I dove in head first. At first, I really hated WordPress. I knew it must have some redeeming qualities, but there were so many nooks and crannies in this software and nothing about it seemed intuitive. So, I decided to go with what I thought would be the most enjoyable part… choosing a theme.
For those of you new to the blogging world, the theme of your WordPress blog is the entire look of your website. The headers at the top, the layout, the columns, the flash slider… all of that is your theme. Install one theme. Don’t like it? Install another and get a whole new look. Once I finally figured out WordPress, I realized it wasn’t so bad but I was still right… the most fun part was choosing the theme.
Here’s what my blog used to look like:
I loved this theme (called “Evander” by web2feel). It was fun. It suggested that I was technologically savvy. The colors were easy on the eyes. And best of all, it was free. After much tinkering (and thanks again to my wonderful Fiverr tech guy, Manny), Project Social’s website was up and running.
After awhile, I discovered that cool as my theme was, it wasn’t very SEO friendly. What does that mean? If you want search engines to find your website, you have to “optimize” your site. Search engines crawl through your website and blog posts, looking for keywords.
But what if your blog layout actually makes it difficult for search engines to find your keywords?
As you can see from the image above, my blog used to have a sidebar column on the left, which served as a table of contents for my website and also had a few widgets. But search engines can better find your articles and keywords when the sidebar column is on the right side and your articles are on the left. Why is this? Check out this article where Rob McGuire explains it so beautifully.
And so, off I went in search of a new theme. After trying a few free themes that had way too many bugs and required too much tinkering, I came to a conclusion: Free is not always free, especially when you have to pay for tech support to get it right. Manny (my tech god) explained that one reason premium themes have a cost is that theme designers have worked out many of the bugs that free themes still have.
So that’s how I wound up with my new theme. FlipBlog from ThemeForest.com. Not free, but certainly worth the price. And I get technical support from the designer.
It’ll be interesting to see if this helps improve my SEO. I’ll keep you posted!
- How To Make A WordPress.com Blog Look Self-Hosted & Professional (makeuseof.com)
- Twenty Essential WordPress Plugins | Blog Free Blog (blogfreeblog.com)
- Why WordPress rules the Web (seo-theory.com)