Blogging: Choosing a WordPress Theme

by Julie on May 7, 2009

holes

Building a Blog Without Falling Into a Hole

Guest Post by Michelle Minch

Last November, I decided I wanted to build a WordPress blog hosted at my own URL instead of blogging on a company site.

I settled on a complex WP theme that would allow me to post photos and slide shows, important to a home stager/interior designer. After weeks of trying to understand how to customize the theme, and make the pictures I posted appear, I was ready for a padded room. I hired a WP designer to help, but I couldn’t get the theme to work in a way that I could populate the posts and add pictures without her assistance.

I stopped writing. I didn’t want to post on the company blog because I really wanted to be posting on my new, and fully controlled by me, WP blog. I fell into a deep, dark blogging hole.

Fast forward to April: It was imperative I get back to blogging. My position in Google was slipping and business was starting to suffer. I decided to settle on a simple theme and started posting again. I’m now slowly climbing out of the hole I dug for myself by choosing a complex theme when simple would have worked just as well.

What I learned:

  • Simple is better – WP is an amazing platform that has many customization options built right in. I can get almost the same visual effect with my simple theme as I would have gotten with the more complex theme, with a lot fewer headaches.
  • Your content is way more important that what your theme looks like. Your readers won’t keep coming back just because your blog looks cool. People won’t hire you because they love your blog theme (unless you’re a web designer).
  • Don’t create drama where there is none. You can change your WP theme as often as you change your underwear, so don’t get stuck when trying to pick one.
  • Don’t get buried by stuff that really isn’t that important.

Michelle Minch is a professional home stager and interior designer in Los Angeles. You can read what she writes at http://www.LosAngelesHomeStagingInfo.com.

Image courtesy of Barely Fitz

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laurie March, EvangelistaLA May 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Man, so true. SO easy to get bogged down in the shape, color, functions of the blog and forget to …well… write it! I’m guilty of that myself. It’s a bit of a hard adoption phase for me, but I’m working on it. Thanks for the info.

2 Wendy Timmons May 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Well written post! Thanks for the information and reminder to keep the posts going. You hit the nail on the head with this one 🙂

3 Kathy Nielsen May 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I almost fell into this same trap. To be fair, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Given how many theme options that are available, it’s enticing to want the one that looks most fancy. Thanks for sharing this, Michelle. I’ve now gone the “simple” route and am pleased with that decision.

Kathy

4 Michelle Minch May 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Laurie, Wendy, Kathy: Since you are all designers/stagers, you probably have the same illness as me. It has to look brilliant or I’m not happy. However, sometimes all that brilliance can get in the way of being productive in areas where looking great is good enough.

Laurie: I’m glad you’ve gotten off the fence and started blogging. So far, you’ve knocked both posts out of the park.

5 Janine (@twincident) May 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm

I am about to switch from Blogger to ….something else. i’m looking at wordpress but am intimidated by all the choices and how to use it! I’m also looking at Square Space which seems very user friendly. Picking the theme is something I would have labored over…now, maybe I wont. Thanks!

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