When I started my online journey, I pondered whether to hire a WordPress developer. Obviously, I was broke and investing within a field where I hardly made a dollar appeared abrupt. A whole month passed. Finally, I decided to take action instead of thinking.
How many times you have visited a blog like ShoutMeLoud, ProBlogger, DailyBlogtips ? Have you noticed one thing common in these blogs? Theme consistency is one of the most common thing you would notice on popular Blogs. In this article, I would be talking about some of the common issues being faced by bloggers when it comes to WordPress themes, and mistakes they make.
Free Premium themes:
I confess my love for Premium Themes. They are a great resource. You repay for those themes by allowing footer links, although you can remove them. I chose a premium theme and then customized it. Soon it looked awesome and things were cool. I gained several readers. Finally, I concluded that free themes will suffice and considered hiring a WordPress theme developer unnecessary.
The Hard Truth of using a Generic free Theme:
Something was always missing in the theme. I would sit in front of my laptop and literally gaze at the theme. Then make few changes. Soon within two days, I felt that the shade wasn’t right. Then I tweaked it bit further. Again, the ad placement bothered me as there was no option for header ad. I wanted the header ad (468×60) desperately. Of course, there was free premium theme, which allowed header ads. However, I had to either choose another theme or ignore the header.
6 Months of Dilemma:
For six months, I continued using free premium themes. I changed them often. Sometimes I would tweak the shade or sometimes the layout. I was so stupid that I forgot about the visitors. They were getting annoyed at the sudden and frequent change. I realized my reader’s annoyance only upon receiving a comment, which said ‘Will you stop playing with the design?’
Free WordPress theme Ruined my Reputation:
My reputation was completely ruined among visitors. At once, I knew that for building the reputation I would require investment of time and money (and lots and lots of hard work). It would be better to start a new project rather than labor with the ruined one. Therefore, I forgot about the site and never renewed the domain.
The New Project: Get a Custom WordPress theme
I started with a new project. First, I searched for a WordPress developer. I wasn’t looking for an expensive one but for a reasonable developer. As soon as I found one, I hired him to build a customized blog. The design was good and I got my header ad with all other features. Moreover, I also have the opportunity to tweak if need arises in future. Currently there are two such blogs catering to health and insurance niche. It has been a year and they have reaped high returns. Mor over, now I need not need to worry about changing my theme or blog look all the time, I could easily ask developer to add or make tweaks when ever necessary.
No, I am not going to say that you should opt for a WordPress developer right away. I am going to say that you should avoid the mistake, which I did, the usual change of theme and its layout. It was this annoying factor, which worsened things. If you are a beginner then I suggest you sit and take your own time with free premium themes.
To check every free theme, have at least 10 articles published. Then leisurely peruse the features of each. When you are done selecting, cross your heart and swear never to change it. Later, when you start earning you can switch to customization by hiring a Theme developer for WordPress. Though a custom theme may cost you a bit more, but it will give a unique personality to your blog. But, if you are limited in budget you can grab any premium theme for as low as $20-30 from Elegant theme or Woo Themes.
- Check out: Popular Premium WordPress theme club
Many would say that free themes are not unique. True but they are beneficial for those who wish to test the water. Moreover, some people continue to use free themes by customizing it.
P.S. I still use free theme for my personal blog as I wanted it to be simple.
This is a guest post by Richie. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud, check our submission guidelines.
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