Choosing A New WordPress Theme

I decided to go self hosted with my blog a month or so ago. I talked about it in this post about my blogging goals in fact. I managed it without too much hair-pulling, and there are so many great posts out there about going self hosted that I won’t lumber in with yet another (if you do want a squizz at one check out Island365’s – it was the one I found most helpful and essentially the same path I followed)

One thing I can talk about though, is how I went about choosing my theme. When I started out, I chose the Penscratch free theme, which was basic, but did the job. It was clean and simple, and easy to use – happy days! The decision to migrate to self hosting was largely made because I wanted to be able to do more with the site – mainly start using some sexy plugins! Again, won’t go too deeply into those – Queen Guru Aby of You Baby Me Mummy has this fantastic post on WordPress Plugins which will set you off down the right path.

So! How to choose a WordPress theme! I began by making a list of my favourite-looking blogs, and then by noting down exactly what it was I liked about them. Was it the colours? The fonts? Did they have a slider? What were the sidebars like?

I found myself very much drawn to simple, clean looking blogs with a lot of white space. I don’t like a lot of colour, and I very much dislike adverts and pop ups. If I’m reading a blog and a box pops up asking me to follow your instagram, I’ll likely leave and not come back. So I knew not to have anything I found irritating (though to be fair, most of those are plugin details rather than theme bugs!)

I then started to google “simple, feminine WordPress themes” and found some really good comparison sites – this one was especially helpful. I also made a Pinterest board, and put all my favourites on it so I could look at them side by side and figure out which one I kept getting drawn back to.

I ended up really liking two:

PeppermintThis one was appealing because it’s clean and I like the colour.

This one is appealing for its simplicity, but I wasn’t so keen on the pink!


The thing that decided it between the two in the end was simple – I really loved the header font for the Jasmine theme, and after some online testing of it, I realised I could de-pink it to my hearts content. I have since been really pleased with the support and the online guidance from the makers of the theme as well. You can see their site through the link at the bottom of my blog.

So voila, the way I chose my theme. It’s still not quite right (I’ve recently added the stars to my logo) and I want a different, sharper font, but it’s getting there. What do you think?



Post Comment Love
The Pramshed

37 thoughts on “Choosing A New WordPress Theme

  1. I love your new theme – I think the font is lovely and the simplicity of it is a look I get drawn to as well. I think when the layout is cluttered it makes my brain scream! Maybe that’d the OCD in me haha. I too used Island Living 365’s blog post when I went self-hosted, everything else confused me. Your new website’s looking fab! xx #triballove

    1. Thanks hon. I’m still not sure about the font, I think it’s a bit girly? But then I do aim for funny so prob don’t want something too sharp…any excuse to play!!! 😀

  2. It’s a great theme! And also, well done for going self-hosted and working all that out on your own! I’m really impressed by everyone who does that, it’s very confusing for me

    Lu X #TribalLove

  3. Yaaaay I found you on linky and computer let me in. Computer clearly jealous of your awesome theme. I LOVE it!!! Especially your title – just lush! Also thank you for the comment lovely lady. Now my computer has let me read you I am going to go back and read all your posts. 🙂 #fortheloveofblog

  4. Sarah I think your new theme looks gorgeous! I changed my theme a couple of months ago and just loved playing around with it – really felt like it was my baby – still need to think about self hosting but I’m not rushing into it yet – still relatively new to blogging so still trying to get grips with a whole lot of other stuff at the moment but when I do I’ll be coming to you if you found it so easy! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Emma’s post really helped! It’s a bit scary when your blog disappears but it’s SO much fun playing with it! 😀

  5. Back when I first started blogging (years ago), I was self-hosted. I just can’t be bothered with doing so again for the time being. Blogger works well for my needs.

    I do enjoy using WordPress as a CMS and do miss it at times. There’s so many things you can do with it and there’s plenty of options when it comes to choosing layouts. I like how clean and simple yours is. Always a fan of clean, simple designs.

  6. I love your header. The stars are really cool. I am not ready to go self hosted for a while, its way to scary. I am happy with my new blog header i had done recently. xx


  7. I’m looking for a theme as I’m itching t move over to WP. Big time!

    I really love your suggestion of pinning my favorite templates 🙂

    I like the Jasmine for your blog 🙂

    1. Any excuse for a Pinterest board! It is really good to look at them all side by side though. Good luck when you move! WP is great. X

  8. The theme looks great! I am still not sure on the one I have at the moment, I may have to have another look through and do some research! #fortheloveofblog

  9. Love this and love your theme. I really need and more importantly want to go down the self hosting route and it is at the top of my list of things to do this year! I’ll definitely be checking out the blogs that you’ve recommended to look at – thanks for that. Great post. #PoCoLo

  10. I love your theme Sarah! Thanks for writing this post, it’s really useful for me as I am currently using the Penscratch theme and have also gone self-hosted 5 days ago. I’m now on the hunt for a new blog theme, and like yours I want one that is clean, simple and tidy. I’ve started to look around online, but I’m thinking it’s easier to find blogs I love and go from there – I might just make a Pinterest board too. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. Happy to link – check out angie makes if you like mine there’s a link at the bottom of my page 🙂

  11. It looks great – love the clear look and whitespace – congrats on going self hosted too. It can be nerve-wracking when you make the move can’t it? 🙂 Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  12. I really like the wordpress theme you chose! Its one of the ones I was looking at. I enjoy color though but also simplicity. Totally agree about the pop ups really dont like tjose. Prefer to have things in a nice side bar. Ive also had a good experience with self hosting with them. And I dont think its too girly. #triballove

    1. Thanks Sarah. I like it, but have since seen another one I REALLY like, but I think this one suits my blog better – the other one is super cool monochrome and I don’t think I am a super cool monochrome blogger

  13. Looking good! I love ‘clean’ blogs that aren’t full of colour, it can be quite distracting when there’s too much colour.
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  14. Looking great! I went self hosted from the start, this is a great post to help people find links to get advise. I went in blind!! Will be checking out the plugin link.

  15. Love it! I too love the Jasmine theme. I am working out the logistics, but, I hope to have my site self-hosted in the coming months. It too is a goal of mine. Is the backend hard for non-techies like me?

  16. Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m completely confused .. Any tips? Cheers!

    1. Hi. I’d go for hosted wordpress from the off – complete creative control from the start, like choosing a theme you like!

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