For Beginners: Implementing The Perfect Blog

The amount of time it took to figure out what I wanted my new blog to look like was astounding. Settling on WordPress as the blogging platform was easy. It was the next step where I found myself knee-deep in the weeds.

Select The Theme

I had a foregone conclusion that the first thing I should do is settle on a theme. My only requirements were that the theme be free, clean and customizable. I spent hours browsing through 100’s of themes and ended up in a befuddled fog — as I demoed theme after theme, I began to discover features I wanted to include in my blog, like a magazine style home page and an articles page that would display nicely formatted excerpts and tabbed sidebars… and the list goes on and on. Most of the themes I looked at offered some level of customization, but it quickly became clear that the more features you add to your blog, the more difficult customization becomes — to the point where I began toying with the idea of creating my own theme, an idea I quickly discarded because I was pretty impatient to get my blog up and running.

Decide on your features before you select your theme.

Once I had the list of features, it was relatively easy to choose Suffusion as my theme. Not only is this theme highly customizable, there’s an active support forum where people are more than willing to help when you get stuck. It’s important to note that Suffusion is not for the faint of heart. There are hundreds of options and it can be quite daunting to figure out what you need to change and where you change it.

  • If you use a highly customizable theme, focus on the features first, layout second and the rest of the styling last.
  • If you’re planning on customizing the colors, make sure the theme has a few defaults for both light and dark backgrounds with either being equally pleasing to look at.

With Suffusion installed and enabled, I set about enabling and disabling the design elements built in to the theme. That included things like my magazine style front page and a tabbed sidebar.

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