How To Choose A WordPress Theme (And What I Use)

24 Apr

Updated January 12, 2017

In WordPress, your blog’s overall look (design) is determined by the theme you choose. When you first install WordPress, your self-hosted site uses a basic default theme which comes prepackaged with WordPress, but most people want to customize their design to make it their own.

In this post, I will share how I chose my theme, which theme I use and tips to help you choose one for your own blog or website.

My referral links are included in this post for products I have personally bought. Using these links is at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Free themes vs. paid-for themes

Should you use a free theme or a premium theme?

I used free themes for many years and taught myself how to customize them. Free themes are great for those on a budget, but here are some common problems with them:

  • Many are not updated regularly.
  • Many are abandoned completely.
  • There is no support for most of them.
  • The quality of the coding is not always ideal.

For these reasons, I switched to a paid-for theme.

If you have the cash to spare, I would highly recommend you do the same. If not, read on for my recommendations for the best free themes.

The WordPress theme I use

Currently, I use Genesis (built by StudioPress) and the child theme I use is a customized version of Parallax Pro.

But let me be honest. I’m a theme junkie and have a tendency to change my mind regularly. A while back, I bought all the Genesis themes so I can use any of them forever. (Here’s why that was an excellent investment for me.)

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