One of the wonders of starting a self-hosted WordPress blog for the first time is choosing a cool theme. You might think this is an easy thing to do right, but it can prove quite challenging if you’re not able to afford a unique customized theme for your blog straight away, but don’t worry, the majority of people starting off in blogging can’t and don’t.
There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of themes to choose from out there, from free ones to the more robust premium ones.
So how do you choose the right theme for the job? Should you use a free theme or pay for one?
Free WordPress Themes
I don’t want to elaborate too much on free WordPress themes, if you’ve already started blogging and you’re currently using a free theme, then seriously think about upgrading to a premium theme, and here’s why.
One of the issues with a lot of free WordPress themes is that they come with some kind of link code embedded in the theme, usually found in the footer. These links could be anything from an affiliate link to a link back to the theme developer’s website or blog, or worst still, it could be a code you know nothing about. From a blogger’s perspective having codes you know nothing about on your blog is not a good thing.
If you’re serious about starting your blogging career with a bank I really would recommend steering away from free themes, unless of course you know the developer well enough to trust the theme is safe and well coded.
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re unable to afford to have a theme created professionally from scratch, what other alternatives are there?
Premium WordPress Themes
Investing in a premium theme is often the best option for many serious newbie bloggers, unless you can develop one yourself or know someone who can. Check out our review on Genesis theme framework to get and idea of the many features and benefits of using a premium WordPress theme. But before you do, ask yourself this, what do you want your WordPress theme to do for you? or What do you want your blog to do for you?
What I mean is do you post a lot of photos on your blog, embed videos, if so are you looking for a magazine style theme? Are you looking for a social networking type of theme so visitors can interact, share things on your blog more efficiently. Like I said there are many themes available for many jobs.
Below is a compiled list of posts that can provide you with some fresh ideas and some inspiration on what theme to choose for your first WordPress blog.
Why Choose WordPress
Why WordPress is the Best Blogging Platform in the Business
Child Themes for Genesis Theme Framework
10 Beautiful WordPress Child Themes for Genesis by StudioPress
Business Blog Themes
6 Premium WordPress Themes for Business Blogs
Premium WordPress Theme Designers and Developers
Top 5 Premium WordPress Theme Designers for 2011 / 2012
So what ever your plans are for your first WordPress blog, I hope some of the tips and ideas here will help you select the right first WordPress theme, best of luck.
Image courtesy of Flickr user: denharsh