How to choose a WordPress Theme

July 6, 2010 · 8 comments

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Mari Adkins July 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

I have a hard time choosing themes. right now i’m using the twentyten built-in theme nd it does what i need to do. i just need to tweak it to my own specs a bit more before i ‘m completely happy with it.

Hal Brown July 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I’ll stop tweaking when my cold, dead hands are pried from the keyboard. :)
Thanks Mari.

Mari July 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thanks for your timely topic, Hal. You are a master at making sense of all the gobbledygook out there. How about delivering a thesis of your own with easy-to-comprehend explanations for implementing basic code?

Hal Brown July 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm

You are too kind – but that’s OK. :)

Kissie July 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

Is it me or am I the only one who thinks Blogspot is perfect for beginners? I’m sorry but those widgets were too doggone simple – even I understood! I used to think I was one of the best when it came to DOS (lol). The thought of that alone is hilarious to me. Now, however, I just cannot figure out the html crap without going crazy in less than 30 minutes so I just give up and miss being unique. The best I can aim for is using my own life stories, at least I know you won’t find that on any other site.

I’m going to check out the WordPress Showcase, wish me luck or something!

Thanks, Hal

P.S. I asked if I were the inspiration for this post because of my site, or lack thereof. ;-)
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Kissie July 7, 2010 at 10:14 am

Hey, it’s me again. Can you recommend a theme for me, I’m NOT paying for Thesis when I can’t customize a free one. Once I’m good at the freebies, I’ll consider moving on….but if I’m too good at the freebies, why should I. teehee

Please Hal, help a sister out.

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Hal Brown July 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hi Kissie,
First, if you are serious about blogging then there is only one thing to do – buy a domain and set up the software yourself (or hire someone to do it). I’ve already gone over all this in my free book. With blogger you do not have your TLD (top level domain). You have a sub-domain of blogger (Blogspot?). In other words, you would have This is the same with any free blogging/website I know, Wordpress included.

Your blog now is a TLD or you have it pointed to a domain you own ( You already have a TLD.

About themes:
If ever there was a “you get what you pay for” scenario this is it. A question for you: Why do you think there are premium themes? I’ll answer that. If you know enough to hack a free theme, then you probably know enough to build one yourself.
You need to know at least two programming languages: PHP and CSS. A dash of SQL would help as well. It is assumed you know a smattering of HTML. You don’t need to know much about HTML – it is dynamically generated with database driven sites such as Wordpress.
I’ve looked at hundreds if not more than 1000 free themes. 999 out of 1000 suck, no matter what you do.
What is your time worth? If you could spend say $20 for a theme would you do that?
The only thing I could recommend for free is something very minimalist and easy to hack the files. I hope I’ve answered you, and helped somewhat.

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