How to choose a WordPress theme

30 thoughts on “How to choose a WordPress theme”

    1. Yes there is. On the page where you set your widgets, open your Custom Menu widget and click “Visibility” in the bottom right corner. Set the three boxes to “Hide” if “Page” is “Post” and save it. It should look like this:


      You can read more about it in my post on visibility options.

    2. PT – are you aware of a WordPress theme that will enable me to post pictures in full screen or close to it appearance? Here is an example of one I have been using on Tumblr, but it has some deficiencies, mainly the absence of a way to include captions and comments (by me) for the viewers to see while looking at the picture.

      I will appreciate any suggestions.

      I want to add this: I am asking you this question because I think your WordPress blog is magnificent in design as well as content. Surely it is the gold standard against which all other blogs should be compared.

      Thank you,

    1. Yep, it all begins with the first post. I think my very first post on my first blog about 12 years ago was “Hello, world!” or something similar. Not that I’m recommending that, but you’ve got to get some words out there if you want to have a blog.

      1. Mine wasn’t much different…felt like desperately treading water trying to get started with all the details. All these choices – and not clear understanding of what was necessary, what was important or critical – and what was just luxurious fluff.
        I finally decided to just write something and worry about it all later. After all, it’s the words people look for – a nice package is a plus, but you can always add bows and accessories later if you start with simple…and some words. Maybe like a starter blog format. Good advice in the post – like the don’t bother wasting time browsing the premium styles if you don’t plan to pay…you can get lost in themes offered and no one will ever hear from you again – best grab and go.

      2. With so many choices here, I imagine it’s pretty overwhelming to a beginner. And I probably didn’t help much by pointing out all the details there are to consider. Things were so much simpler when I started in pre-WordPress years. A dozen really simple themes, a space for the blog title, a space in which to write, and a “publish” button. I’m delighted to have all the options now, but they must look really intimidating to a newcomer.

    1. Why? Because you don’t write? It can be months, or even years, before readers to find you. I firmly believe you must be writing because it pleases you, not because it might please others.

      1. You’re right about that PT, though there’s not that many months left for them to find me 🙂 when you’re an octogenarian you kind of wonder how many months you have left in front of you, not years.

        Sometimes I think how any hours :))

      2. Won’t WP wipe them all off once I’m dead and no longer giving them $99 pa whatever? Good heavens if I thought they were going to be here forever I’d try harder.:)

      3. Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that. No reason they’d wipe the free blogs, but I hadn’t thought about the paid ones needing to be paid up every year. Thanks for mentioning that. It means mine is in danger too, if anything happens to me. WP needs to have some default free theme that all our content would revert to if we don’t pay. Or we need to back it up on our computers. Or both. Hmm, I need to think about that.

      4. Just to muddy the water a wee bit more PT; what happens when WP goes “bottom-up” and sinks into cyber space lost forever, like myspace did; taking everything with it?

        What a cheerful little chappy I’m being must be Fridayitis 🙂

      5. I’m not worried about WordPress failing. Or maybe I’m in denial. I didn’t think Geocities would disappear, either. But I’d abandoned both MySpace and Geocities before either of them died. In any case, it’s always a good idea to back up your work somewhere offline if you value the time and effort you’ve put into it.

  1. I keep looking for a new theme but still stick with 2011. It’s clean and simple which is what I want. Suits my ancient newspaper training. Can’t bear busy blogs. Like people who get a new computer and print things off in different fonts and colours! Aaagh!

    I liked the old daily post header of a tripewriter, why not go with that, or an old Linotype image? I have a water pic for roughseas as the main header but usually customise each post.

    1. You wouldn’t believe the number of typewriter, type, and print shop images I’ve accrued (or maybe you would), always looking for “the one.” Even with the ones I’ve liked, I’ve not been able to develop a header design I really love. I’m constantly torn between a dusty old typewriter look and a sleek, modern appearance. The “handwriting,” at least, was a compromise between old style fonts and spare, modern fonts, and is a sort of illustration on its own. I feel that instead of saying “old” or “new,” it says “me.”

      The 2011, 2012, etc. themes are good, solid, all-purpose themes, which is what WordPress intended, and I’ve liked all of them. Not a lot of fussy bells and whistles, but most people don’t need those anyway.

      1. Think pied type suggests something older, but as I’m old anyway, that’s why I’d lean towards an old image. Must take a pic of my old typewriter and use it at some point. Belonged to my great uncle who was also a journalist.

        I never tried 2012. Got stuck in 2010 for one blog and 2011 for roughseas. I doubt I’ll change. The only thing that really annoys me is that I can’t fiddle with header image size (would prefer it deeper) and the comments get too narrow in embedded conversations. C’est la vie. Nowt’s perfect.

      2. Yes, pied type goes back to handset type. I was in backshops for a bit of that, combined with Linotypes. Interesting times. The entire process of getting words onto printed pages fascinated me.

        You still have a typewriter? I’m so envious. I let my little Royal portable go years ago and in recent years have really regretted it. What a keepsake it would be now. My grandchildren probably don’t even know what a typewriter looks like.

      3. Can’t remember what happened to my trendy one, bought through my first newspaper as they encouraged us to have our own at home, needed it for the exams anyway.

        Mine is probably a portable so to speak. I had aspirations of displaying it as an ornament, but life so too dust so it is closed up. I’ll take some pix, promise.

      4. I had the same thought about displaying the typewriter. If I had the large home and the funds, I might have it on its own little lighted pedestal, a cherished relic from the Stone Age of publishing. Maybe with a sheet of paper in place so the curious could try a few strokes. Of course, I’d also have a maid to keep it dusted …

      5. Good heavens I haven’t seen or heard the word “Nowt” for yonks, surely you must be from Lancashire originally, or perhaps Yorkshire, You’ve brightened my day with that, for which I thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂

      6. Ah, beautiful York,wondrous place. Not only that the best beer in the world can be had there! 🙂 And their Railway Museum; second to none. Pity they speak funny 😉

... and that's my two cents