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. Laughing out loud, I thought you were commenting and talking to me when I say your post in my feed! I’m a newbie and I have change theme three times already as I feel they weren’t quite giving the functionality and experience I want for my followers, just did a make over, please do visit and let me know what you. Great and on time post

  2. Being new to the blogging world, I was happy to just have everything working! Your feedback and knowledge is impressive! Any suggestions you have would be welcomed! ☺️

  3. Nice post 😊…Thank you so much for sharing!
    Its been a month I was thinking to upgrade my blog to self hosted and change the theme to neat and clean one!!! Really confused to go further! It would be great if you can advice and suggestion me from your perspective! ☺️

    • Thank you, Nadira. I don’t think I have a straight answer to your question. It depends on your needs and the benefits you’re expecting. If you can get most of your needs on WordPress.com, there might be no real adding for moving to WordPress.org (self hosted WP). Self hosted WP requires extra efforts and costs… You may refer to my other post (https://mohamadkarbi.com/back-to-wordpress/) and its comments.

      • What I observe, who used this Web hosting services, we the common reader can’t see the comment on the reader. You have to go the website itself, login and than do the comment. Which is really annoying.

        In some cases, I have observed that some of images didn’t download at my end properly.

        However, those who are using like me normal WordPress are going smoothly.

        So in small opinion, those who don’t have big follower based, should remain like this.

        Plus I have read in many post, it’s painful experiences in terms of losing comments and likes, however, their might be a solution. But it’s a lot of pain.

      • Thank you so much for your opinion and suggestion! ☺️. I thought of moving when i read somewhere that its good to move early stage than later! But some were giving negative opinion…
        I enjoy being in this community and every single like, comment or view is so encouraging to move further!
        Thanks again 😊

      • The decision is based on are you opting for business later on or not?

        Personally if I don’t have big active following base, than I am into business model. Than I would spend time in making my follower base. Since what is required WP already has it, unless there is some expect I am not aware off.

        I am giving this opinion as a laymen. An expert can better give an insight. The above suggestion is based on what I have observed and read in numerous places.

      • There are pro and cons of it. Just Google and seek view in different platform about it, so that you know the pro and cons. And take the wise decision, also the cost and time factor.

        I was reading somewhere, the hosting charges and other offers, they say 4 dollar per month let’s suppose. But this amount, is applicable of you make the payment for 2 years. Same is the case for other things, keep in mind.

        How serious you want to take the initiative, how much time and efforts you can give, what areas you might be needing support, what are the cost etc.

        Plan first than jump.

  4. I have only changed my theme once so far. I started off with a pretty serious, professional looking theme, but recently changed it to something that looks a bit more lively and shows off my personality a bit more. I love my new theme and don’t think I’ll change now.

    • When you follow a WordPress site, you receive updates in two places: WordPress timeline and email inbox. Email notifications can be stopped in settings under managing the followed sites. So, are you talking about email notifications here?
      In recent updates, WordPress merged updates on timeline. So, I’m not sure if it was merged for my site on timeline because 3 posts were posted here in the last 3 days.
      And you’re welcome of course. It’s community the best thing here…

      • Thanks for your explanation, I guess you haven’t posted with that frequency probably due to this.

        Yes it’s a wonderful community, I am liking it more than other SM

      • I use mobile majority of time, more convenient and effective. Sitting on laptop is a bit difficult.

        Although I type fast, the only advantage of desktop, you can open multiple windows, like yesterday when I was updating the award post. I do need desktop, it’s difficult from mobile.

        But generally, mobile is best

    • Thank you my brother. It depends on your needs. There are basic settings for each theme that can be modified easily. Personally, on the themes that I’ve tested, I found that it’s better to keep the default settings un-touched as much as possible. But, it isn’t an important thing after all. For advanced customizing, usually people do it to adjust colors or positions of some parts… The question is: Does it worth the extra cost? In my case, I have this design (blue banner and grey/white tiles) since long time ago on my old platform. So, I thought it’s better to keep it on WordPress too.
      Thanks to WordPress.com for making life very easy with their good themes

      • I agree with your concensus, don’t make changes to default settings.

        In my last theme, I tried to change the color, ending up kicking myself.

        If you don’t like it, better change the theme. I like this theme since it has more options plus it’s good for beginners

  5. First, many thanks for the ‘likes’ on my posts Mohamad. As often the case, they sent me off in different directions through you and so I found new ‘friends’. I’ve never changed the theme I first chose for my blog since I set it up almost nine years ago. It, ‘connections’, has proved perfect for my purposes. I do usually change the text font as, having worked a lot with people with sight problems, I know the default would not be easy for them to read and is too small. Other than that, the only ‘extra’ is paying for the domain ‘grumpytyke’ to protect that and give a very simple URL.

    • I enjoy reading your posts. They deserve likes and more. Thank you for sharing the details. That’s the point in the verity of the themes; to choose the one that you’re comfortable with.


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