Five Elements In Deciding On A Blog Theme

This is a guest post from Mitch Mitchell of I’m Just Sharing. Mitch is an independent consultant in multiple fields, as well as a professional speaker and presenter. He has written a book on management and an ebook on business websites and has been blogging over for 5 years, providing blogging tips and more. Over to you Mitch.

There are tons of blogs on the internet, and just about as many different types of themes. Every day there are probably thousands of new bloggers ready to make their mark online as well. A lot of them go to a free option. I’m one of those people who believes that if someone is just starting out and wants to find out if they can write on a consistent basis that’s not a bad thing, but if they’re really serious about blogging they need to pay for at least the hosting and a domain name.

After that, they need to decide on a theme, because nobody gets all that far if they decide to stick with a default theme, whether they pay for it or not.  Even if you already have a theme, you might want to think about changing it up if it’s not quite what you want.  Let’s talk about how to go about selecting blog themes.

How To Select Your Blog Theme

The first thing is deciding whether you want to get a paid theme or not. I’m not going to say that no theme is worth paying for, as I know a lot of people paid for their themes. What I will say is that if you can get something customized that would be exactly what you want, then I’m all for paying for a theme. However, if you’re going to pay for a theme that looks like a lot of other themes only with different colors, you might as well go for a free theme, as there are literally tens of thousands of different choices. I was figure why pay for something if you can’t get something that’s truly unique. And by the way, I have no belief that any of the paid themes will bring in any more money from any sources than the free ones will, though I’m sure there will be debates on that.

The second thing is deciding how many columns you want. The basic blog themes will come with two columns; one for your blog content, and the other for anything else you want to put there. Blog themes come with anywhere from 2 to 5 columns. Some blog themes will have blocks already set aside for advertising certain sizes of banner ads, and others will allow you to input anything you want. These considerations should go into your decision when you’re thinking about how many columns you want.

The third thing is deciding where you want your content to be displayed. For instance, for all three of my blogs I have three columns, with my content in the middle. I tend to be one of those people who looks for some kind of balance most of the time. However, if you decided to get either a two or four column blog, obviously you’re not going to have it be balanced, which means you can get a theme where your content is pretty much in any of those four columns.

The fourth thing is deciding how wide you want your content column to be. If you’re looking for a very thin content column, then there’s going to be very little impact when deciding you want a bunch of columns. However, the wider you decide you want your content column, the worse it may be trying to fit a bunch of columns into your theme.

The fifth thing is deciding what colors you want your blog theme to contain. First, do you want dark print with a light background or light print with a dark background? You’re going to want to decide whether you want readability, something really cool, or something that contains your favorite colors but might be difficult for people to put up with. For instance, I have seen pink and light green blog themes; trust me, that is a very bad idea even if those are your favorite colors.

Truthfully, you can begin blogging without worrying about the theme and come back to it later on. However, it’s best to try to decide on a theme up front because if you start adding a lot of things to your theme, then decide you want to change at some point, you have to hope to remember to move everything from your current theme to your new theme because most of that stuff does not transfer over automatically. Your content will, but if you’ve added any advertising whatsoever or other tchotchkes to your site, you’re going to have to recode everything. Take some time to at least research themes before you do anything else; it’s very easy to do, and you’ll be thankful you did.


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

27 thoughts on “Five Elements In Deciding On A Blog Theme

  • Thanks for the opportunity to write this guest post, DiTesco. I hope it brings you lots of visitors. 🙂
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Why I Created A Facebook Fan Page =-.

    • Hi Mitch. It is who should be thanking you for taking the time to write this awesome post to share here with our readers. Hope all is well with you.

  • What a pleasant surprise to see Mitch’s article here. 🙂 Good job on that, you’ve shared the five most important factors to ponder in deciding the blog theme. Sometimes it’s more than just the design, how to make it SEO and visitor-friendly, how it will serve the purpose of your goals.

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..How to Improve Facebook Engagement by Decluttering News Feed =-.

  • Hi Mitch,

    I like your tips. I’m of the school that it’s important to get your writing skills down first before worrying about how pretty your blog looks. You can grab the attention span by adopting a breathtaking theme but you keep it by providing great content. That being said you’ll save time by having a general theme in mind as you become a blogger.
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..How Can Cash Gifting Programs Prosper You? =-.

    • I agree with you Ryan, which is why I said if need be to go for a free one. But if you’re going to go the serious route and want people coming back to your blog, eventually you have to decide on an inviting theme.
      .-= Mitch´s hops you can check this out blog .. Sunday Question – Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self? =-.

  • A very nice post from Mitch. Choosing a right theme for your site is so very important. One thing I must say, this is not only about the WordPress. It goes the same with Google Blogger too. If you are into professional blogging then you need to have a theme which has everything to offer, right from the good design to customization. This iblogzone is a good example to state that 🙂
    .-= Aswani´s last blog ..Non-stop fun on Facebook =-.

    • Thanks for your words, Aswani. And there’s so many options that it can be fun looking at them all.
      .-= Mitch´s hops you can check this out blog .. Solid State Drives – The Way Of The Future? =-.

  • True Ching Ya, but most people who are new to blogging won’t know any of that stuff, nor how to interpret what it means. But the design, or look of the blog is something everyone understands.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Blogging Step Six – How To Start Getting Visitors =-.

  • i totally agree with you mitch starting out in blogging by using a free service is great but when it comes to been serious you needs some king of control there and then you need a paid hosting service.
    .-= lawmacs´s hops you can check this out blog .. Simple Writing Tips For Beginners =-.

    • Exactly Lawmacs. And at some point when people are ready, I hope they go that route as well.
      .-= Mitch´s hops you can check this out blog .. Customer Service / MS Excel Workshop & Webinar; Sticky Post =-.

  • Great job Mitch, like the man says, blogging is work, but if you want to be a blogger you should pay attention to what guys like Mitch can tell you, then take action on the free info, good stuff such as careful theme selection and free vs self-hosting. Armed with Mitch’s knowledge, you’ll not only work smarter but with more conviction, and that in itself is a great time saver.

    Way to go Francisco for getting Mitch to guest post, do ya think Mitch would ever do it for a punk like me?
    .-= Dick´s hops you can check this out blog .. Is Readability a Threat to MMO? =-.

    • Dick, all you have to do is stop by and ask, and I’ll give you something I hope is apropos. And thanks for the kudos; I really appreciate that.
      .-= Mitch´s hops you can check this out blog .. Web Courtesy; Don’t We Deserve That Much? =-.

    • I would have answered you on this one Dick, but as you can see, this is in fact what I did. I asked Mitch if he can guest post for me:) Which reminds me, thanks again Mitch.

      • Having fun, DiTesco! 🙂
        .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. What’s The Problem With Palm? =-.

  • I think, if someone know a little bit of coding at least basic sense of HTML and CSS then they can take a SEO friendly free theme and can make it better. I just tried it myself and my blog now have a different look. By the way, nice tips Mitch.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada invites you to check this out.. MovieRecipes: Find Food Recipes Which You Watch In Movies =-.

    • Thanks Arafat. Of course, most people don’t have anywhere near that kind of expertise. I do, but with my I’m Just Sharing blog I’ve been reluctant to make many changes to the CSS. With the other two, I found it easier to customize.
      .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. Ning Is Dead; Well Not Quite… =-.

  • Your post is very timely as I’m looking to change my theme. There is so much to take into consideration when choosing a theme so your tips and advice are appreciated.

    I must have previewed several hundred themes both free and paid and can’t seem to find the right one. I’m ashamed to admit how much time I’ve spent on this;-)

    My current theme is fully customizable but I think I’ve grown tired of it. I guess I’m one of those people who likes to keep things fresh and new. I’ll bet our friend DiTesco can relate to that;-)

    Thanks for the excellent article.
    .-= Robert invites you to check this out.. Strategic Affiliate Marketing For ClickBank Products =-.

    • Glad you enjoyed the article, Robert. Thing is, I’ve also downloaded lots of themes to test in the past before finding what I liked. But I went in knowing I could eliminate a whole bunch, since I knew I only wanted 3 columns.
      .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. What’s The Problem With Palm? =-.

    • Right on target Barry. I have to admit that I am also one of those that took almost forever before deciding to change my theme. I’ve done this recently as you would have imagined. I downloaded lots of free themes and both 3 paid ones. Ultimately, I decided to stay with Thesis. I am not going into the boring details about how good Thesis is, but for the non-coder savvy, I did not think twice. Should you decide to buy a Thesis theme, let me know. I might be of help:)

  • My favorite theme is flexxthemes professional. But I’m always open to new customizeable themes! I’ll never go back to straight coding again, i love wordpress! lol
    .-= San Diego SEO invites you to check this out.. This is a test. =-.

    • I’m with you; why code when there’s something already available that’s great to use.
      .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. Ning Is Dead; Well Not Quite… =-.

  • I wrote 2600+ words on this topic back in August, from a different point of view. This article gives that killer “2” in that “1-2” punch! Or maybe this is the “1” and that’s cool too.

    So I linked it.
    .-= Dave Doolin invites you to check this out.. hRecipe – Semantic Recipes for WordPress (Google loves these) =-.

    • Dave, one or two, as long as people get something out of it I’m okay either way.
      .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. Sunday Question – What Is Your Pride Worth? =-.

  • my current theme is seo-friendly and adsense-ready. i already customized the header to make it look different. but i’m already tired of it. I need new themes for all my blogs. i’m only waiting for the perfect timing, and $$ in my paypal account.
    .-= Novz invites you to check this out.. Manila Bay Sunset =-.

  • Everytime I set up a new blog, I always select a FREE theme. Why? Because I can customize it the way I want it to be. But if I’ll get a chance to have a paid theme, why not, right?

    Nice post Mitch! 🙂
    .-= Kelvin Servigon invites you to check this out.. Why Domain Reselling Can Be A Great Way to Make Money Online? =-.

  • Blog Theme is very important. really it is. When you find a theme, be sure that you choose great usability and features will do. People will enjoy your blog, use your services, leave comments and buy something if you are selling a product or service. So you should find a perfect theme for your blog. Do not forget, content is “king”.

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