Theme Selection Strategy: How to Pick the Right WordPress Theme for Your Project

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(Worksheet PDF here: http://chrisburbridge.com/themetoolkit/) The WordPress theme market has grown and grown over the past few years. There are many great themes out there, but many customers find themselves disappointed, because they didn't know what to expect, or get what they thought they were getting. This slideshow gives you a roadmap to follow, to help you make better decisions, saving you time, money, and frustration.

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  • Theme Selection Strategy: How to Pick the Right WordPress Theme for Your Project

    1. 1. Theme Selection Strategy How to Pick The Right WordPress Theme For Your ProjectTuesday, April 2, 13
    2. 2. WordPress Theme Market Past 3 years Quality, profusion, usability, all better & better.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    3. 3. $10,000 → $100 Consumers can get a quality of design for less than $100, that would have cost $10,000 ten years ago.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    4. 4. Themes for Every Use Hotels, Restaurants, Realtors, Hair Salons, Churches, Law Offices...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    5. 5. Lots of Options Slideshows Controls Gizmos...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    6. 6. Customers Happily purchase themes, to meet their needs, download, and install...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    7. 7. So, what’s the problem?Tuesday, April 2, 13
    8. 8. Many are disappointed once they buy the themes.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    9. 9. Confused by options, sometimes poor code, and lots of setup they did not expect.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    10. 10. Designers (Who make the themes) Have certain training Aesthetics Composition Visual appeal Often lack other training Marketing Business UsabilityTuesday, April 2, 13
    11. 11. And sometimes... They are tempted to hype theme “features” to get sales, at the expense of usability, or good supportTuesday, April 2, 13
    12. 12. ExampleTuesday, April 2, 13
    13. 13. Theme demoTuesday, April 2, 13
    14. 14. * NOTE: This is NOT a diss on any particular theme developer, AT ALL. This is an excellent theme, and represents a ton of hard work. I just wanted the average consumer to see what it sometimes takes to make their site a reality. Theme installed, out of the box*Tuesday, April 2, 13
    15. 15. Lots of options panels, setup 8 tabsTuesday, April 2, 13
    16. 16. Lots of settingsTuesday, April 2, 13
    17. 17. So what I want to doTuesday, April 2, 13
    18. 18. Is provide you with some toolsTuesday, April 2, 13
    19. 19. So you will know What to look for, What to avoid, and What to expect.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    20. 20. 1 Build your roadmap Who’s your ideal customer? What burning problem do you want to solve for them? How do you express your solution in words that speak to them?Tuesday, April 2, 13
    21. 21. 1 Build your roadmap What is the CHARACTER you want the site to convey? Serious and reliable... fun and easy to be with... innovative...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    22. 22. 1 Build your roadmap What do you want the customer to do? Believe you when you say you’re an expert... Give you their email... Call you for a consultation... Buy your products... Pick ONE main thing, and focus on that.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    23. 23. 1 Build your roadmap What kind of website are you building? Photographer Brochure ... Online shop Portfolio Realtor Restaurant Blog Dentist Magazine Law Office Intranet Wiki Review site RecipesTuesday, April 2, 13
    24. 24. There is often no particular reason to buy a special “nonprofit” theme, or “restaurant” theme...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    25. 25. Tuesday, April 2, 13 you ideas for your website Except if it inspires you, gives Just remember—you don’t keep the photos, which are probably the main thing that attracted you.
    26. 26. BUT sometimes, a good theme WILL have special functions—for recipes, hotel bookings, and so on though, because there’s always plugins. You don’t necessarily NEED themTuesday, April 2, 13
    27. 27. 1 Build your roadmap How important is mobile- friendliness? Ever-increasing # of visitors from mobile. But not necessarily huge yet, except in certain areas. * Tech * Developing markets If it is important, you can consider a “responsive” theme, or a mobile plugin like WPTouch.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    28. 28. 1 Build your roadmap What is your technical level, or How much WORK do you want to do? Trade-offs between out-of- the-box ease and flexibility.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    29. 29. 2 Know What You’re Looking For Readability !!!Tuesday, April 2, 13
    30. 30. 2 Know What You’re Looking For Readability GREAT example BAD example Tiny text, low contrast. Good size, good contrast.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    31. 31. 2 Know What You’re Looking For Readability Designers = VISUAL ≠ Big Word People They often care more about a site’s IMMEDIATE VISUAL APPEAL, than they do about making words EASY TO READ.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    32. 32. 2 Know What You’re Looking For Readability But you should care A LOT about making the words easy to read. (AND THEN, writing words worth reading...)Tuesday, April 2, 13
    33. 33. 2 Know What You’re Looking For What’s part of WordPress out of the box? Sidebars WidgetsTuesday, April 2, 13
    34. 34. 2 Know What You’re Looking For What’s part of WordPress out of the box? Custom Menus* * Your theme must (and SHOULD support).Tuesday, April 2, 13
    35. 35. 2 Know What You’re Looking For What’s part of WordPress out of the box? Plugins, to do any and ALL sorts of stuff... 95% of the time, you can just get the features you need from plugins.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    36. 36. 3 Do Your Search Look in Good Places Reputable Theme Companies Pagelines Elegant Themes Themify Woo Themes Rocket Themes ... and others ...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    37. 37. 3 Do Your Search Look in Good Places Theme Forest Proceed with care Individual developers Some GREAT STUFF But variesTuesday, April 2, 13
    38. 38. 3 Do Your Search Look in Good Places Smashing Magazine To find great free themes.Tuesday, April 2, 13
    39. 39. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Good DocumentationTuesday, April 2, 13
    40. 40. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Good SupportTuesday, April 2, 13
    41. 41. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Good Options/SetupTuesday, April 2, 13
    42. 42. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Skins and VariationsTuesday, April 2, 13
    43. 43. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Colors, fonts, overall “feel” that match your site’s character...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    44. 44. 3 Do Your Search What to look for Niche Features (maybe)Tuesday, April 2, 13
    45. 45. 3 Do Your Search What to look for ReadabilityTuesday, April 2, 13
    46. 46. 3 Do Your Search Special Needs Social Media BuddyPress+ WPMU DevTuesday, April 2, 13
    47. 47. 3 Do Your Search Special Needs Online Marketing Optimize PressTuesday, April 2, 13
    48. 48. 3 Do Your Search May/may not need a spacial theme Special Needs E-Commerce Cart66 Shopp WooCommerceTuesday, April 2, 13
    49. 49. 3 Do Your Search Special Needs Directory Services AppThemesTuesday, April 2, 13
    50. 50. 4 Now, the Fun Begins ALWAYS, with your site visitor and site goal in mind...Tuesday, April 2, 13
    51. 51. 4 Now, the Fun Begins Setup the themeTuesday, April 2, 13
    52. 52. 4 Now, the Fun Begins Install pluginsTuesday, April 2, 13
    53. 53. 4 Now, the Fun Begins Write pagesTuesday, April 2, 13
    54. 54. 4 Now, the Fun Begins Choose and place imagesTuesday, April 2, 13
    55. 55. 4 Now, the Fun Begins Create or commission a logoTuesday, April 2, 13
    56. 56. 4 Now, the Fun Begins And now, the marketing!Tuesday, April 2, 13
    57. 57. Further Resources Worksheets and other info to go along with this talk, available at: http:/ /bit.ly/themetoolkitTuesday, April 2, 13
    58. 58. Coming Soon... WordPress Website Kits Niche-focused, how-to kits, on the last page, and I will let Fill out your email at the link you know when it launches. including plugins, how to write your pages, how to pick the right images, local search, and more!Tuesday, April 2, 13
    59. 59. Thank You. Get in touch http://chrisburbridge.com chris@chrisburbridge.comTuesday, April 2, 13

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