wordpress theme Archives

Baby, You Look Mahvelous

Do you remember way back when in the 1980’s when Billy Crystal used to say “You look mahvelous” on Saturday Night Live®? Take a peek at the video below for a refresher:

It’s certainly a cute parody but there’s a serious side to this idea too.

Did you know that you could be hurting yourself more then you realize by a poor looking site? Let’s just say that the 90’s just don’t cut it any more when it comes to web site design. The average web surfer has become a very savvy surfer and expects to surf to sites that look, as Billy would say, mahvelous.

With WordPress, you can definitely shortcut your web development time greatly by using pre designed themes that plug right into WordPress. Now, themes define the look and feel of your site.

Consider a theme that gives your site the professional look that you are looking for and fits the actual theme of the web site itself.

I always start my hunt for a good wordpress theme right on wordpress.org. Many of these themes are completely free, but don’t let the low price fool you. There’s some very nice themes in there.

But there’s a lot of trash too. Always analyze the theme you decide upon and make sure that there is not encryped or hidden code in the theme. I once downloaded a free theme that contained an encrypted header.

After running the theme for a few moments, I found out why. The header is loaded with hidden links back to the authors site! Great for the author and terrible for me!

I’d also recommend that you check out some of the pay for theme’s too. If you are looking for a general purpose theme that you can do a lot with, consider the Thesis theme. Now, this theme isn’t for newbies. I’d recommend a bit of experience with WordPress before using it, but it’s a great theme. I run this theme here on this site, with modification. And that’s why thesis is so great. Consider it more a framework and less a theme.

Also another great source for themes is Themes Forest. Actually this site has become one of my favorite hunting grounds to find progressive, modern and sexy themes for WordPress. I’d recommend you take a peek there too.

But why the bother? Why not just use plain Jane? Doesn’t content matter at all? Yes content is very important, but consider your web site a gift.

If you were to receive 10 gifts and you were told to open them up. Within a split second, you’d probably choose the prettiest wrapped gift of the bunch to start. Why?

You don’t know what’s in the gifts? You are automatically making a judgement call on ‘value‘ of the gift on it’s wrappings.

You and I and everyone who surfs the web does exactly the same thing. If you don’t capture the attention of your web surfer in under 5 seconds, you’ve lost them to someone else. And you may have had the exact information that they were looking for!

As you can see the wrapping on the gift is probably more important then the gift, in the first 5 seconds.

The moral of the story? Make sure you have great content, but when someone comes to your site, their first thought should be “Baby, You Look Mahvelous“!

Looking for more resources on themes?

Thesis Theme Review

Good day all. First off, this is just a ‘first look’ regarding this as a Thesis theme review. So, consider these results as preliminary.

First off, why would anyone want to pay $200 for a WordPress theme? I looked long and hard at this theme and asked a ton of questions before I decided to purchase this theme

But before that, why did I even consider the thesis theme? One of the primary things the developers of this theme tout is the SEO capabilities that this theme gives. But for me, I’ve worked long and hard with WordPress from an on page SEO perspective and didn’t really need this benefit.

Click here to check out the Thesis Theme Website.

But what caught my eye was two things in particular.

Thesis Theme Review – Professional Looks

I reviewed several sites that were very good looking and well behaving with the Thesis theme. Clean looks and careful programming are always a good combination to professionalism and I feel that thesis shows this.

But many times, stable looks usually come at a cost. Flexibility. Thesis provides a tremendous amount of flexibility but I’ll warn you, this is not for the newbie to WordPress. But if you’ve performed modifications on themes using html, php and css, then you will be prepared for this.

Finally, the developers of thesis felt that the CSS layer should be isolated as much as possible from the html layer. This is exactly what the developers envisioned when developing CSS. What is the benefit to you and me?

thesis-theme-review

Many themes carry a ton of baggage on the front end of a webpage to cover a lot of the looks and feel provided by CSS and functions. This increases load times for visitors and reduces the likelihood that spiders will read your pages properly for indexing!

To me, this is one of the greatest benefits of thesis.

Thesis Theme Review – Simplicity

The second thing that I really liked about thesis is the simplification factor that this plugin offers. To perform many of the functions needed for good SEO and other functions, you would want to consider running the following plugins:

  • All in One SEO or Platinum SEO
  • Redirection or Broken Link Remover
  • Google Analytics

With thesis theme, you can deactivate all these plugins. This too can help to reduce complexity and load times on your blog. Plus there are other plugins that I hesitate to mention that I was able to turn off as well.

The end result is an overall quicker blog and cleaner looking blog. So from first looks, I’m actually quite impressed so far. Ah, but hold on.

My Dislikes

The thesis theme works a little bit different then other themes. Yes you do load them the same was as other themes, but the simplicity that they provide comes at a small price. You have to learn a new layer of ‘programming’ with Thesis.

Not a biggie, but it did even throw me for a loop for just a while. I was actually just a bit ticked after working with thesisin the beginning as the I was needed to make modifications to the thesis, you have to do it the ‘thesis way’.

Ok, I’ve given thesis about two weeks to decide whether I go forward with it or seek a refund. My conclusion?

It’s definitely a keeper! This is just no sales hype. After conforming to the new layer provided by Thesis, I actually found that I started to really like the Thesis theme. But this does come with one caveat. I always followed other recommendations and loaded the openhooks plugin to making modifications even easier.

I think that if you are considering a professional and clean looking and running blog, thesis should be on that short list.

My only other recommendation goes to the Thesis developers. Provide a manual that is clear and concise on modding the theme! This is my Thesis theme review.

Click here to check out the Thesis Theme Website.