If it isn’t obvious by now, I’m a bit of a greenhorn to this blogging thing. The truth is I never had to blog exactly to make money online and I never used them for my sales or affiliate sites in the past, although I’ve made a lot of similar websites the hard way and now that I’m seeing what incredible software WordPress can be, I’m definitely going to use WordPress for my blogs from now on.
I was a little burned out on coding my own software, having just spend 6 months with it night and day. So I spent a little time on something easy. WordPress themes are easy to make and I like playing at graphic design, so I went on a little quest to find or create the ultimate WordPress theme.
So what am I looking for in the Ultimate WordPress Theme?
Flexible designs that stretch to fit the screen are great. But, stretching a text area too wide makes it hard to read. I know that roughly 95% of computer users now use 1024×768 as their screen resolution. A handful of people still use 800×600. And, the rest use a higher resolution. So, this theme needs to be designed for 1024×768, squeeze down to 800×600 if need be, and not stretch so much in higher resolutions that the text becomes difficult to read.
I am creating this particular theme for this particular blog here, but what I’m really trying to create here, overall, is the ultimate WordPress theme… a theme that I, (and you), might use for any blog that I, (or you), throw up for fun or for profit or both. So, there should be room for industry standard advertisement blocks throughout the site.
Plain websites are boring and an all-white design is hard on the eyes when reading on-screen, so I want the site to have some sort of colored, designed layout. But, I don’t want the site to be loaded down with huge graphics, or be held prisoner by it’s design. So, the designed portion should just “wrap” around the main content area and be independent of it. Also, the colors have to be easily changed on the fly and there hould be a place to pop in any header graphic of my choice, or none. The inner portion of the site will only use small icon graphics and no images for layout.
A few additional preferences, at least for me, are that it should be constructed using xhtml and css for easy customization via the stylesheet and have the sidebar widgets capability enabled, possibly with several dynamic sidebars.
- The theme should not have any h2 tags in the sidebar, or h1 tags sprinkled throughout the theme.
- The h1 tag should be reserved to wrap only the title for a post on it’ss single post page.
- There are more SEO considerations, but those have more to do with the actual WordPress settings and not the theme files, like setting up permalinks and tags, a static archive and a sitemap, and also getting a decent SEO plugin to handle title and meta tags across your site… all of which I’ll have to cover separately, sometime in the near future.
After a few days of searching, how many themes did I find that had all these features? If you guessed absolutely none, you’re absolutely right. To be fair, there are some decent SEO templates out there, but none that meet all my requirements. Heck, most “SEO” templates still leave the h1 tag in the header! So, I had to roll my own, as the gamers like to say.
I spent a couple days reading up on SEO and WordPress themes (and wading through a flood of sales pitches btw to find real information [boy, is that saturated]) and then I spent another few days splicing and customizing code for this theme. I hope you find it useful.
Remember, the images that make up the outer design wrap around everything else, so you can pop in your own graphics to drastically change the look of the site to just about anything you can imagine, and then of course make with an editor like Photoshop or The Gimp,. Or, you can take them out and go with pure css if you want to.