Have you ever had your breath taken away when you looked at a Theme for a Website? You are in awe, and you can say the Theme is awesome, and this is not an exaggeration. The journey to find the right Theme isn’t a smooth one. Once upon a time… a few years ago, I found a gorgeous WordPress Theme but couldn’t operate it. It was slow going. Video tutorial after video tutorial. At the end of a year, I had to upgrade to another Theme. Why?
Advertisers promote products, but users are the judge of the product.
No one takes advantage of you when you know. It’s when you don’t know that someone can take advantage of you. There are those who will openly and shamelessly tell you, you must have something when you don’t need it. The choice of your Website Theme is the most important decision affecting your presence on the Web.
Based on my experience since 2006, here’s what I learned.
Step #1 Never be “SOLD” by anyone about anything
The key to not being “sold” on something is to be informed about what you’re buying and using. Before you buy, do the research. Today your choice of Theme is harder, every Theme you look at is better than the last one. Your Theme choice depends on how much you know about how the Web works.
The Web is a system of links connecting computers through the network of the Internet. The concept of the World Wide Web was the ingenuity of British physicist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. His invention of a hypertext markup language (HTML) browser, which he called WorldWideWeb, gave everyone access to the Internet from a personal computer.
Now we use the World Wide Web, and click on links through this hyperlink system to web pages, landing pages, squeeze pages, and all sorts of tips and tricks to sell you something. Everyday technology offers up something new and easier. The Web at first was a novelty, now it’s serious business, and the message tone has changed.
Easy step advertising leads us to believe using software systems is easy. It isn’t. If it is so easy, why are there so many tutorials necessary to teach you how to use the software?
The truth is, there is a learning curve using the system of links, as you cruise around the Web, and manage your website.
There is no such thing as “everything is done for you so you don’t have to do anything.” Whoever says this is trying to coax you into easy thinking. This is the opposite way the Web works. The Web is an abstract concept. It is a “placeholder” of information overlayed onto an inter-relational database of connections, the network. You have to know how the system works. The front end message about the Theme will only give brief details.
Remember, deals will always come and go. Discount prices are cheap. You can get a special deal, but only if you’re ready. Take your time making a decision about your Theme. Nothing will happen if there’s a limited time for the sale price, or the offer is ending at midnight.
The funny thing about sale prices, they always come back around again.
Rely on your own intelligence to figure something out. We aren’t all that dumb. Something worthwhile will add to your existing knowledge, but it should never diminish you for not knowing. There are no three easy steps to having a website. Or worse; build a website in under 60 seconds.
Step #2 Rules for Purchasing a Theme
Never pay too much. This depends on the Website and the company needing the Website. Remember, don’t be at the mercy of technology. All Websites are built with software. The software shouldn’t be so difficult you have to have someone do it for you. You’re the owner of your Website, you should know how to operate the site.
Never pay too little. We value things in terms of the amount of money something costs. We are bottom feeders and want everything at the cheapest price. Cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality. Someone might not ask a higher price because they understand not everyone can afford a higher price.
Never for free. The selling of “free” is the worst knee jerk of all. It’s the crumb mentality to get you into the sales funnel. Free means restricted use, or use it for a while, and then decide if you want to upgrade.
There’s nothing wrong with paying for a good service, but don’t get tricked into use now pay later. Know what the service provides. Do the research first. Move past the sales talk and get to the bottom line. How much does it cost? The most important question to ask is this; can you afford it?
Step #3 What if you need to know by yesterday?
Get rid of this mentality. Anyone who expects you to learn how WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or any software works quickly, is clueless about technology. Nothing is simple, quick, and easy. In fact, the very thing advertised as, “saves you time and money,” flies in the face of the time it takes to produce the quality of the asking price.
“Grab” a Theme, it’s free, this becomes an expensive repair.
You still don’t know how the Theme operates. Technology has a definite learning curve. Web interaction is raw and in your face. Anyone can say anything on the Web. You’re not vulnerable if you don’t let someone push you into using software because it’s easy, or free. The free give away Theme might be a good deal, but you still have to know how the Theme operates.
My preference for a website software is WordPress. I started using WordPress in 2006, because I found the software was self-explanatory and the WordPress Theme I was using wasn’t complex. That was ten years ago, today’s Themes aren’t as minimilist as advertised. It’s now essential to use social integration and data analysis to help you “engage” with visitors to your website.
Step #4 WordPress Themes
WordPress website software was developed by Matt Mullenweg and David Little in 2003. As of February 2016, WordPress is used by 59.1% of all Websites. The software is built by developers who volunteer their expertise and write the core code. WordPress is the framework upon which a Theme is built. Engineers, designers, and developers love what they do, and for me, it shows up in WordPress.
Theme builders and WordPress core developers are sometimes at odds with each other. This is part of the technology equation. Code, the hypertext markup language (HTML) isn’t perfect. Anytime you have something built by a group of people, you’ll have differences of opinions.
A problem develops if your Theme cannot be updated to keep pace with WordPress. Another problem, most Themes have a limited user license. This means you have to update the current Theme, or find a new one.
If you can find a company that doesn’t limit your use of their themes, gives you excellent tech support as an individual, a developer, and a designer, then you’re with the right company.
Step #5 The company that built your theme
Life happens people move on and change jobs. Themes are discontinued, the developer quits, or the license on your Theme expires. This is what you don’t want. Now you have to find a new theme. In an ideal world this doesn’t happen right? But in real time, this is exactly what happens.
You want to find a long-term company that updates their themes and comes out with new ones. When there is a consistency of excellent service, you can focus on your business on the web, knowing you’ve always got support.
Whether this is your first Website or an upgrade to an existing site, the problem is the same.
- Resolve it by never being “sold” anything by anyone.
- Follow the rules; never too much, never too little, and never for free.
- Forget the yesterday mentality, no one learns that quickly.
- Whatever software runs your Website, make sure you know how it works.
- How much code do you want to have to know, some or none?
It’s difficult to undo technology when you’re not a developer. Here’s the story of how I solved my website dilemma the day I was truly in awe of a WordPress Theme.
This is why your choice of a Theme matters.