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Theme Selection: A process for choosing a WordPress Theme #WordCampMSP
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Theme Selection: A process for choosing a WordPress Theme #WordCampMSP

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The Geek Who Speaks People presented a process for helping new bloggers and small businesses evaluate their needs and pick a theme that meets their needs.

The Geek Who Speaks People presented a process for helping new bloggers and small businesses evaluate their needs and pick a theme that meets their needs.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. What’s in a THEME?A Process for Selecting WordPressThemes Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People @TJList maxim650.com
  • 2. My Background (short version)
  • 3. Confusion Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76172701@N00/2157057475/ Credit: Reuben Stanton( http://www.flickr.com/people/absent/ )
  • 4. Simplify the Path Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14016905@N02/2818573061/ Credit: Simon 'Kelp' Keeping( http://www.flickr.com/people/kelp1966/ )
  • 5. How important IS a theme? ! .OR
  • 6. “ We didn’t start to really grow until we invested some money in the design.” Loosely paraphrased from Ben Bator’s Ignite Detroit presentation 2/25/2010 http://twitter.com/benbator http://www.textsfromlastnight.com/
  • 7. “ No one ever asked Hemingway which pencils he used to write his books.” -Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com/hemingways-pencils/ Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98894117@N00/2263156019/ Credit: nataliej( http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliejohnson/ )
  • 8. Is it what’s underneath?
  • 9. Influential Blogs
  • 10. Influential Blog: Seth Godin
  • 11. Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
  • 12. Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
  • 13. Influential Blog: Seth Godin
  • 14. Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
  • 15. Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
  • 16. CONTENT is KING* *but being cute helps Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74193050@N00/135927433/ Credit: Dave Malkoff( http://www.flickr.com/photos/malkoff/ )
  • 17. The Process
  • 18. Purpose Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3983181467/ Credit: Kevin Dooley ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/ )
  • 19. Competitive Analysis (Trailblazers) Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55046645@N00/314989744/ Credit: Practical Owl ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalowl/ )
  • 20. Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64959824@N00/3222349165/ Credit: Mary Portier ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/martyportier/ )
  • 21. Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57621379@N00/2063743086/ Credit: Tinou Bao ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/ )
  • 22. Site Plan 1. Establish categories (guess at first) 2. Plan path from home page to details 3. Develop content 4. Iterate Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/93278581@N00/3770015203/ Credit: Will Scullin ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/wscullin/ )
  • 23. Starting Point • Start where you are! • Current theme • Twenty-Ten • Add Content • Upgrade when (and if) it makes sense Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42314813@N02/4073380843/ Credit: Jeremy Piehler ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremympiehler/ )
  • 24. SAT 12. Finish the analogy. Furniture : House :: _______:_______ A. Google :Web Browser B. Drill Bit : Byte C. Fish : Bicycle D. Content :Website
  • 25. MyBlog.WordPress.com Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/113278059/ Credit:Thomas Hawk( http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/ )
  • 26. crappyblog.blogspot.com Image credit: Todd J. List
  • 27. Kubrick Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2055175921/ Credit: Patrick Henson ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathenson/ )
  • 28. Twenty-Ten Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69166981@N00/94800900/ Credit: Living in Monrovia ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginmonrovia/ )
  • 29. Premium Themes Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1311018 Credit: Marek Kowalik ( http://www.sxc.hu/profile/winblows )
  • 30. When to Leap… …to a Premium Theme? 1. At least 3 features or categories 2. Commitment to high-quality images 3. Time and ability to configure 4. Budget Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/68134711@N00/3152875867/ Credit: Stuart Anthony ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuant63/ )
  • 31. Basic Layouts
  • 32. Theme Types Blog Business Magazine Gallery
  • 33. C O L O R Confounds
  • 34. Image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/39912997@N00/492034335/ Credit:HeatherPhillips(http://www.flickr.com/photos/hphillips/) Image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/81065540@N00/4143389771/ Credit:greenkozi(http://www.flickr.com/photos/themacinator/) Image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/60991646@N00/3840269829/ Credit:youngthousands(http://www.flickr.com/photos/theyoungthousands/) Image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/74481989@N00/4672462240/ Credit:DennisMarciniak(http://www.flickr.com/photos/denmar/)
  • 35. Application: Layout Selection
  • 36. MagazineTheme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
  • 37. Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress MagazineTheme Comparison
  • 38. Sandbox For development and customization Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14853721@N00/5052502340/ Credit: Paul Gorbould ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorbould/ )
  • 39. Theme Sources Free (WordPress.org) http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ Free (Third party) http://wordpressthemesbase.com/ http://www.freewpthemes.net/ http://www.ezwpthemes.com/ Danger! Beware of shady sites offering freeWordPress themes. See http://tinyurl.com/yh4r8fq Thanks to @wptavern for the tip.
  • 40. Theme Sources Premium (paid) http://www.woothemes.com/ http://www.studiopress.com/ http://ithemes.com/ http://themeforest.net/ http://themes.bavotasan.com/ http://www.press75.com/ http://headwaythemes.com/ http://frugaltheme.com/ http://diythemes.com/thesis/ http://www.elegantthemes.com/ http://www.solostream.com/
  • 41. Traps • Hard-coded Menus • No Sub-menus • Constrained by graphics Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13791340@N05/4149554610/ Credit: Skip Cooper ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/photoskip/ )
  • 42. Traps • NoWP 3.0 Menu Support • Limited Layouts • Cluttered
  • 43. Traps • Typography • Poor contrast • Small text • Widgets don’t collapse gracefully
  • 44. Traps • Some Assembly Required
  • 45. Case Study
  • 46. Problems 1. Poor contrast 2. Menus hard-coded graphics 3.Too narrow for images 4. Hard to change 2. 1. 3. 4.
  • 47. Theme Fail
  • 48. Questions?
  • 49. Review 1. Start where you are 2. Site Map and Research 3. Select a home-page layout 4. Create content 5. Use a Sandbox to customize and configure
  • 50. ThankYou! Happy Blogging! Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People Twitter: @TJList http://maxim650.com TJ@maxim650.com 248-387-9650