WordPress Themes: Function Over Aesthetics

If you’ve bought your domain name, set up hosting, and installed WordPress onto your site, you might be a little disappointed at how boring the default theme is. That’s where WordPress themes come in. Changing the theme shows customers that you’ve put a little effort into the appearance of your site – and it gives you more options for tweaks and plugins down the road. You can either purchase a custom made theme, or you can find one of the thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available online.

Buying A Unique Theme

This option is actually less expensive than you’d think. There are lots of designers looking to cut their teeth on their first project, or willing to do a side job for a little extra spending money. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to get a custom theme, visit Freelancer.com and post a job listing. Be very specific in your requirements and goals for the design. Within a few minutes, you’ll be flooded with bidders. Some of your bids will come from countries like India and the Philippines, so it’s important to cross the language barrier and make it easier for these guys to do their job.

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Things like detailed mockups and sketches of the way you want your site to look will help. This isn’t as tough as it seems. Creative use of your computer’s “Print Screen” tool and a program like Photoshop or Gimp will do most of the work.

You can also check sites like the Warrior Forum and People Per Hour – these are usually populated with skilled professionals trying to expand their business online.

This isn’t a bad option, but might be an pointless expense for new marketers. It’s usually not important that your site look “just right”. In fact, most profitable sites look very humble, because the affiliate wants the visitor’s eyes to be squarely on the content. The faster they click through to the affiliate, the faster they get paid!

Picking A WordPress Themes

Picking a WordPress themes for your affiliate websites isn’t just about picking the right look. Your themes, just like every other aspect of your affiliate sites, is designed to sell – and your WordPress themes is only useful if it helps you convert! So before you hit the download button, put on your thinking cap and ask yourself these questions:

What Kind of Content Do I Have?

It doesn’t make any sense to have a theme that emphasizes photos if your site is focused on articles and reviews. Likewise, if your website is focused on getting people to read reviews and move forward to the affiliate site, it might make more sense to find a theme where reviews and star ratings are prominent. If you’re looking to build an authority site with a mailing list, you should make sure that there’s room in both the design and the blog page for visitors to opt in.

What Kind of Site Do I Have?

Some popular niches will have themes that are specifically designed for them. For example, if your site is based on Valentine’s Day, you’ll find plenty of pink and red romantic themes that just scream “romance”. If your site is focused on a specific product, you might even want to adopt the color scheme of the partner website.

Is The Site Easy To Read?

CSS formatting is critical to the success of your site. Text that looks ugly, generic, and bunched together on the page is harder to read, which means it’s harder to get conversions. Look for text that’s inviting and easy to read, with heading and subheadings that stand out. Since you’re going to optimize your site for SEO, you’re going to use these headings more than usual, so it’s important that they look good. If you have some expertise in CSS, this is less of an issue because you can edit it to look the way you want it to.

What Are The Options And Features?

A site with an adjustable header and footer will be easier to customize and adjust as your site grows. You should also look for widget support – you never know what WordPress plugins you’ll need to integrate with your affiliate site, so it’s important to have some flexibility. Finally, remember that the most important thing a theme can have is support – a site that isn’t compatible with the newest versions of WordPress is a security risk no matter how up to date it is!

Finding A WordPress Themes Online

There are plenty of pre-made paid and free themes. The most professional and visually stunning WordPress themes are usually paid – if competing websites in your niche look drab and unprofessional, a pretty website is a good way to stand out.

Some of the most popular theme websites are:

ElegantThemes.com
WooThemes.com
ThemeForest.net
StudioPress.com

All of these sites have different prices, inventory, and designs, so you’ll need to spend a little time browsing through and finding a theme that suits you. Don’t be afraid to make an investment here. Remember that once you’ve purchased a theme, you can usually use it on other affiliate websites of yours.

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There are also a lot of free themes out there. WordPress.com is a great place to start your hunt for WordPress themes because you can organize by color, columns, and features. As you look for free WordPress themes, make sure they’re up to date and support the latest version of WordPress, and make sure they have at least two columns – you don’t just want something that looks good, you want something that can deliver information, help visitors find what they’re looking for, and take additional actions like signing on to a mailing list!

Do a little research and choose your favorite WordPress themes. Remember that your ultimate goal is to get conversions – so if the choice is tough, always pick function over aesthetics.

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