The Perfect WordPress Theme

Creating an exceptional online presence requires an enormous amount of specialized knowledge. A blog is only as usable and useful as the template it is built upon. I have been doing research, thinking about, and reading up on better blog design. While some bloggers do learn to make WordPress themes do you really want to invest that much time in something you only really have to do once?

I’ve visited hundreds of blogs in the past few days making notes on what I like about each one – and equally important what I don’t like. This exercise is highly recommended for anyone who will be creating a new site – especially if you’re going to hire someone to design it for you. If you are not clear on exactly what you want, how will your poor designer ever please you? You don’t want to be a clueless client.

First I stopped in on all the most influential Internet Marketing bloggers because they use the most cutting edge plug-ins, usually know Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and use Social Networking heavily. Their blogs are useful for deciding what to put in the sidebar – and when there is just TOO much there.

Would you believe I visited every one of the sites mentioned in Top 50+ Graphic Design Blogs? Who is more likely to have a beautiful blog design than a designer? Although I am graphics challenged, I have a lot of expertise in usability and Best Web Site Design so I was checking for specific layouts as well as design.

Surprisingly, it turns out I also have some very specific ideas about design.

I did not find that perfect design yet – much less one with sporting all the features I want to use. What about the blogs that receive the Best Blog Design Award? That could be the way to find the perfect layout to share with my Web Designer. Fortunately I didn’t have to visit all of them as the thumbnail images allowed me to pick out those that had the right general design. Although that seemed like a good idea I quickly abandoned it as too time-consuming and non-productive.

My quest for The Perfect WordPress Theme (for me) continues. Come along as I define precisely what that perfect WordPress site would look like:

Perfect WordPress Theme Design Part 1: Backgrounds, Style, Number of Columns

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. I just like these themes listed on


  2. Okay, I have to say that the information here is very interesting, but I was really shocked to find out that you have visited hundreds of blogs in a matter of days and did what you did. I don’t think I could do that (at least not in a few days..) so well done being so determined.
    photoshop would love you to read ..4 Party Photoshop BrushesMy Profile


    I think many sites over do. It is too overwhelming on the eyes. It will cost you visitors and readers

  4. “Creating an exceptional online presence requires an enormous amount of specialized knowledge. ” especially when it comes to developing themes, not your ordinary programming

  5. @Des Walsh I have an enormous number of notes, links, and examples which I had expected to turn into more in this series long before now.

    The bottom line of what I have learned is that Thesis is an excellent choice because they already know what makes a great Theme and they support it so if upgrades at WP or to plugins cause issues they will be promptly resolved.

    Since Thesis can be modified I will eventually post more about the perfect Theme including examples of actual blogs that have common design flaws. If you have any specific questions in the meantime please do ask.

    InternetStrategist’s last blog post..Blog Traffic Up 54.87% in the Last 30 Days: Our Proven Traffic Improvement Strategy

  6. This looks like being a very interesting series. I strongly suspect I’m going to find it challenging, in the sense of shaking up my ideas. I look forward to studying the whole series.

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