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What's in a Theme? A Process for Selecting WordPress Themes
 

What's in a Theme? A Process for Selecting WordPress Themes

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I gave this presentation at WordCamp Detroit 2010. I explain a process to reduce the headaches while you select a theme for your website or blog.

I gave this presentation at WordCamp Detroit 2010. I explain a process to reduce the headaches while you select a theme for your website or blog.

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    What's in a Theme? A Process for Selecting WordPress Themes What's in a Theme? A Process for Selecting WordPress Themes Presentation Transcript

    • What’s in a THEME? A Process for Selecting Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People WordPress Themes
    • My Background ( version) short
    • Confusion Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76172701@N00/2157057475/ Credit: Reuben Stanton( http://www.flickr.com/people/absent/ )
    • Simplify the Path Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14016905@N02/2818573061/ Credit: Simon 'Kelp' Keeping( http://www.flickr.com/people/kelp1966/ )
    • How important IS a theme? OR ! .
    • “ 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/
    • “ 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/ )
    • Is it what’s underneath?
    • Influential Blogs
    • Influential Blog: Seth Godin
    • Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
    • Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
    • Influential Blog: Seth Godin
    • Influential Blog: Naomi Dunford/Ittybiz
    • Influential Blog: Chris Brogan
    • 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/ )
    • The Process
    • Purpose Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3983181467/ Credit: Kevin Dooley ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/ )
    • Competitive Analysis (Trailblazers) Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55046645@N00/314989744/ Credit: Practical Owl ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalowl/ )
    • Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64959824@N00/3222349165/ Credit: Mary Portier ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/martyportier/ )
    • Foundation Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57621379@N00/2063743086/ Credit: Tinou Bao ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/ )
    • 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/ )
    • 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/ )
    • SAT 12. Finish the analogy. Furniture : House :: _______:_______ A. Google : Web Browser B. Drill Bit : Byte C. Fish : Bicycle D. Content : Website
    • Kubrick Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2055175921/ Credit: Patrick Henson ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathenson/ )
    • Twenty-Ten Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69166981@N00/94800900/ Credit: Living in Monrovia ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginmonrovia/ )
    • Premium Themes Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1311018 Credit: Marek Kowalik ( http://www.sxc.hu/profile/winblows )
    • 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/ )
    • Layouts
    • COLOR Confounds
    • Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39912997@N00/492034335/ Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/81065540@N00/4143389771/ Credit: Heather Phillips ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/hphillips/ ) Credit: green kozi ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/themacinator/ ) Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74481989@N00/4672462240/ Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60991646@N00/3840269829/ Credit: Dennis Marciniak ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/denmar/ ) Credit: youngthousands ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/theyoungthousands/ )
    • Application: Layout Selection
    • Magazine Theme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
    • Magazine Theme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
    • Sandbox For development and customization Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14853721@N00/5052502340/ Credit: Paul Gorbould ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorbould/ )
    • Theme Sources Free (WordPress.org) http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ Free (Third party) http://wordpressthemesbase.com/ Addendum: Danger! http://www.freewpthemes.net/ Beware of shady sites offering Free WordPress themes. http://www.ezwpthemes.com/ See http://tinyurl.com/yh4r8fq Thanks to @wptavern for the tip.
    • Theme Sources Premium (paid) http://www.woothemes.com/ http://www.press75.com/ http://www.studiopress.com/ http://headwaythemes.com/ http://ithemes.com/ http://frugaltheme.com/ http://themeforest.net/ http://diythemes.com/thesis/ http://themes.bavotasan.com/ http://www.elegantthemes.com/
    • 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/ )
    • Traps • No WP 3.0 Menu Support • Limited Layouts • Cluttered
    • Traps • Typography • Poor contrast • Small text • Widgets don’t collapse gracefully
    • Traps • Some Assembly Required
    • Case Study
    • 1. 2. 4. Problems 1. Poor contrast 2. Menus hard-coded graphics 3. Too narrow for images 4. Hard to change 3.
    • Theme Fail
    • Questions?
    • 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
    • Thank You! Happy Blogging! Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People Twitter: @TJList http://maxim650.com TJ@maxim650.com 248-387-9650