If you’re a new WordPress designer, you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the theme options before you, and there are new ones out every day. How do you know which ones will work for your purposes?
While some WordPress themes are designed for specific types of businesses or contacts, beginning designers interested in developing a general purpose blog or similar site are presented with an array of options. Until you get a better grasp on what you want your site to do, these three basic themes will serve you well.
Clean, Clear, Modern
One of the biggest problems that new WordPress users run into when building a site is that of distractions. WordPress can do a lot of things when driven by a practiced hand, but feature-packed themes are available to all users. Steer clear of these. You want to start with a minimalist page that lets you learn the fundamentals of WordPress.
The Modern Studio Pro theme is designed to the advantage of readers, but it’s also perfect for new designers because of its minimalist design. This site theme is especially good for designers practicing SEO skills and content development, with an emphasis on simple text and image compositions. As you hone your skills, you can take advantage of some of the more complex content and color options built into this theme.
Form and Function
Another consideration for beginner WordPress designers is that of function or category. When choosing a theme, you’ll want to choose one that’s designed for your particular purpose. That means if you’re going to post a lot of photos, you may want to choose a theme in the Portfolio category, while if you’re building an ecommerce site, you’ll want to opt for a Business theme. Filtering available themes by layout, industry, and other sub-categories can help you find one that’s a good fit for your new site.
Taking a look at the Portfolio category as an example, the Intent blog theme is a great starter theme for new WordPress users. You know how they say that it’s all about “Intent?” Well, in this case, Intent really does give you everything you need – the basic installation process yields an attractive site, but you can certainly do more with it as you become more comfortable with WordPress. It’s exactly what you would want out of a beginner theme.
Something Old, Something New
One of the biggest challenges about using WordPress is that the site sees regular upgrades, but not all of the individual themes follow suit. That means that you may find a theme that looks great but is still structured for an older version of WordPress. Always check when a theme was updated last and move on if it’s been more than three to six months – yes, WordPress is advancing that fast. This is an especially big problem with free themes.
This isn’t to say that if you find a blog theme on a list of best 2015 themes, or some similarly outdated list, that all is lost – that theme may be working just fine. Take the very popular Daily Dish Pro theme as an example. Daily Dish presents itself in the guise of a food blog, but it’s actually just a great minimalist theme running on the popular Genesis framework – plus it comes preloaded with six different layouts.
Daily Dish Pro came out in 2015, but because it’s a paid theme from StudioPress, you can feel assured that it’s up to date with current WordPress standards. The company also offers site support, which can be a lifeline for new site designers – of course, it comes with a price tag as well.
By kickstarting your WordPress using a basic theme, you set yourself up for success, and allow yourself to develop the necessary skills within a supportive structure. Keep your theme minimal, don’t overload it with plugins, and make sure to do your homework on what’s available and you’ll find the perfect starter theme for your site.