So you just got a bright shiny new WordPress blog and you are dying to get it all tricked out and looking perfect right? Slow down there speedy! The first thing to do is ask yourself a few questions and see if you should spend the time or money to get the WordPress blog to look how you really want.
This post is inspired by those few but quite regular new WordPress clients I get that want what amounts to an established WordPress blog right from the start. The very first question is how to or how much to add a header to the blog, then there is the question of adding all those “thingies” on the side, and putting images in posts, adding AdSense in posts and on the side or in the footer and then make these colors like this site and the links to that site and put these flowers over here and these doggie images over there. Then there is adding Flash, pop-up opt-ins, videos, different background colors and images and on and on and on… WAIT! Slow down. These are usually people who have no experience with WordPress or blogging and they just want a blog or site that looks perfect. Well guess what here is a reality check, if this is a brand new blog those zero or few visitors you will be getting really don’t care what your blog looks like or what fancy “thingies” are on the sidebar. All they and the search engines care about is good original content they want to read and share.
Occasionally I will get contacted by a client whom I setup a WordPress blog for weeks or even months back asking for help getting started. Wanting the header changed and some or even all of the things I ranted about in the above paragraph. But when I check the blog there are no or very little changes made. If I can still login to the dashboard, maybe a post or two is made, but none of the things is done from the many guides and instructions given to them.
Now don’t get me wrong about the look of your WordPress blog, and I understand that you want it to look good to you and pleasing to your visitors. Keep in mind that the theme can be changed without loosing any content or sidebar items. So my first advice is to experiment with different themes, learn the proper use of sidebar items and add some things to the sidebar. But most importantly use the blog to make posts, this will help you get a better understating of how it will look as it gets established with content. And more importantly learning how and using the blog will give you a better idea if you want to even pursue blogging.
Learning The Basics
The whole point is to first learn the basics and how to use WordPress. Decide if you are serious about blogging then make an educated decision to either learn how to or to pay someone to customize the look of your WordPress blog. I almost always will give a client or potential client a similar response when asked for a custom theme. I can usually tell by the questions that they know very little about WordPress, and while I could just give them what they want and charge them for it I would rather give them the time to decide after spending some time learning more about WordPress.
What to Do?
So what do you do with a new WordPress blog? First learn how to properly use it, decide if you want to keep it and then learn how to or pay someone to tweak it. The look can evolve over time and not everything needs to be done at once. As you learn more and gain experience, what you thought was cool at first may not seen so later, and what seemed so hard to do might be easily done on your own. Remember the look is really for you, the content is what really matters to everyone else.