The blogging platform, WordPress, has proven itself to be a robust host for an online content management system (CMS), especially with the development of new WordPress themes and plugins. I was skeptical at first, as I was a devout user of Typepad and kept hearing of so many tech troubles that people were having with their WordPress blogs.
However, in the last year, WordPress has exploded as the primary web site design platform. I became convinced to switch all of my sites to WordPress when I saw so many developers creating fee-based themes and plugins for the platform. Now, WordPress can do almost everything except clean your house and cook you breakfast! The number of free themes and free plugins number in the thousands, and the number of fee-based ones are quickly rising to that number, as well.
Since I’ve been creating many, many WordPress sites as of late, I’ve discovered that there are a few themes that I routinely use again and again.
1. Socrates: Originally developed for affiliate marketers, I’ve used this WordPress theme again and again to develop full-fledged web sites that include static pages, squeeze pages, and a blog. The theme offers a built-in header creator, which makes it attractive to those who are graphically-challenged. Tech support for this theme is amazing, and I’ve often asked other WordPress-related questions there and have gotten answers to those, as well. The theme offers flexible layout options, along with a number of page templates. The instructional videos are top-notch, and if you’re looking for a robust workhorse theme, I highly recommend this one.
2. Optimize Press: This is the WordPress theme I come to time and time again to create squeeze pages and product launch sites. The number of options offered here is overwhelming, but once I took the time to begin to review the video training, I was amazed at how easy it was to create a squeeze page and a membership site. One of the unique features it offers is all of the short code options to help you create downloads, testimonials, and guarantees. You have a number of options from which to pick to display on a page, without any heavy lifting involved. If you need to create quick squeeze pages, this is your go-to theme.
3. Profits Theme: I really like the layout and options of this WordPress theme for membership sites. Whether you offer a fixed-term membership, a recurring membership, or just want to create a membership login option for the information products you sell, profits theme readily lets you do all of the above. While Optimize Press also handles membership sites, I find the membership site layout of Profits theme a little more to my liking. Optimize Press and Profits Theme will both serve you well, and there’s not really any need to buy both.
4. Artisteer: This is really a web site design program, rather than a theme. Artisteer lets you create a customized WordPress theme, including header, colors, navigation menu, etc. Once created, you export it as a theme and then import the theme into WordPress. What I don’t like about this program is that once you have imported the theme into WordPress, you don’t have the flexibility of changing the theme colors, header, etc. like you do in other theme programs. Well, actually, you can if you speak CSS stylesheets, which I don’t. Instead, you have to go back to Artisteer, update your theme, and upload it as a differently named theme to WordPress. It offers an amazing number of suggested templates, so I highly recommend this program if you like to change the look and feel of your site often.
5. The Client Machine: This is an amazing theme that incorporates a great portfolio, invoicing system, and proposal system, as well as the ability to add testimonials to the sidebar or footer.. If you’re a freelancer who does any type of project-based work, you may want to check out this theme for your web site. It’s got unique features and functions that make it very easy and fast for freelancers to build a website that attracts leads, captures prospects, and compels visitors to hire them.
Bonus: WP Twin and WP Twin Auto Backup: While not a theme, I think this software is essential if you are maintaining your WordPress blog or regularly create new blog sites. This software has saved my bacon on more than one occasion when I’ve goofed up when updating a site and have blown out the formatting. I simply go into my hosting account and pick up the latest backup of the site, reinstall it, and I’m good to go again. It takes only a few minutes to create a chron job to backup the site on your hosting account, and because it backs up EVERYTHING, including all of your plugins, settings, users, etc., there’s really nothing that has to be reinstalled when you “deploy” the clone of your site. And, if you create sites based on a template them with a defined set of plugins, it’s very handy to create a new duplicate site in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
If you haven’t yet changed your static web site over to a WordPress, now is a great time to do so. With an abundance of themes to choose from, you should have no problem finding a WordPress theme that’s right for you.
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Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.