You may be wondering why I chose to discuss about this topic, but if you read on you will understand why. I want you to learn something from my experience so that you don’t do the same mistake I did when I decided to look for professional theme template for my blog.
For a long time I had been running my blog using a free template from Magpress. The theme had really served me well though I really longed for a more customizable and professional template.
I knew with a professional theme my bounce rate would improve and in the process increase my conversion rate. From the money I had made from my blog I decide to buy a template from colorlab, the theme was called arthemia. They had two packages one going for $49 (which I picked) and a developer pack going for $99.
I must agree the template was very attractive and according to them it was also user friendly and SEO friendly. Finally, the one thing that was to push my internet home business to the next level was here.
Usually, I work like 3 hours a day but on this day when I was to buy the theme template I woke up very early with renewed energy and hope. I knew I would be online almost all day customizing my blog to make it look more professional.
I should have read the warning signs from the word go because on uploading the template some of its functions were not working. Secondly, I was not able to log into their customer support link where I thought I could ask why some functions of their theme template were not working.
If I knew what I know today, that is where I should have stopped but because the template looked so attractive on the demo I decided to make sure it works.
After several trials I did managed to load the template successfully using File Zillar but that was after deactivating some of my plugins. These included wordpress SEO, broken link checker and Ad injection.
My quest to make my blog look captivating made me blind to all these errors I was encountering with this so called professional theme template.
By the end of the day I managed to complete the customization of my blog and I really loved the appearance. On the following day I went back to my schedule and published an article. But on sharing the page URL on Google plus it returned with an error.
Google plus and other social sites could not generate the snippet of the post. The error message showed that another plugin called Sharebar was the culprit. I quickly deactivated it but the error was still there.
Some few days later I got a web designer to help solve these problems but it was too late. Before uploading this new theme template my site was seating pretty at the top page of search engine results. For most of my targeted keywords my blog was on page 1 and my organic traffic was increasing fast.
Suddenly, I saw a drop in traffic and that was when it hit me, the errors I was seeing had made Google to de-index my site. I did a search on Google to see how my pages appeared on their results by entering “site:http://www.myblog.com/” and the errors where on almost all my webpages.
I quickly removed and deleted the anthemia template from my blog and restored my old free theme. It took like 1 ½ week for the errors to be corrected but by that time I had lost my web ranking.
The reason I decided to tell this story is not to discredit colorlab, but instead to make you see the importance of research. Now I know why people say you do not need to reinvent the wheel.
Here are 10 valuable elements you need to consider when choosing a professional template theme for your blog or website.
1: Choose what has been tried and tested: When it comes to choosing a template research is very important. It is recommend that you go for well known template sites such as Woo Theme, Forest Themes, Theme Junkie, Thesis Themes and Elegant Themes.
A close observation revealed that most top bloggers purchase their theme templates from these sites. Rather than chancing like I did, buy products from well know sites that have a good track record.
Read reviews and testimonials this way you will get to know the sites to purchase professional templates for your blog.
2: Pick a template that is easily customizable: There is nothing as frustrating as working with a template that is not customizable.
As bloggers we all want our blogs to have a certain appeal and the only way to achieve that is through customizing. Since not all bloggers have knowledge on blog designing, it is advisable to look for a theme that you can easy arrange as you want.
Before you decide on a template make sure you have read all the features about it.
3: User friendly: Some templates are too complex to operate especially if you have no knowledge of things like HTML coding.
In the 90’s only coders where able to blog but those days are long gone. A newbie can buy a template and make it look so professional the same way a HTML coder would.
Talk to other bloggers and they will surely tell you the right theme to pick. For example, I can easily recommend you try Theme Junkie (affiliate link) which has worked so well for me.
4: SEO friendly: If your intention is to blog for money then appearance is not the only thing you are looking to achieve. You can have the most handsome blog in the world but without traffic then you will not generate any income.
It is therefore advisable when checking the attributes of a theme template to make sure SEO friendliness is one of them. These include the size of the template to ensure it loads fast and of course the ability to integrate with SEO related plugins such All In One SEO or WordPress SEO among others.
SEO friendliness also involves the ability of the template to allow search engine bots to crawl your content easily. A good and professional theme template should also show in search engine results your site description where you include your targeted keywords.
5: Colors that match your logo: Having a logo is a very critical element of doing business through blogging. A logo helps you in branding yourself or your blog thus improve your online presence.
It goes without saying that how you match your colors really matter a great deal. Select templates that allow you to choose from an array of colors. Branding experts will tell you to pick colors that make your site appealing to the eye.
As you customize your blog try and ensure the color you have used in your logo blend with your theme template colors and if possible affiliate banners.
6: Good customer support system: In case of run into any challenges when customizing your blog design you need to be able to get in touch with the template designer. This is where customer support comes in handy.
Before you decide to purchase a template get to know how efficient their support team is. There is a time Woo themes had a problem with their site and I really loved the way they dealt with the issue. On their twitter handle they kept updating their customers until their site was up again.
You could easy tell how their clients were behind them and this was because they did not recoil in a corner while the problem persisted. This is an indication that if you buy a theme at Woo Themes you can be sure of getting the best professional help and support. Keep it up Woo Themes.
Another site that has a great support team is Thesis. Here you will have access to a forum where you can get in touch with professional blog designers.
7: Template should easily integrate with wordpress plugins: There are plugins that you simply cannot fail to have in your blog. These include plugins related to ad management, link checking, social sharing and of course SEO.
If you come across a wordpress template that does not integrate with these plugins simple walk away. You might hold on and in the process pay the price by losing your blog ranking like I did or worse.
8: Consult a professional web designer: You can never be an expert in everything and that is why it is advisable to consult. On the internet there are many expert web designers you can get in touch with to help you pick a professional theme template.
For those of you who have money, you can also get a web designer to create a template for you that best suits your needs.
It might seem expensive to consult a blog designer but you end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
9: Easy navigation: An element that ensures you improve your site conversion rate is navigation. The easier it is for readers to find their way around your blog the longer they will spend going through your content.
For example, choose a template that takes your visitors like 3 seconds for them to locate your category bar. Easy navigation also ensure that search engines have an easy time accessing your blog content thereby index and rank all your webpages.
10: Pocket friendly: A professional theme template does not have to necessarily be expensive. There are great templates out there that have all the right qualities and are still affordable.
All you need is to be patient as you research. With time you will get the theme template that suits your blogging needs.
Summary: You may be asking what happened to my quest of getting a professional theme template, did it end? Of course not; after I recovered from the errors I went hunting once more but this time armed with the right knowledge.
I’m now using Theme Junkie and I must admit I really like it. The template has all the qualities we have talked above and in fact my bounce rate has really improved.
With time I’m sure my blog ranking will improve too and continue from where I had left off.
What are your views about the new and professional Theme Junkie template theme on this blog? Post your comments in the comment section provided below. You can also add your contribution on how to pick a template.
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