Wordpress themes for niche sites

16 replies
  • SEO
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I am trying to get away from these crappy microniche-type themes with the sticky front page article (read "big block of text") and a few sidebar links.

I think some of the micro-sites I have built out could now transition to something more like a magazine theme (without rankings suffering). But I am a bit stuck - any suggestions for themes? In particular I want it to:

- allow me to sticky a shorter EXCERPT of one or more static PAGES on the front page (all magazine themes seem to just excerpt recent POSTS)
- arrange widgets on the front page pretty much how I want

Any suggestions for themes? I can code this up myself, or adapt an existing theme, but don't feel like wasting time on that. Thesis can do all that and more, presumably (never got round to trying it)? Any others you can recommend that will do that - premium or free themes?
#niche #sites #themes #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author MSC
    Can use heatmaptheme, has lots of customization features, plus you can always use plugins to add boxes, tabs and sliders to make it look more like authority site.
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  • Profile picture of the author derprinz
    have a look at clickbump
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by MSC View Post

      Can use heatmaptheme, has lots of customization features, plus you can always use plugins to add boxes, tabs and sliders to make it look more like authority site.
      Right, "authority site", that's the term I was looking for

      Didn't think of heatmap theme. Seems to me it can't do what I want - i.e have a kind of "portal" style homepage made up of mostly widgets. Just seems to allow one or more entire blog posts..?

      Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

      have a look at clickbump
      Oh, there's another idea I am sure Scott will chime in very quickly, but I wonder if there is a theme like what I described, heavily widgetised magazine/portal-style home page etc? Often hard to tell just from demos and screenshots.
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      • Profile picture of the author markowe
        Originally Posted by clickbump View Post

        Is this something like you are looking for > Painless & Positive Puppy Training

        That site is using my "Gazette" responsive design layout skin.

        If that's not what you are looking for, post a link to a site that resembles what you have in mind. If I don't already have an off the shelf design that closely matches, I can whip one up if I think it will have widespread appeal.
        Yeah, that kind of thing. But I am thinking of only showing an excerpt of the "main" article, like a "featured page" (perhaps instead of the slider - I'd rather it was static, and not JavaScript-based). It doesn't make any sense from the conventional micro-niche point of view because people tend to rely on the whole homepage being dominated by the full article, whereas I only want to show maybe 1 paragraph or 100 words or something, and the rest of the homepage taken up with other widget positions. I think once your site gets some authority you can start to play with the homepage like this.

        I also notice you have these kind of "Text box" widgets on a lot of the Clickbump themes - do they show excerpts of particular posts or pages, or are they a static text widget that you have to populate yourself? I mean, it shouldn't really matter if they are full-on registered widget positions, you should be able to put what you want in there, right?

        I guess I am looking at a homepage that is basically one-column template, where, if you imagine it as being, say a 4 x 4 grid of widget positions, might look something like this:

        AAAB
        CCDD
        EFGH

        Where A is three-quarters width and would typically house a "featured page" excerpt ("blue widgets"), B might be an ad position or something, C and D could be other featured pages ("big blue widgets", "small blue widgets") and EFGH might be featured post categories, or similar.

        That's just an example, I hadn't thought that out in detail, but basically, the whole thing would be more "busy" and authoritative.

        I mean, I guess this can be coded up with your framework - heck, I can do this myself with an afternoon's work with any theme I like, but I was hoping there was something readily available out there.

        Just so we don't get too OT - I wonder if anyone has experience with building their niche sites out this way? I am willing to risk hosing an authority site of mine to see - I bet my bottom dollar it doesn't affect rankings...
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        • Profile picture of the author clickbump
          Originally Posted by markowe View Post

          I also notice you have these kind of "Text box" widgets on a lot of the Clickbump themes - do they show excerpts of particular posts or pages, or are they a static text widget that you have to populate yourself? I mean, it shouldn't really matter if they are full-on registered widget positions, you should be able to put what you want in there, right?
          Yes, they are just widgets, text widgets for the most part, but also recent posts, link widgets, rss, etc... I have it programmed so that any widget you place into one of the two "footer area" sidebar containers will automatically layout in columns.

          I guess I am looking at a homepage that is basically one-column template, where, if you imagine it as being, say a 4 x 4 grid of widget positions, might look something like this:

          AAAB
          CCDD
          EFGH
          You can do this with widgets in the sidebar containers. I'm doing something similar on my home page using the "Publisher" skin.
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  • Profile picture of the author demonduck
    Might take a look at Paradise, a themeforest.net theme. Granted, it's a premium theme, but the customizations are a breeze via the admin panel in Wordpress.
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  • Profile picture of the author Murphysmurfy
    I would be very careful when choosing your wordpress theme. Google has been attacking websites that are using wordpress themes to their advantage.

    If you can, stay away from CTR themes, and just try to get a simply theme!
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  • Profile picture of the author John F Kennedy
    Follow your intuition, Thesis has all you need.

    I think we all spend too much time deliberating and not just making a decision and running with it.

    Thesis has all you need, I can assure you!

    Good luck
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by Murphysmurfy View Post

      I would be very careful when choosing your wordpress theme. Google has been attacking websites that are using wordpress themes to their advantage.

      If you can, stay away from CTR themes, and just try to get a simply theme!
      I am not looking for a ctr theme :-) . Absolutely, I don't want my sites looking like spam, I want them to look like legit sites. In fact, that's what they are!

      Re: Thesis, I have watched all the demos and seen nothing that suggests it can do what I want :/. Not saying it can't, but I don't want to have to do additional coding etc myself, otherwise I can just adapt a free theme. Creating widget positions, for example, is very easy. I just don't want to spend time on it...
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Thanks for this - I will take a closer look at Clickbump and see if one of the themes is close to what I want.

    BTW, that thing with the More tag, my experience is that a lot of (most?) Wordpress themes (or maybe it's a general Wordpress limitation) do not respect the More tag when it's used in a sticky front page, which is a real pain. Are you saying that this can be done in some way, with CB or otherwise?
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  • Profile picture of the author audi008
    I am also looking for a nice niche theme to match my new adsense site. So, anywhere to suggest to go to find such good theme?? wp based!

    thanks in advance!
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  • Profile picture of the author pamb10
    have you ever looked at artisteer? this gives you a way to generate a customized wp theme and is very easy to work with. there is an add-on called templateer that even adds more flexibility.

    Here is a magazine style theme that I created using the above mentioned software. camping.shopnicheplr. com
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  • Profile picture of the author Junkie2
    I've used heatmap for a bunch of adsense sites with good results (have tried CTR theme, clickbump, and a few others).
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    Articles2.com - Unique, well-written articles at unbelievable prices
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  • Profile picture of the author amydyslex
    Mystique so far has worked best for me. It is FREE, completely customizable with fluid width and 2 to 3 sidebar options and widget enabled sidebars. I have seen pretty good CTR with ad sense and nice clicks on clickbank but not quite healthy conversions on click bank

    Fivver is recommended to be a click bank products plus theme which i believe is also free.
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  • Profile picture of the author pukimama
    you can consider Flexibility theme ? Its free
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