WordPress Themes


The most wonderful things about WordPress are its community and the themes. The verity of beautiful themes could seduce us to change every now and then. However, the basic rule is to choose the simplest theme that is suitable for our needs.

  • Simplicity means faster loading (often).
  • Simplicity and suitability make modifications easier/lighter if any.
  • Testing the theme for a while is required to confirm the performance.

Modifying a theme is done through two steps:

First, personalize settings in admin area. I’ve found that it’s better to keep the default settings of a theme for better performance. The site loads the default settings first then reflects the modifications. In most cases, you won’t notice that. However, in a complicated themes this was noticeable for me.

Second, CSS customization (premium users only). This is done in two ways: Building on the existing theme or Starting from scratch (“Don’t use the theme’s original CSS.”). Considering that the browser loads the CSS at last, it’s very important to minify the CSS as much as possible…

Personally, I keep the current design of this site on all themes and platforms. Hence, seeking a different theme on WordPress is for testing purposes or for seeking better features if any. Theoretically speaking, the official themes (i.e., twenty sixteen, fifteen, …) are supposed to be the best as they are simple and easy to customize. However, this isn’t true all the time. I haven’t tested all the themes though.

My experience with some themes:

Twenty Twelve (My preferred and the current one)

One of the simplest themes I’ve ever tried. I’m not counting Penscratch theme as I found it ugly without customizing. It’s also not suitable with guest authors. I’ve talked earlier about how I modified the CSS in Twenty Twelve theme to generate this blue/white design you see on this site right now – Please refer to this link.

  • Easy to customize the CSS by building on it.
  • Fast in loading.
  • Very clear in regard to guest authors.
  • It’s old. Thus, some advanced features are not there.
  • It’s for small screens.

Twenty Sixteen (I love it)

  • Bright font.
  • Comments have better navigation links.
  • The link-to-post on the feature picture is handy.
  • The extra social links…
  • Very clear in regard to guest authors and might be better than Twenty Twelve here.
  • It doesn’t have optimized ads at top.
  • It’s for large screens.
  • Studying performance, it’s slower than Twenty Twelve.
  • Very complicated. Thus, it was more slower when I modified it to reflect my deign. Starting from scratch, things were very complicated too.

Recently, I tried the new Twenty Seventeen. I don’t think it’s suitable with a lot of guest authors. It’s also complicated but I’ll choose it for sure if I ever abandoned my current design.

So, what makes you want to change the theme?

53 thoughts on “WordPress Themes”

  1. After two years, I am not confident on how to make simple changes, therefore, I dare not consider starting over. Sometimes, my blog posts paste as double spaced, WT? After several YouTube videos and hours of testing this and that, I am still at a loss. I should mention that I am not a paying blogger, perhaps this is the cause.

    • Cynthia, the colors of your theme & its fonts are awesome. If I’m not mistaken you’re using the old theme of independent-publisher not the latest one. Generally speaking, it supposed to have no problem though. You may try Twenty Seventeen. It’s very similar. Official themes might be more stable. After all, you still able to post the exact problem in the help forum of WordPress.com

      • Thank you, Mohamad, for the compliment about the color scheme. I found a video that solved the problem. If you manipulate the post in HTML than return to visual the spacing is singular. Yeah! BTW I had worled in accounting my entire career.

      • You’re welcome, Cynthia. Glad that things were solved. And it’s very nice to know that you’re into accounting too. I should invite you to post as a guest here in accounting 😉

      • I had returned to college in 2010 to upgrade my degree. Two years of studies, graduating at the top of my class with an A.S. degree in Financial Accountng. Four months later, I was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma and was forced to retire. Such is life.

      • Wow, I’m impressed with the degrees… but… Well, I wish you a swift healing and you get well… Nothing is impossible with prayers and good hearts and it seems you have one. Besides, you’re still able to write and this is good

  2. The first theme that I put to my site is Gateaux. The current one I have on my site is one that I actually purchased and I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t like themes that have posts in their entirety on the home page.

    • Julian, it’s great and wonderful theme. Now, I’ll add it to my cool themes. No problems means it’s a good theme. I used to have a similar design on my ex-forum site. Thank you for sharing…

  3. Helpful article Mohamad,many thanks. I think that when we start blogging, we do not have any specific strategy in choosing the right theme. I am using Baskerville 2, when i chose it ,i just followed my intuition thinking it was right,and i still like it. Since blogging is new for me(five months), I am still testing this theme.
    Many thanks for sharing your experience about twenty twelve and twenty sixteen.I will check them as well.

    • Thank you Albina for your kind words. I came across Baskerville many times and wished to test it but didn’t get a chance yet. As I mentioned, I prefer to modify a theme to reflect my current design which isn’t an easy process. Have you come into problems? Good luck in the blogging world – you have nice posts.

      • Thank you very much for your good words about my posts ! Actually i am mostly using default settings, except of the photo that appears which can easily be changed. Although i have not experienced any problem until now ,i have always been interested to know other blogger’s experience about other themes, because there are many of them and its difficult to know if it is the right choice.

      • In my opinion it is great idea to add such section.It will be of great help for new and experienced bloggers.Theme is the starting point of the blog, and there is always room for changing and taking in consideration various opinions and experiences.

  4. I don’t like changing my theme because it always takes me into a few hours of work to try to get it the way I want and I usually end up going back to what I had to start with.

    • Thank you Joanna for your important note. Yes, I hate that too. I tried many. It takes time. Moreover, some themes deleted my widgets so I had to re-add them again. After all, it’s what you feel comfortable with as all have the core features…


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