The Benefit of What I've Learned About Free Wordpress Themes Today...

21 replies
I have spent the entire day researching Wordpress Themes...Why? Because when you're broke that's how you learn. I've finally given up for the day and kicking back with a few Silver Bullets.

I learned a lot today, mainly that a lot of themes are broken and you can't fix them, at least within a reasonable time when it comes to the ROI. I know enough about php to be dangerous, but unfortunately so do the developers of many free themes.

I'm working with Revolution and Structured themes for future projects but all I needed was something that worked for the niche that I was concentrating on at the time. I'll have to start a thread about where to get free themes because I must have seen them all today.

Oh yeah, I promised what I've learned...

* If you're in IM and want to sell 125x125 ads eventually or just use them for affiliate offers there are a lot of nice themes available, there are also a few with the Opt-in box top center.

* If you don't mind a simple header with just the facts and 1 or 2 sidebars so everything is above the fold, there are a few that really work for that.

* The very theme that fits your niche that you really, really, like...will be coded by a moron that didn't even consider that you might want a dynamic sidebar, or worse yet, the fonts will either be so small or......

AARRGGGHHH!

So I guess I'll have to make do or learn to do some heavy mods. I learned about adding multiple sidebars and editing headers and locating sidebar widgets for SEO, but I'll be damned if I can find that "missing includes call in line 27" that the proud owner forgot to test.

This is my IMHO:

* Find a theme that has a left sidebar and put either the "Posts" or "Pages" widget first and SEO the names because the spiders see this first after the header <H1> and <H2> heads.

* Make sure the theme displays your blogname and description rather than just a header jpg. If you must use a jpg for your header image, make sure you're using All-In-One-SEO-pack to describe the name and description of the blog. Also, use the 'alt' description for the image.

* If your theme is "fixed width", make sure it's wide enough that your posts are wide enough to be interesting, but not so narrow that they look like a newspaper column ad. But, you have to balance that with the width of most people's screen so they don't have to scroll to see the sidebar. Another reason to get a left sidebar.

OK, the beers are kicking in, and I could go on forever, so let's see if anyone has any opinions on my thoughts.

Steve
#benefit #free #learned #themes #today #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    I forgot to mention that I was following "The Wagg" and his tribulations while I was doing all this. Wanted to chime in and help, but he was getting the best advice from others...hehe

    Steve
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    Need a Simple Product/Service to Market to Offline Clients? Sell Them DFY Custom Videos. https://www.fiverr.com/users/gigsiteguy

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  • Profile picture of the author jamesburchill
    Yup, it blows when you have THEME issues with WP. However I'm a dab-hand with the coding when I must but that being said, I recently found a very cool program that allows you to design custom WP themes and export them for use.

    It's all very easy to use, very commercially viable and very worth the time it took finding this little gem.

    "With ******* YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web design templates and Wordpress themes - all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills"

    WP theme design tools are out there... You just have to know where to look. *grin*

    It also exports website templates too... and soon it will export designs for Joomla and Drupal. Web designers are going to get a serious kick in the pants with this tool. I purchased a copy and even my kids can use this... Talk about creating a personal custom theme for your website the easy way.

    And buying a copy (that will create endless themes) is cheaper than most "professional" one-off themes.

    And no, I'm not yet offering THEME designs for sale... although there's a thought * LOL *
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    James Burchill ~ Bestselling Author & Coursepreneur
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      I hope you took the time to check out my stripped down to the bone themes: Dateless Mini-Site WordPress Themes.

      You can adjust the CSS of my themes to show the sidebar on the left rather than the right by changing the 'float' values of the content block and the sidebar block. This will place the content before the sidebar which is good for SEO purposes.

      On the titles...on some blogs I dispense with the main blog H1 and use the blog entry title as the H1 and use a graphic as the header. All-in-One-SEO supplies the title meta-tag.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
        Those are some rock-solid simple themes. Way to go!

        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        I hope you took the time to check out my stripped down to the bone themes: Dateless Mini-Site WordPress Themes.

        You can adjust the CSS of my themes to show the sidebar on the left rather than the right by changing the 'float' values of the content block and the sidebar block. This will place the content before the sidebar which is good for SEO purposes.

        On the titles...on some blogs I dispense with the main blog H1 and use the blog entry title as the H1 and use a graphic as the header. All-in-One-SEO supplies the title meta-tag.
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      • Profile picture of the author magentawave
        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        I hope you took the time to check out my stripped down to the bone themes: Dateless Mini-Site WordPress Themes.

        You can adjust the CSS of my themes to show the sidebar on the left rather than the right by changing the 'float' values of the content block and the sidebar block. This will place the content before the sidebar which is good for SEO purposes.

        On the titles...on some blogs I dispense with the main blog H1 and use the blog entry title as the H1 and use a graphic as the header. All-in-One-SEO supplies the title meta-tag.
        Yeah, those are really nice themes you made there! Most WP themes are so cluttered with distracting junk. Thank you!

        Has anyone combined your 'dateless mini site theme' with Dan Grossmans review site script?

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    Well, you xxxx'ed out the link and then described it and then said you aren't selling anything...what are you trying to tell me?

    Steve
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    Need a Simple Product/Service to Market to Offline Clients? Sell Them DFY Custom Videos. https://www.fiverr.com/users/gigsiteguy

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    • Profile picture of the author jamesburchill
      Don't want to get into trouble on the forum. PM me if you like and I'll tell you the software package.
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      James Burchill ~ Bestselling Author & Coursepreneur
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesburchill
    Apparently, telling you the URL is Wordpress Themes and Website Templates Designer won't get me into trouble...

    Enjoy!
    ~James
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    James Burchill ~ Bestselling Author & Coursepreneur
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  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    I was working with the beta version of that, but had to watermark all my results...So what is the deal?

    It looks like a free download, but what's the catch?

    Thanks for the link, BTW

    Steve
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    Need a Simple Product/Service to Market to Offline Clients? Sell Them DFY Custom Videos. https://www.fiverr.com/users/gigsiteguy

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    • Profile picture of the author jamesburchill
      You pay for the license to unwatermark the exports - that's all. You can get the home version for $50 ... cheaper than most professional themes ;-) I've made dozens of themes since I grabbed a copy.
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      James Burchill ~ Bestselling Author & Coursepreneur
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  • Profile picture of the author jonhel
    Steve,

    I recently found a free Wordpress theme called Flexibility - Flexibility Theme for WordPress which has an inbuilt control panel, enabling easy customisation without the need for modifying style sheets etc.

    You might find this one helpful in developing your own look and feel without having to delve into code etc.

    Jonathan
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    Warrior For Hire - Freelance web developer/troubleshooter/fixer etc. - Affordable website help

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris_L
    Steve,

    I highly recommend Adreas free WorkPress themes. I also know enough PHP and CSS to be dangerous. His codes are easy to understand and customizable.

    WordPress themes - andreasviklund.com


    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    Steve,

    I have had that problem before where I couldn't find the perfect WordPress theme for what I wanted to do. But it was good because I learned through research on Google how to edit the index files and PHP codes to make the theme up to my standards. Now that I've learned how to fix WordPress themes, I actually enjoy and have fun with it now.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Gallivan
    Hi Steve

    Jonathan beat me to it - I was going to say about the flexibility theme as well.

    It's looks easy enough that even a wordpress newbie/dummie like me should be able to use it.

    Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author magentawave
      I just started playing with the 'Flexibility Theme' last week and there is a lot about it to like. The guy should be charging for it but doesn't. And since its free, I hope the developer will continue to support it as WP evolves.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisByrns
    Originally Posted by Ouroboros View Post


    * Find a theme that has a left sidebar and put either the "Posts" or "Pages" widget first and SEO the names because the spiders see this first after the header <H1> and <H2> heads.
    i'd say, better use a theme with the sidebar on the right, so G sees the content first. but that's just my opinion.

    plus, i would suggest to change the permalink structure to "/%postname%.html"
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Apparently, telling you the URL is Wordpress Themes and Website Templates Designer won't get me into trouble...

    Enjoy!
    ~James
    No but posting 4 times about it before sharing a link might get an angry mob bashing down your door.

    I already knew about artisteer but just wanted to point out that one of the most annoying bad habits in forums is talking about a resource and not including a link.

    Just think how stupid it would be to make a rule in a forum where we work to improve our online businesses that said we could not tell people of the tools we use to do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author angela99
      Sorry you got such bad results from your day of searching.

      Which search terms did you use?

      Because although I've spent much more than any sane person should spend on commercial WordPress themes, my most effective, highest-sales-generating theme is FREE.

      Go figure. :-)

      And no, I won't share the link. But I will suggest that you Google "adsense wordpress" without quotes; my top theme is in there... and it has everything you seem to be looking for.

      Cheers

      Angela
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      • Profile picture of the author melanied
        The Super Adsense theme by Gobala Krishnan performs well for me in a lot of niches. It's customizable like whoa.
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      • Profile picture of the author magentawave
        Originally Posted by angela99 View Post

        Sorry you got such bad results from your day of searching.

        Which search terms did you use?

        Because although I've spent much more than any sane person should spend on commercial WordPress themes, my most effective, highest-sales-generating theme is FREE.

        Go figure. :-)

        And no, I won't share the link. But I will suggest that you Google "adsense wordpress" without quotes; my top theme is in there... and it has everything you seem to be looking for.

        Cheers

        Angela
        Since this "not sharing a link" thing has come up twice in this post already...

        Since when was it NOT okay to share a link here for something cool on this forum?! Geez, if that was the case, this forum would die in days.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author dordor
    from my experience, I suggest hiring a coder to help you customizing the theme (or coding it from scratch), I spent hours trying to fixing bugs and problems, at the end, I hired someone who helped me for $50.
    That's my advise.
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