0
What’s in a
                             THEME?       A Process
                                        for Selecting
Todd...
My Background
 ( version)
  short
Confusion




Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76172701@N00/2157057475/   Credit: Reuben Stanton( http://www.flickr.com...
Simplify the
      Path
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14016905@N02/2818573061/   Credit: Simon 'Kelp' Keeping( http:...
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...
“ No one ever asked Hemingway
         which pencils he used to write
         his books.”       -Chris Brogan
           ...
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
                                           ...
The Process
Purpose

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3983181467/    Credit: Kevin Dooley ( http://www.flickr.com/phot...
Competitive
                                                                Analysis
                                     ...
Foundation


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64959824@N00/3222349165/   Credit: Mary Portier ( http://www.flickr.com/p...
Foundation


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57621379@N00/2063743086/   Credit: Tinou Bao ( http://www.flickr.com/phot...
Site Plan
         1.        Establish categories (guess at first)
         2.        Plan path from home page to details
...
Starting Point
                                                               •   Start where you are!
                   ...
SAT
12. Finish the analogy.
    Furniture : House :: _______:_______

A.   Google : Web Browser
B.   Drill Bit : Byte
C.  ...
Kubrick




Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2055175921/   Credit: Patrick Henson ( http://www.flickr.com/...
Twenty-Ten




Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69166981@N00/94800900/   Credit: Living in Monrovia ( http://www.flickr...
Premium
                                               Themes



Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1311018   Credit: Marek Ko...
When to Leap…

    …to a Premium Theme?
    1. At least 3 features or categories
    2. Commitment to high-quality images
...
Layouts
COLOR
Confounds
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39912997@N00/492034335/            Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/81065540@N00/41...
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 G...
Theme Sources
Free (WordPress.org)
http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

Free (Third party)
http://wordpressthemesbase.com/...
Theme Sources
Premium (paid)
http://www.woothemes.com/      http://www.press75.com/
http://www.studiopress.com/    http://...
Traps

    • Hard-coded Menus
    • No Sub-menus
    • Constrained by graphics
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1379134...
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-co...
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 ...
Thank You! Happy Blogging!

                                Todd J. List
                 The Geek Who Speaks People

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

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

  1. 1. What’s in a THEME? A Process for Selecting Todd J. List The Geek Who Speaks People WordPress Themes
  2. 2. My Background ( version) short
  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. Kubrick Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2055175921/ Credit: Patrick Henson ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathenson/ )
  26. 26. Twenty-Ten Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69166981@N00/94800900/ Credit: Living in Monrovia ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginmonrovia/ )
  27. 27. Premium Themes Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1311018 Credit: Marek Kowalik ( http://www.sxc.hu/profile/winblows )
  28. 28. 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/ )
  29. 29. Layouts
  30. 30. COLOR Confounds
  31. 31. 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/ )
  32. 32. Application: Layout Selection
  33. 33. Magazine Theme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
  34. 34. Magazine Theme Comparison Expose Serenity Bee Crafty Themes by StudioPress
  35. 35. Sandbox For development and customization Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14853721@N00/5052502340/ Credit: Paul Gorbould ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorbould/ )
  36. 36. 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.
  37. 37. 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/
  38. 38. 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/ )
  39. 39. Traps • No WP 3.0 Menu Support • Limited Layouts • Cluttered
  40. 40. Traps • Typography • Poor contrast • Small text • Widgets don’t collapse gracefully
  41. 41. Traps • Some Assembly Required
  42. 42. Case Study
  43. 43. 1. 2. 4. Problems 1. Poor contrast 2. Menus hard-coded graphics 3. Too narrow for images 4. Hard to change 3.
  44. 44. Theme Fail
  45. 45. Questions?
  46. 46. 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
  47. 47. Thank You! 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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