This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Welcome to WordPress

Now that you understand the basic components of a blog page you’re ready to choose a theme. There is no right or wrong choice; there are only choices that give your website the look and functionality you want—and ones that don’t.

Theme reconnaissance:

Your first job is to look at several themes and imagine what they would look like with your content. At this point, don’t worry about color schemes, or whether the theme was well designed, or cost. You’re just trying to figure out what you want. Here are some sites to get you started: Elegant Themes, Studio Press, Thesis, Theme Forest, Woo Themes. Look around on several sites, read the descriptions, and play with the theme demos.

Bookmark themes you like, and make notes about why you like them.

What to look for:

From reading pages, posts, and categories you know to look at the page layout. Is it clean or cluttered? Lively or boring? Does it emphasize words or images? How many columns are there? Can you change the column width easily if you want to? Is there room in the columns for the extra functionality you might want on your site? How are the posts displayed? Where are the categories displayed? Do the sub-categories show up?

Now put your computer to sleep and go outside.

Reviewing themes is hard work; it sometimes makes my head hurt. Take a break and look again in a few days. You’re probably not going to make this decision overnight, and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn by looking at various themes over time.

But don’t wait too long…

Remember, you probably won’t find a theme that’s absolutely, exactly what you want. That shouldn’t stop you from choosing one that’s close and getting started. Now that you’ve looked at a few themes and are beginning to know what you want, head over to Bradley Charbonneau’s in-depth post, How to Choose a WordPress Theme.

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