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by Lucy Griffiths on 20th February 2009
Blogging is now a vital part of any online marketing strategy. But blogs are not just about making an impact with what you write there, it’s very important to accompany the text with a powerful visual style and interactive functions for the reader.
A blog theme demonstrates your authority and reveals your personality. A professional-looking theme gives the visitor a great first impression and helps your words to carry the authority that you intended. A weak, untidy looking blog tends to make the reader feel that the material might not be accurate or authentic. When you choose a good theme, people can see that you care and value their opinion of your blog. If you’ve taken the time to make the site look good for visitors, they know you’re investing time in them.
There are some awful, ugly themes available for free and some scary looking premium themes ones too. You need to match the theme to the style of your blog. There’s no point having a theme that doesn’t suit the type of blog you write, or the product or service that you are promoting. If you’re unsure, ask other people, most people have a good opinion about what they don’t like!
WordPress uses widgets to help you control what appears on the sidebar without having to edit the code of your theme. The trouble is that not all WordPress themes support widgets, so make sure you check before you select your theme.
The best WordPress themes have built-in Newsletter functionality. This means that there is an involvement device on the main page of the blog that allows visitors to join up and receive your regular newsletter. If it’s a good theme, it will support the entire process from sign up to newsletter delivery.
Not all WordPress themes work with all browsers. If you’re blog visitors are using Safari or Opera, they may be prevented from reading your words by poorly constructed themes. Don’t pick a theme that limits the type of visitors your blog receives.
You’d presume that a search tool was standard on all blogs, but there are still plenty without one. Make sure your theme has a search tool so people can find the content they came to your blog looking for.
Of course, there are people that need video function built into the blog. It’s possible to post embedded YouTube clips directly into a blog, but it doesn’t make the same impression as built-in video. Until recently, there were very few free themes that incorporated video. We set out to change that with our free WordPress Video Theme. This provides professional looking video functionality in a free theme.
When you’re deciding on a WordPress Theme for your blog, remember the impact you make on your visitors is important to the success of your blog. Some themes are free, some you need to buy, but ensure that they tick all the boxes before you choose either.