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.

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

  1. 1. What’s in a THEME?A Process for Selecting WordPressThemes Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People @TJList maxim650.com
  2. 2. My Background (short version)
  3. 3. Confusion Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76172701@N00/2157057475/ Credit: Reuben Stanton( http://www.flickr.com/people/absent/ )
  4. 4. Simplify the Path Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14016905@N02/2818573061/ Credit: Simon 'Kelp' Keeping( http://www.flickr.com/people/kelp1966/ )
  5. 5. How important IS a theme? ! .OR
  6. 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. 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. 8. Is it what’s underneath?
  9. 9. Influential Blogs
  10. 10. Influential Blog: Seth Godin
  11. 11. Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
  12. 12. Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
  13. 13. Influential Blog: Seth Godin
  14. 14. Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
  15. 15. Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
  16. 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. 17. The Process
  18. 18. Purpose Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3983181467/ Credit: Kevin Dooley ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/ )
  19. 19. Competitive Analysis (Trailblazers) Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55046645@N00/314989744/ Credit: Practical Owl ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalowl/ )
  20. 20. Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64959824@N00/3222349165/ Credit: Mary Portier ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/martyportier/ )
  21. 21. Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57621379@N00/2063743086/ Credit: Tinou Bao ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/ )
  22. 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. 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. 24. SAT 12. Finish the analogy. Furniture : House :: _______:_______ A. Google :Web Browser B. Drill Bit : Byte C. Fish : Bicycle D. Content :Website
  25. 25. MyBlog.WordPress.com Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/113278059/ Credit:Thomas Hawk( http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/ )
  26. 26. crappyblog.blogspot.com Image credit: Todd J. List
  27. 27. Kubrick Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2055175921/ Credit: Patrick Henson ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathenson/ )
  28. 28. Twenty-Ten Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69166981@N00/94800900/ Credit: Living in Monrovia ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginmonrovia/ )
  29. 29. Premium Themes Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1311018 Credit: Marek Kowalik ( http://www.sxc.hu/profile/winblows )
  30. 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. 31. Basic Layouts
  32. 32. Theme Types Blog Business Magazine Gallery
  33. 33. C O L O R Confounds
  34. 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. 35. Application: Layout Selection
  36. 36. MagazineTheme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
  37. 37. Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress MagazineTheme Comparison
  38. 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. 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. 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. 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. 42. Traps • NoWP 3.0 Menu Support • Limited Layouts • Cluttered
  43. 43. Traps • Typography • Poor contrast • Small text • Widgets don’t collapse gracefully
  44. 44. Traps • Some Assembly Required
  45. 45. Case Study
  46. 46. Problems 1. Poor contrast 2. Menus hard-coded graphics 3.Too narrow for images 4. Hard to change 2. 1. 3. 4.
  47. 47. Theme Fail
  48. 48. Questions?
  49. 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. 50. ThankYou! Happy Blogging! Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People Twitter: @TJList http://maxim650.com TJ@maxim650.com 248-387-9650

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