Hi everyone! To the new visitors on my blog, welcome! To the returning friends, welcome back!
You’ve probably noticed I changed my blog theme … again. For those of you that didn’t read my New Theme and Life Updates post, I changed my original Pipdig theme to something different that I wasn’t particularly satisfied with. It looked really clean, but it lacked some features I was thinking or hoping it had. Unfortunately, most themes are non-refundable so I wasn’t too happy about wasting that bit of money. Thankfully the price tag for it wasn’t much, so I didn’t regret my decision too much.
With that said, I had been looking for a new theme since then. It was only until this week when I finally saw one I truly liked and fell in love with the same way I did before with my Pipdig theme.
Since it’s still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share with you some things you might want to consider when buying a blog theme so you don’t end up buying the wrong one!
The Basic Necessities
It’s so important to think of and remember what your blog is about. What kind of a blog is it, and what kind of vibe do you want to give to your visitors? Your vision and what you hope to achieve with your site can affect or limit what you end up looking at, in terms of possible theme options. Decide early on what your deal-breaker items are – what you NEED to have in a theme, and what things are less important, but are maybe something you’d like to have.
Make sure to play around with the live demo! It’s so easy to get swept up by all the bells and whistles and how cohesive and put-together the demo is. I admit I did that a lot when looking at stuff, but there’s a lot of features that I actually wouldn’t use, in reality. My blog is not as posh or refined, so I know it’s going to look a bit different, but that’s perfectly okay.
I was so spoiled by how versatile my Pipdig theme was and I thought every other blog theme was like them. Wrong. Some sites only let you place your logo off to the side, some themes will let you display full-width banners and/or sliders. Some themes will let you easily change the fonts of your site, whereas some don’t make it as easy and you instead have to install a separate plugin just for that. These are only a few examples of what I encountered, but they’re all important things to think about!
Most if not all blogs will have this as a feature, but it doesn’t hurt to double check that it, in fact, is SEO optimized.
Is a certain framework required for that blog theme? Upon looking at various themes, I noticed quite a few will only work if you have the Genesis Framework or the Elementor Framework … and not all themes will bundle these together. This means that you have to purchase the framework separately and have it ready to go prior to buying that theme in order for it to work.
No one wants to buy a theme only to find out that customer service and support is poor! You’ll be left on your own to Google things or ask Twitter for help, and that’s just a pain.
Number of Menus
I think most people have two separate menus, but some may have more. As for me, I have two menus – one for my top or main menu, consisting of “Home” and “About” and “Contact”, and a second menu for legal links. Some people choose to have a separate menu just for the Home, About, and Contact, and maybe a Woo Commerce shop or something.
I don’t know about you, but I dislike seeing a bunch of links all lumped in one spot. You’d have to spend a longer time sitting there trying to find the link you want to click on because there’s an overwhelming amount of stuff to read in one section. From my Pipdig theme, I learned that I really prefer having my legal menu at the footer section.
However, not all themes built their site to have a footer menu. Some themes only have one menu section, whereas others may have three menu locations. Take note of where menus can be found in the live demo!
Most Instagram widgets look the same and can let you either place this feature as a strip on the header or footer of your blog, so it’s usually just a matter of whether you want this feature in your site or not. For my site, I found this theme had a bit of a different looking widget in that my IG strip didn’t extend from one end of the site to the other, which I found cute and unique (one of the things that made me want to get this).
My old Pipdig theme had featured, or popular posts only on the sidebar. My new theme offers a separate featured widget right underneath my homepage slider, which is pretty great, immediately offering categories that a reader may be interested in looking into. Some others can let you place these boxes at the very top of your page. Do you think this would be important or something you’d really like for your blog? If not, then either having this present may just add some brownie points.
Landing Pages & Instagram Landing Pages
This is something new I had encountered when looking for a new theme, as my previous two didn’t have a landing page feature built in. Of course, you can always make your own, but the ones that were built in with mine looked cute and were uniform with the colors, links, and widgets that were featured in it. This may not be a must but maybe it makes that theme you’re looking at more attractive?
If in doubt, ASK!
I emailed Eclair Designs, the company of my new theme, like four detailed questions all at once. You probably don’t have that much, or maybe you have even more. The number of questions you have doesn’t matter! It’s much better to make sure you have all your questions answered and to communicate with the seller / company to ensure you’re going to buy something you will love. There are no such things as stupid questions, either. If they tell you that, at least you now know what kind of a company they are.
- Come up with a vision for what you want your blog to look like
- Decide on deal-breaker items and other things that aren’t so important, but you might like to have
- Look into those live demos thoroughly and take note of what features they have that you like
- Ask questions if you’re unsure
I hope this helps you avoid the mistakes I did and find the perfect theme for your blog!
Until then ♡