How To Select A Good Theme For Website or Blog?

by Dev Duff on September 3, 2013

Blog CMS Themes

There are various different themes available for different content management systems and blogging software. Many are free, then there are premium themes that you can buy for a small fee. The whole point of designing themes is to give your CMS or Blog a unique look. However, when I begin searching for the right kind of theme, I make sure to pass the theme demo through my scanners before making sure what kind of theme would be good for my blog. The question is, how to select a good theme for website or blog? Here are some pointers and suggestions that can help theme designers to design the theme properly. This article will also help web admins who are looking for a new theme for their current website/blog or a new website/blog.

Loading Speed

The most important element of a website/blog is the loading speed and your theme contributes a lot to the blog/website loading time. Lesser the http requests, lesser the images, lesser the css/scripts loading in the header, the faster will be the website/blog. So I visit the theme designer’s website, hit the DEMO link and when the demo loads, I copy the URL. Then I analyze the theme through a good Webpage Analyzing service such as: http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

The Analyzer shows the HTML size, total objects, total images, total number of scripts, total page size, HTML size, images size, CSS images and a lot more. The page also provides a whole list of suggestions that can help you make your website load faster. Using the analyzer, theme designers can make necessary changes to their themes and make them user friendly. Web admins can analyze the demo of a theme in order to see how nicely a theme is designed and what to expect when your visitors will visit your blog/website.

Combine CSS and JS Files

Themes should be optimized to load only 1 CSS and 1 JS file. There are many tools available in order to combine the CSS/JS files. Yahoo’s YUI Compressor, minify tool and other tools can help you optimize your theme/website. Theme designers should make use of such tools to make their theme load faster by reducing HTTP requests. Anyone interested in buying a theme, should look in the source code of the demo and see how many CSS/JS files are loading. If a theme has the CSS/JS files combined, you can assume the theme is designed by an experienced theme designer.

Image Sprites

There are very few themes that have the decoration images in sprites. Not many theme designers make use of image sprites. The decoration images are usually small images that can be combined in a single sprite. This will help in reducing HTTP requests to the server, making your website load faster. Theme buyers should check in the source code of a theme demo if the designer has done the due diligence and used sprites for decoration images.

HTML Size

You don’t wish to put a book on the homepage, do you? Well, certainly not a good idea. Be it the homepage or the inner pages, the content to images balance should be maintained. Oh well, this one is on the web admin. Theme designers can’t do much about the total HTML size on a page. As a web admin, you should make sure that if you are going to write a lengthy article, break it into parts and publish your lengthy content part by part. Perhaps, you can divide your lengthy article in 4 or 5 parts and publish 4 or 5 different articles and just make sure to inter-link them. However, on the homepage, try to use excerpts instead of publish whole articles.

Full/Fluid Width

This is just a suggestion to theme designers about the looks and design. Most themes I’ve come across have a fixed narrow width. Be it WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Osclass or any other CMS/Blogging software, most of the themes are designed in a way there is lots of blank space on the left and right side. There are very very very few themes that have 90% fluid width or more. This is the reason, most of the times, I have to edit core theme files and make the theme look like what I want it to be. So theme designers, please make use of wide width available. I mean, what’s the point of wasting so much webpage space on left and right of the content area?

Conclusion

These are just a few suggestions that may help you design awesome themes that are not only great looking but also, efficient in loading. These suggestions will also help web admins to decide which theme is good as per their needs. If you have any other pointers to share, please comment below. I will include your suggestions in this article. Thanks and happy blogging!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mohamed

i don’t know if i chose the right one for my blog or not but any way thanks it was useful

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Prima Yudha

Can you give an example of a good theme for wordpress??
and How about with my theme??

By the way thank for your sharing here, thanks dev..

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ripon//extrabazar.com

i want to use a theme for my site .please suggest me for a new better theme.

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Tanveer / IT Pal

I am trying to make a website by using wordpress. Im not a WP expert. So it was very difficult for me to select a good theme. But now I know how to select a good theme. Very helpful post. Thanks a lot.

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