Hi guys!! Today I’m going to be starting a new mini-series on my blog which is all about Basic Design Tips for your Blog. I was going to incorporate everything into one post, but then I thought a series of posts would be a much better option. I tend to ramble and I don’t want the post to be the length of an encyclopedia, haha. Today we’re going to be talking about something I think gets really overlooked – THEMES!!!
Also, this series is going to be mostly focused on WordPress (sorry Blogspot users!), but there’s still bits and pieces you can take from it if you don’t use WordPress.
Side note: I don’t consider myself an expert and when it comes to design I am Team Simplicity all the way.
Of course everyone is going to like something different. You’ll never find a theme that will 100% please everyone. If you have a paid or self-hosting account you will have A LOT more options, but if you’re like me and are on the free WP service then your choices are more limited. However, I think you can still come up with something great! Personally, I wouldn’t pay for a theme. They are more advanced, but I don’t have that kind of money and the free themes aren’t all that different – honestly.
The most important thing to remember is to TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t just hit install on the first theme you come across. It can be a lengthy process, but set some time aside for the sole purpose of exploring all the available themes.
I know choosing a theme might seem little boring and it’s not quite as interesting as customising your theme but choosing the right one makes that second part a WHOLE lot easier.
All built in wordpress themes can be found here: https://wordpress.com/themes
In my opinion a sidebar on your theme is a must.
You shouldn’t fill it with a bunch of images ect. but you can put important information there like a welcome message, your social media links ect.
Some other features I think are necessary:
Basically, it’s better to have a clean, simple theme than an overly cluttered one.
Use the search filter to narrow down your options.
Each option under the search gives you a bunch of different categories that you can explore. If you’re like me and are totally indecisive and overwhelmed by a huge amount of options this can really help!
I think some good filters for trying to find a theme for a book blog are:
Different themes suit different blog types.
Obviously, blogging is an endless vastness of different topics and subjects. Some themes are designed with a specific idea in mind. For example the themes below are primarily designed for photography blogs:
Whilst you could still use them themes like these aren’t going to be ideal for a book blog because it’s intended to showcase images not text.
Try before you install.
Before you install a theme and lose your previous one – make sure it’s what you really want. You can try the theme out on your blog without saving it. Clicking on the three dots gives you an option that says Try & Customize. This will show you what the theme looks like with all your posts ect. Then if you don’t like you can just close out of the theme and your old one will still be there!
You could also create a new testing blog and try all your theme ideas out there. That way you can save it and mess around with it even more without losing anything on your main blog. You can create a new blog by clicking on Switch Site and then Add Site. I just use my blog name with test at the end of it.
Premium Account? Self-Hosted?
If you have a Business Plan or are self-hosted with WordPress.org then I’m REALLY JEALOUS because your options are pretty much unlimited. There are so many amazing free themes available for WordPress.org. All You have to do is a quick Google search:
On the business plan you just click the “Upload Theme” button. I’m honestly not going to get into this too much because every Self-Hosted situation is different but it’s pretty easy to find out how to upload your own theme! I also recommend checking out Nose Graze because there’s a bunch of tips on there!
Again, like I said – you do you. Your theme is entirely up to you, but here are some that I think make good designs for book blogs!!
I hope this managed to help even if it was a little bit! How do you decide what theme you want to use?
Next post in the series will be Customsing Your Theme.
Hope you’re all having a fantastic day.