When I switched from building sites in Dreamweaver to customizing websites in WordPress, my coach advised purchasing the Genesis Framework and choosing a StudioPress theme. She wanted me to “get-out-there in a big way” ASAP.
It was great advice for me, but what if you’re either not ready or able to invest in a premium WordPress theme and framework? What if you want to try WordPress before making a commitment to a premium theme?
Choose a Free WordPress Theme That’s Right for You!
1. From your WordPress dashboard click on Appearance and click Themes
2. Click Add New
3. Select Feature Filter
4. There are thousands of free themes to choose from. Feature Filter will help you narrow things down quickly.
Decide what you want your site to look like and choose from the follow categories: (1) Colors (2) Layout (3) Features [specific WordPress features] (4) Header styles (5) Support (6) Subject
After selecting your categories click Apply Filters to see all the themes available from your search
5. Here’s what my search (shown above) revealed. I like the color orange, so want to see if the Orangy theme might be a good fit.
6. I clicked Orangy which brought up the Details and Preview prompt you see here:
7. Clicking on Preview brought up more information on the theme, but the information I’m most interested in is (1) how many times it’s been downloaded (2) when it was last updated and (3) if there are any support threads. To get this information…
8. …I went to WordPress.org entered “orangy” in the search field, and clicked Search Themes
9. I clicked on the Orangy link
10. On the right hand side under Parent Theme I can see that Orangy was last updated 2103-01-01, as was downloaded 4,110 times. Not bad, but it hasn’t been updated in over a year, and WordPress just had a major update.
Next, I’ll see if there are any support threads, which will indicate if people have had any problems, and if their questions are being answered:
11. I’m not happy that the support information is only available by logging into my WordPress account because my login information is not readily available… but I do find my info and log in.
12. Logging into brought up a support thread for me to fill in. I was hoping to find other threads to follow. At this point I’d rather find a theme that’s been updated recently and whose support thread is easily accessible.
13. Back to square one to find a new free theme.
It’s a process. If you have the time, and the patience, you’ll find some treasures and a free theme that’s just right for you!
Many thanks to the Women’s Coding Collective for their tips on how to find a great free theme.