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?
- Check out Anatomy of a WordPress Theme
- Graph Paper Press is putting Multimedia theme– lots of jquery – sounds cool!
- Authors! 8 Tips For Your Website’s Usability and Design
- 100+ Resources for WordPress Theme Developers