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: