What is the best wordpress theme (and how we design our blog)

by purelytwins

Blog and website design can be complicated.  Everyone wants to put their own personal touch or customization to their site.

From our own experiences with trying different blog designs and templates, designing a site can be frustrating, especially if you aren’t too techie. But today there are a few things we look for in picking the right theme for our blog. We want to make sure the theme is super easy to use, great customer service, good use of whitespace, easy to customize sidebar, header and footer areas and allows for some customization.

What is the best wordpress theme and design for blog layout

*This post contains affiliate links. 

There are always exceptions to any rules. Blog design is no different. You’ll probably find a very successful website that does exactly the opposite of what we do. And that’s ok.

Each site is different. So it makes sense that there are a TON of ways to design your website.

Starting off we used paid DIY kind of themes but realized we spent WAY too much time trying to make it look good.  We found a lot of those DIY templates still too hard to really make our own without the help of a designer or programmer.

We currently use Genesis .We bought it a few months ago and wish we had only bought it sooner to save us some headaches and money (we have spent a lot of money on themes and customized blog help from designers). Genesis has been worth every penny!!

We love Studio Press genesis framework using Foodie Pro theme.

Why we love Genesis:

  • Amazing customer service and support
  • Easy to navigate and do some customization to site
  • Mobile responsive
  • Great selection of themes to pick from

 

How to choose the best wordpress blog design and theme. Studio press genesis framework.

Previous designs we have used for our blog:

ThemeForest – not user friendly and complicated to really make your own. Problems with them is that many are not updated regularly and poor support.

Thesis  – we heard great things about it, liked it at first but still found ourselves spending too much time trying to understand some coding to make our site our own.

Headway –  found it easier than Thesis to customize. We liked the drag and drop feature to design but again felt that it didn’t do exactly what we wanted it to do.

Genesis – what we currently use the foodie pro theme. We found this so far to be the best for the reasons mentioned above and as you saw in the video how easy it really is to add your own look and feel to the template.

In the video above we showed you how we designed our blog layout using the foodie pro theme with Genesis.

Doing your website yourself really can be frustrating easy.

Choosing a free or paid blog theme. Studio press.

Now there are TONS of other companies out there that promote their designs are super easy to create the blog look you desire. Here are a list of some other sites we have come across and wanted to share.  We have no experience with using them so we can’t say for sure if they truly are easy to use or not.

ProPhoto

Strikingly

Moonfruit

Network solutions

Weebly

Square space

Key takeaways:

  • Do your research and make sure you know what each company has to offer with their blog themes
  • Make sure your theme/template has great support in place
  • Just get started with a simple look and you can always add and change as your business/blog grows
  • Don’t overdo things in the sidebars
  • Make sure your site is mobile friendly as more and more people are viewing from their phones
  • Don’t pick too many colors and fancy fonts – stick with 2-3
  • Don’t be afraid of hiring a website designer to help with any specific customization – we used someone off Elance to help with a few things off our site

We hope this has inspired you to take action with your blog or business.

Even though we love doing things ourselves it has been so nice to have a template that makes designing our blog a breeze. We fell in love with StudioPress Genesis framework that we became an affiliate with them. Tip if you are interested in using Genesis Theme framework: If you buy an individual package, you’ll pay for the basic genesis framework and the child theme together. If you decide to buy a different child theme down the road, you do not need to buy the Genesis Theme Framework again.

What are your thoughts on DIY paid and free blog themes? 

What do you look for in a good blog template? 

What is something that you struggle with when it comes to customizing your site or blog?

Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments so we can all help and learn from each other. 

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Thank you!
xo

Missed a past episode? Click here to see all of online business tips.

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10 comments

Cassie May 1, 2015 - 12:52 pm

I have to pay in order to get the theme I want 🙁

Reply
purelytwins May 1, 2015 - 1:15 pm

Yes sometimes you do but we feel it is worth it

Reply
Susan May 1, 2015 - 5:05 pm

I have a blog question regarding comments. Some people choose to moderate comments, and others do not. I know that for your previous blog (Pure 2 Raw) you did not moderate comments, and I also noticed that there were always many more people commenting. For you new blog, you do moderate comments, and it seems like you have very few commenters (particularly in contrast to how many you would get on your old blog). I’m curious (1) why you now moderate your comments and (2) whether you think this moderation leads to a lower number of commenters overall, or if you believe that is due to other factors? In general, I notice that blogs where comments are not moderated seem to have a more engaged group of regular commenters because discussion occurs naturally, so I’m curious as to why you went the other way. Thanks!

Reply
purelytwins May 2, 2015 - 9:48 am

We have the same commenting system as before. We don’t moderate comments, we approve everything expect if it is spam. In regards to the number of comments we get we have to explantation besides that our old blog was a different group of people following us. We don’t know why people don’t comment anymore.

Reply
Susan May 2, 2015 - 10:09 am

But you do moderate comments. I commented yesterday afternoon and, after I hit “post comment”, my comment showed “Your comment is awaiting moderation” at the top. It didn’t show up on your blog until you approved it this morning. I just think that allowing commenters to post WITHOUT you having to approve each comment would probably increase the community aspect of your blog. I’ve noticed, in general, that bloggers who allow posters to comment without manually approving each comment have much higher commenting numbers than those who approve each comment first.

Some of my previous comments were never approved by you, and I’m certainly not a spambot 🙂 so I just assumed that you didn’t agree with my comment and didn’t want to have hard questions or differing points of view on your blog.

Reply
purelytwins May 2, 2015 - 12:24 pm

Most blogs we read do the same – your comment is waiting approval, but we do see your point. We honestly do not recall previous comments from you so we apologize that they are missing.

Reply
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine May 3, 2015 - 7:15 pm

I also started with StudioPress– but luckily went to a Genesis theme shortly after that. It made life so much easier! They really do have great customer service, and the designs start out looking really clean, so with a few tweaks, look polished and customized. I still have a lot of work to get mine where I want it to be– but now it’s about finding the time, not figuring out how.

Reply
purelytwins May 3, 2015 - 7:58 pm

Same here!! There are still things we want to do so you are not alone.

Reply
Real Food with Dana May 4, 2015 - 9:27 pm

Love these tips! I just upgraded to foodie pro on genesis too. It’s amazing! So clean and seamless. Still working on customizing it, but I love all the amazing options it gives you!

Reply
purelytwins May 5, 2015 - 6:41 am

wahoo!! yay it’s the best isn’t 🙂

Reply

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