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:
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?