Themes are what make your websites and blogs look beautiful. You can’t have a WordPress blog without a theme. You’ll have to use the default theme, even if you don’t use any other.
Without any theme, your WordPress website or blog will look blank. There are thousands of WordPress themes all over the Internet and new ones are created daily.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some common WordPress theme mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Using Pirated Themes:
Maybe you don’t use pirated themes, but many people do. Why do they use it? Simple. Because they don’t want to pay for a theme. It’s similar to why they use pirated computer software programs.
But, using such themes is a mistake. Because, pirated themes may have malicious code injected into them, which can harm your WordPress installation, and may cause you loss of money too.
If you use such a theme, remove it and get a paid version, or use a free theme from the WordPress.org Themes repository.
Even pirated themes increase the sales of the paid theme. For how long would you keep searching for updated pirated themes? You won’t always get an updated or the latest pirated theme version.
However, the premium/paid themes get regular updates and you’ll get them for free. In most cases, free for life.
This is one reason, why people using pirated themes end up paying and getting the premium version of the theme.
If you’re using such a theme, consider getting the paid version, or else search for and use a free theme from the WordPress repository.
2. Using an Outdated or Unsupported Theme:
If you use a theme which doesn’t get any updates since months, you run a risk. Hackers may be able to get into your site/blog.
Log into your WordPress, click updates, and apply any updates which WordPress recommends or offers. Now, check again once a week and update your themes regularly, if any updates are available.
3. Not Configuring Your Theme:
If you installed a theme, but didn’t take the time to set it up properly, your site/blog won’t look as you want it to look. For example, you may have no header image, no footer, no widgets, or just the default widgets in the sidebar.
Configuration options depend on the theme you use. Some highly customizable themes have a plethora of options, whereas many free themes which are minimal, don’t have any such options. Some other themes show configurable options only when you click customize.
You’ll have to check your theme to view and change the options. If you installed a theme but didn’t check or change its configuration, go and do it now.
Log into your WordPress dashboard as an administrative user and go to Appearance -> Theme Options, Instead of Theme Options, it could be the name of your theme.
Some themes even add a Settings option with a gear-like icon, outside of the appearance group. You’ll need to check this yourself. It’s not hard to know, though, where the theme options are.
In case you don’t find any theme options, you may be using a free, minimal theme. If that’s the case, click Appearance -> Themes. The first theme in the list (if you have more than one installed) is the one which is currently active. Hover your mouse over it and click customize.
Now, view or change any option you want. There may not be any other option than just changing the site title and tagline. In such a case, you can’t configure the theme since it doesn’t have any configurable options anywhere.
4. Editing/Changing Your Theme Files:
Many people edit and change their theme’s PHP files to change some theme settings, not available in the theme options.
For example, to change their footer, to remove “Powered by WordPress”, etc. But, this is a mistake – because they will have to remove those words again, each time the theme gets an update. Updating the theme would overwrite its files, removing your edits and changes.
If you have edited or changed any of tour theme files, consider using a child theme to add those changes. When you make any changes to a child theme, the changes remain intact even when the parent theme is updated.
For more info about child themes, how to get them, consult your theme’s files or its webpage, or search Google with the word “child theme” followed by your theme’s name.
5. Ignoring the Little Guys:
Nowadays, a big percentage of users use Internet on their mobile devices and switch between the computer and mobile devices. So, it’s important that your theme is mobile-optimized, or in other words, responsive.
You can or maybe you’re already using a plugin like WPTouch, to make your site/blog mobile-friendly. But, responsive theme is much better than using a responsive plugin.
If you’re not already using a theme that is responsive, search for and install a responsive theme. Many free themes are responsive too.
On this blog, I’m using Swift Theme, which is responsive and is very fast. It’s named the fastest WordPress theme by its developer. You can Download Swift Theme by clicking the below button.
[button link=”http://iwriteaboutblogging.com/recommends/swift-theme/” size=”large” style=”download” color=”green” border=”red” text=”light”]Download Swift Theme[/button]
Did I miss any theme mistake above which you may know or came across in the blogosphere? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it.
Feature Image Credit: Gregory Johnson (via Flickr)