Starting with WordPress 2.8, users will be able to install WordPress themes out of the official repository with one click. This may sound nice but why limit your chances of styling your blog in a unique and individual way?
- The WordPress theme directory isn’t very big compared to the millions of users. There are about 800 themes for about 15 million WordPress users worldwide. This is about 18,750 users per theme. Hardly unique.
- I willingly admit, there are some excellent free themes in the directory, but they are downloaded 10,000 or more times a week. Excellent, but off-the-shelf. Do you want your blog to look like your neighbor’s?
- The vast majority of WordPress themes in the directory are variations of the two default WordPress themes without additional options, functions and styles. Often, they are the first exercises of web design novices, which explains the poor quality of many themes.
- Users who start with WordPress and don’t know anything but the built-in theme installer might not realize that there is a whole universe of themes outside of wordpress.org. From the beginning they will be limited. I actually don’t think that’s the intention of the WordPress guys.
These are just some reasons why you should consider looking beyond your WordPress backend for themes. I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes. It’s good that thousands of people contribute to open source software. But the fact remains: the themes out of the default WordPress theme installer will limit your chances of finding the perfect theme for your blog.
Go looking for websites that offer or distribute WordPress themes. You will be pleasantly surprised. There are thousands of free themes for any imaginable topic.
Premium themes are quite unique and special. They are downloaded much less often than free themes, better supported and the designer offers customization.
Custom Themes are made for you and only you, according to what you want. You pay a web designer to program your theme. This is the most expensive option, but it’s also the only way to ensure you’re getting a truly unique blog theme.
I recommend Premium Themes: you’ll be one of a few people who use a theme, themes are affordable and you can ask the designer for help.
GOOD NEWS: The new theme installer also has a THEME UPLOAD FUNCTION. Here’s how to upload themes other than the ones out of the WordPress directory (starting with WordPress 2.8):
- First, download the theme to your PC. It is a compressed directory.
- Upload your theme directory (ZIP-file) by using the new THEME UPLOADER
- You can now directly preview and activate your uploaded theme.
- That’s it. Edit your theme using the WordPress Editor, or just enjoy the theme as it is.
Questions? Just leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out.