. Meanwhile, my love of design in ALL its forms, is no doubt the reason I had already designed a vision of my website in my head…before I even started building the real thing. That being the case, I knew from day one, I had to find a theme that I could fit my design into. What I didn’t know was how hard that would be!
I must have spent hours playing with themes! I looked at all the free ones first, of course, I even purchased a couple when I thought I hadn’t come close to one I liked that much. But free or premium…in the end it didn’t matter. What was hardest for me was my complete lack of tech lingo or any kind of experience knowing how to set the themes up. Themes came with documentation, but some were so poor it felt like I was trying to read another language.
I can tell you now that themes have become a lot more user-friendly just in the last year or two, so there are many choices out there for you to have fun and choose from, ones that may fit your purpose better than these few… But after all the hours I spent and the themes I did experiment with myself, the following 3 are what I would recommend to start with. Hopefully it will save you from hours of searching and you can get straight to the fun of building your sight and going after your dream!
In Reverse Order:
- #3. Headway – I don’t have experience with this myself. I played a little with the demo they have, but had already found my favorite and didn’t want to start all over when something was working well. At the same time, I’ve heard nothing but great things about this theme, actually one that allows you to basically design your layout page by page, exactly as you want it. I still found the demo to be a bit too tedious for me to figure out… it’s not code, but you still have to learn how to build each page to be what you want. If you put the time into learning it, it’s definitely worth checking out… but reminder, there is no free version, Headway is a paid for theme. http://headwaythemes.com/
- #2. Divi 2.0 : by Elegant Themes – Elegant Themes is a paid for site with a number of themes you can choose from. They have 3 levels of membership you can choose from, and after I lost money, disappointed with the purchase of my first theme, I was careful when I made my second. It was worth it though, with the great selection offered for the price. That said, I wouldn’t be listing them here and wasn’t going to renew, because I found my #1 favorite theme that is listed next… but then they came out with Divi! 🙂 In addition to it allowing you to easily design your own pages, the documentation and tutorials explain things much better than they did before. That is the selling point to me! I don’t have enough experience with this theme to tell you more, but if it turns out to be all it is shown to be, with the ease of use as well… Divi may become my favorite theme above them all. http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/
- #1. Virtue : by Kadence Themes – This is the first theme I found that I fell in love with! 🙂 It quickly became my favorite when I found it a year ago and only continued to impress me as I played with it over the first few months! And here’s the bonus… that was all still part of the FREE version! 🙂 Kadence Themes is a newer business, Virtue being their first theme. They have continued to upgrade it several times since they started, and just recently introduced a second theme to their website. I still stick with Virtue. 😉 Not only did the free version come the closest to allowing me to create my vision, but the creators put together the BEST tutorials and step by step instructions of any themes I’d played with! For the first time I was able to watch as my site came together piece by piece, not only changing in response to things I was doing, but I was able to learn and understand how I was doing it and actually feel like I wasn’t a complete “newbie” anymore. 🙂 The free version gave me more than the paid themes I purchased in the past. If you aren’t sure where to start, this is a great theme to choose… in the very least you have an awesome free theme to learn on while you search for the one that is right for you. http://themes.kadencethemes.com/virtue/