Working with a new WordPress theme

A new WordPress Theme – is it time to change?

Recently I changed my two self-hosted WordPress websites from Nirvana to Aamla.  It was quite the wrench, but so far I am enjoying the results, and clients are finding it easier to find and read posts, then work with me.

Here are the two sites that I’ve changed over — Mom On A Spiritual Journey (my blog), and New World Energetics (my services site).

Nirvana is a free theme by Cryout Creations, and I still love it dearly.  It just felt like time for a change.

What I love about the Nirvana Theme

  • Lots of different colorways
  • Extremely customizable front page, if you desire one, including coding, if you like  — I am not a coder, I’m a cut and paste queen!
  • The colors are beautiful
  • Header Menu, content menu, and footer menu
  • Friendly to my plugins.

I still think it’s a great theme.  I’m sure I’ve still not used all the features since I didn’t upgrade to the paid theme.

Changing to the Aamla WordPress Theme

Aamla is a really interesting concept theme.  VedaThemes are the designers, and they have focused on making this theme HTML5 and Gutenberg friendly.

Several things attracted me to this theme.

  • Very clear and easy to read, even on your phone
  • Extremely plugin friendly with my favorite and necessary plugins (including my client portal software)
  • Built-in page builder using widgets
  • ‘Hero-page’ feature with button functionality
  • Menu search bar and quick menu feature
  • Ability to display direct contact details at the top of the site
  • Aamla Care plugin (keeps your Aamla settings if you want to switch to another theme for a while).

I’m not a coder, but I can handle creating pages with the page builder.  It’s giving rise to thoughts about how to lay out data differently for the future.

Combined with the Easy Table of Contents Plugin, and Shortcodes Ultimate plugin, I am finding new ways to present the information I’ve been gathering since 2010 on the Mom On A Spiritual Journey site.

Some thoughts on guidelines when choosing a new Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme may well be one of the most creative activities you can find yourself involved in with your own blog, apart from blogging and writing and creating or choosing visuals, of course!

I’m not a WordPress designer, but here are some questions to help you think about narrowing down your theme choices for a new theme selection.

These thoughts come from the frame of being an editor rather than a coder, I know there are many skilled people out there who can tweak behind the scenes, rather than in front of them!  So forgive me if this seems simplistic to some.

Do you like the color choices that the theme provides?

What flexibility can the theme offer you with existing plugins you deeply rely upon?

How easily can you integrate this theme with sign up widgets and email lists of your choosing?

How many menu spots are there, and are they enough?

Does the site work well on all viewing devices (PC, Mac, Tablet, Smartphone)?

Does your media display well so that you get the vibe you want for your site?

If you are offering services, can people easily find your displayed contact details?

Do you like the options for the way the blog posts are displayed in the blog feed?

Can you build a front page that you like easily (if you want one)?

Does this theme have longevity?  (Designers been around for a while, or describe their site in ways which is relevant to current technological requirements?)

Does looking at your site through the lens of this theme give you a happy feeling?

Your WordPress Theme favorites and why

Let me know your WordPress Theme favorites, paid or free.  I’m always interested to see the endless creativity a WordPress Theme, WordPress and a blogger can generate when they all get to work.

Ready for a spirited geeky discussion? I'm all ears.

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