In the beginners guide to choosing a WordPress theme, we’ll take a look at the 3 most popular choices and what they have to offer you.
Many people who want to create a website are attracted to WordPress because of the affordable range of premium themes on offer.
You can choose a theme and create a great looking website simply by installing a quality theme.
Or you can choose a premium framework and spend time and/or money on designing your own unique site.
Let’s take a look at the most popular options many beginners need to make a decision on.
I’ve already written about 3 of the best theme frameworks for WordPress.
Since i wrote that post over a year ago, its time to share this new knowledge and experience.
This will help people make a decision on what’s best for them.
The 3 theme frameworks i’ll be discussing in this post are:
- Genesis (Studiopress themes)
- Woo (Woo themes)
- Thesis (DIY Themes don’t make themes)
Firstly, let me explain what i mean by, DIY themes don’t make themes.
Thesis is the name of the framework developed by DIY themes.
Its a parent theme framework and not a child theme.
It adds a range of design and site options so you can customize the framework with additional functions and style.
You can create a child theme which you use to store all your custom coding in.
Another option is to install a skin (child theme) in Thesis which has already been customized. This adds custom coding for both additional functions and styling.
One of the best skin developers for the Thesis framework are Kolakube. When you use Thesis as your framework and Kolakube for your skin, you get customization support from 2 of the best themes developers.
The owner of Kolakube, Alex Magnini, has worked on the Thesis framework with Chris Pearson who ownes DIY themes.
Genesis is the name of the framework developed by Studiopress themes.
Unlike Thesis, StudioPress produce both a framework and a range of excellent child themes.
The advantage of choosing Studiopress is that you can choose from an excellent range of themes created specifically for the Genesis framework.
On top of this you can also change child themes at anytime without losing your customization and suffering formatting problems.
If you’re new to WordPress, and wish to create a website and/or blog, i highly recommend StudioPress themes.
Brian Gardiner is the founder and CFO of Copyblogger media.
Copyblogger Media also offer a new StudioPress.tv site which helps you customize their framework and child themes.
On top of this, Brian Gardiner writes tutorials on his own personal blog which also help you get the most out of his excellent themes.
StudioPress also offer a range of free child themes which will only work if you own the Genesis framework.
StudioPress do improve their child themes rather than discontinue them unlike Woo themes who mostly phase the unpopular one’s out.
Woo themes do things a little bit differently.
They have developed the Woo framework and build their child themes into this framework.
Rather than installing the framework and then installing a child theme over the top, you simply install one package.
Customization support from Woo is limited to the different design options panel all child themes offer and their support forum.
They offer a large range of themes, however they have twice discontinued updating unpopular themes rather than make them better.
Over 200,000 people are users of Woo themes and they offer a range of free themes which all include the Woo framework.
Making a Decision
Want to totally customize your website and blog?
Thesis offers a framework that is made for customization however you’ll need to learn a bit about both css and php coding.
Other resources you can use are the excellent forum support and users guide Thesis offers.
Or you can install a Kolakube skin with Thesis and get the best customization support from both developers.
Don’t want to spend time customizing your site?
Choose a StudioPress child theme or a Woo theme.
You’ll still get access to excellent resources from StudioPress which include a forum, tutorials written by the Brian Gardiner, a users guide and Studiopress.tv.
Woo offers a decent support forum however they don’t offer much in the way of customization support like StudioPress and Thesis.
Unless you’re prepared to dig through their forum posts.
You’ll find plenty of tutorials and video’s on the internet for customizing both Thesis and the Genesis framework.
Not as many for Woo themes even though they have so many users.
Check out some of the best examples of whats possible with these 3 theme frameworks.
Here’s a list of WordPress theme designers which specialize in customizing specific frameworks, themes and skins.
Don’t forget about the free setup service we offer here at WP Sites.
We’ll install your theme framework and child theme which is included in this service.
For less then $200, you can easily create a great looking website and/or blog.
What’s stopping you?
Kevin Emmanuel says
I have heard people say a lot of things about WordPress. Its just cool but for a starter (someone who doesn’t know much about blogging). Would you advise him/here for WP or blogger?
Brad Dalton says
WordPress because then you can customize your site so its totally unique and in your control.
Blogger is hosted on Google’s servers which means they control your site and can take it away from you at any time without notice.