The following post reflects my personal thoughts and opinions, and is well suited for blogs of a similar niche like mine.
The design of a blog is as much important as it’s content. I believe that a site’s design need not be highly exquisite, but usable. So assuming that you have a WordPress blog or is looking to have one in the future, here’s an article that’ll tell you what you need to look for in a WordPress theme:
- Cross Browser compatiblity: With browsers popping around, it’s absolutely essential that a WordPress theme should support all popular browsers. Make sure your blog’s design renders well in all major browsers that include IE, Firefox, Opera, etc.
- Excellent Navigation features: A good WordPress theme should have great navigation support inbuilt, giving visitors full control to move around your blog Navigational links should be on the normal places like the list of pages on top, the links to previous and next posts on the bottom of each post, categories and archives listed out on the sidebar etc. Such things will give readers the best experience ever.
- Widget Compatibility: Widgets can help you a lot, you may need not edit the code using the theme editor – just add bits of code using the Widget interface and voila, there you have the stuff live on your blog.
- Fast loading: Make sure that the theme doesn’t have any unwanted stuff built in that may increase your blog’s loading time, like too many images, advertisements etc. The faster your blog loads, the greater the chances of a visitor turning into a reader.
- SEO Optimized: This is a broad thing to discuss.. so let me sum it up in some words. A SEO friendly WordPress theme should have excellent search engine readability, must emphasize on content, pass HTML validation, should display post excerpts on archive and category pages, and do a lot more.
- Header Image support: Does the theme support easy addition of header logos? Only a few themes have a good preferences page that’ll let you modify the default header image, or add a new one without editing the code.
- Additional features: Some themes have great features inbuilt, like the displaying of related, latest posts and recent comments in the sidebar. Such features will attract visitors to read more and stay longer on your blog. If you’re a novice, you may need themes that allow you to change colour schemes and fonts easily via a preferences page rather than manually editing the code.
Those were just the things I had in my mind to pour out to you. Do you have anything to add? What do you expect in WordPress themes usually?