11 Tips for Making Your Custom WordPress Themes Better

If you have a WordPress blog or website, you know the importance of having a theme that is relevant to your subject matter. Custom WordPress themes are a great way to brand your blog and website so customers and clients can know what you can provide for them without investing too much of their time reading your articles. Of course, an attractive customized WordPress theme will be more likely to hold their attention so they will want to peruse the articles and information on your website so it is a good idea to make your custom WordPress theme all that it can be. Here are some tips to help you do exactly that.

One way to improve on your existing custom WordPress theme is to use shorthand CSS in your codes and stylesheet. By using shorthand CSS, you can reduce the size of the file that loads whenever a web surfer clicks on your site. Normally, CSS files in WordPress are huge and visitors can often get frustrated waiting for the page to load as a result of the massive codes. In addition, this helps to optimize your WordPress site. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but every little bit counts! Of course, you would need to have some knowledge and experience in working with CSS coder in order to use the shorthand version of the code.

Making your theme secure is another way to improve upon your existing custom WordPress theme. If you don’t secure your theme, a malicious user could figure out what version of WordPress you are using and hack into your account to attack it. You can secure your custom WordPress theme by doing two things. First, g to the header.php on your theme’s file and look for a line that looks like the following:

<meta name=”generator” content=”WordPress <?php bloginfo (‘version’); ?>” />

If you see this line in your custom WordPress theme code, delete it. If you leave it there, it will show what  version of WordPress you are using. Next, to make sure that the code will not show up, paste the following code into the theme’s functions.php file:

<?php remove_action (‘wp_head’, ‘wp_generator’); ?>

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is another way to improve your custom WordPress theme. Creating an effective blog to generate traffic for your website involves implementing SEO tactics that are proven to work. SEO is such an important aspect of any successful website that many custom WordPress themes revolve around the idea of keywords.

Since security is so important to a custom WordPress theme, another way to secure your theme is to restrict access to the administrative area of the site to only your IP address. You can do this help prevent outsiders from hacking into your WordPress account. However, it is never completely safe. The more steps you take to prevent any malicious activity, though, the more secure your custom WordPress theme is going to be.

Speaking of access restriction, you should also choose a difficult password that is nearly impossible to guess. Instead of making the password your name, birthday or some other easy to guess password, make it a phrase of words from one of your favorite songs. Do you enjoy listening to Bob Dylan? Choose one of your favorite songs from him and pick out a phrase that you will remember. Or, if you want it to be extra secure, just make the password from the first letter of each word in that phrase. So if you “Your Song” by Elton John and you choose the lyrics “You can tell everybody this is your song,” your password could be YCTETIYS by using the first letter of each word in that phrase. Who’s going to guess that password?

Adding thumbnails to your WordPress site will help make it look more attractive to visitors. You don’t necessarily have to stick with the 150×150 size of the thumbnails. Experiment with sizes to find a design that is more suitable for your particular custom WordPress theme. There are ways to add more thumbnails if your theme does not support them.

Themekit for WordPress Plugin is another way to spice up your custom WordPress themes. This plugin allows you to use a variety of different fonts offered by Google and you have access to radio buttons, checkboxes and much more. You can add a touch of style to your custom WordPress themes by using this popular plugin.

Keep your custom WordPress theme simple, too. When you start your website or your blog, you may be tempted to add as much as you can to your page. But this can overwhelm visitors and make them click away from your site in a matter of seconds. Too many photos, links and videos can be confusing and people simple won’t want to look at your page for more than just a few seconds. Don’t load up your WordPress theme with social bookmarking icons and things like that either. Visitors are bombarded with these every day and they typically ignore them as a result. These icons will only clutter your theme and make it look amateurish and unprofessional.

Pay attention to the colors of your custom WordPress themes, too. The color of your theme should say a little something about your website. For instance, a white background on your themes could elicit a sense of sterility. Blue and green shades tend to be masculine colors while red and pink are considered to be more feminine. If you use black, your website may be viewed as dark or aggressive. When you are considering a custom WordPress theme, it is more about what “looks good.” You should choose colors that are going to appeal to your target demographic so they will spend time on your website and surf around it for awhile.

Finally, when working to improve your custom WordPress themes, keep the movement on your site to a minimum. It might be fun watching a little bunny run across the screen when your site loads or some other movement like that, but it will turn off your visitors. In addition to that, it can take a long time for your page to load and it can eat up a bunch of memory. You only have a coupe seconds to grab a visitor’s attention so if it takes more than that for your page to load, your visitors are going to look elsewhere.

Improving your custom WordPress themes is a great way to attract new customers and visitors. You are never completely “done” with your theme because things change and you can always make it better. These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your custom WordPress theme and help increase the traffic to your website.

For more information or to get started on a new custom theme from 314media, contact us today.