WordPress for Writers

Looking for the top tips, top tricks, and greatest hints for creating, using, deploying, and managing your websites?  These best of the best WordPress tips will have your writing making money online in no time. However, if you are like most writers, you are a creative person. That means that you are likely to want to look around for yourself and pick your own writers WordPress theme. I understand. Just make sure that you get one of the best WordPress themes for writers.

To help make sure that the WordPress theme you choose meets the specific needs of writers, here is a list of things to look at and notice about any theme before you download it or buy it. This list especially applies to those so-called writers themes that were obviously written by web developers who are much better at HTML code and CSS design than they are at understanding writers.

  1. Run it without JavaScript – Turn off JavaScript in your web browser and look at the theme demo. JavaScript is pretty common and most web users run it without any question. However, there is a growing concern about JavaScript security and performance. One of the most popular Firefox Plugins, NoScript, has the singular purpose of turning JavaScript off on every webpage. Even those users will expect that many quality websites have JavaScript features and that it must be enabled to view the website properly and take advantage of all its features. However, a site that shows up mostly intact is much more likely to get the go ahead to allow JavaScript than one that shows up as a complete mix up of garbage, or worse, not at all. All of those menus and slide shows and so on are cute, but they aren’t worth losing visitors over.
  2. Turn Off The Pictures – Set your browser to not display graphics and then reload the theme demo page. Do you still love it? Most writers will want to change and customize any website graphics (particularly the header graphics) that come with a theme to increase their online branding. However, those flashy header graphics are what grabs your attention. If the layout of the theme doesn’t impress without its flashy top picture, then maybe it isn’t right for your WordPress installation.
  3. Commit to the Graphics – Now, turn those graphics back on and look at them one by one. The header graphics and to a lessor extent, the graphics over columns or other design elements are static. All of those other graphics must be uploaded with every single post you write. All of those thumnails look pretty, but if you aren’t the type to seek, find, crop, and upload a graphic with every post, you’ll want a theme that had less thumbnails, not more. Many themes that look beatiful with a perfectly sized graphic on every post look terrible without them.
  4. Double Graphics – Along the same lines as Number 3, read the documentation or installation notes to understand if you are committing to one graphic or two graphics for every post. Some themes use a “big” picture for a post when it is the featured post, but then use a smaller graphic when it moves on. That means you need to upload 2 pictures, one that is the “featured size” and one that is the “post size”.
  5. Understand the Required Elements – Read the documentation or notes to see what is required to make the theme work. Most of the time, these things will not be listed as requirements, but rather as “advanced features” or plug-ins. What that means is that your theme will not work like the demo unless you also install the right plug-ins or other features. For example, themes that make extensive use of thumbnails often use a script called TimThumb to automatically resize graphics within the theme. (This helps make #4 and to a lessor extent #3 less of a burden). Auto re-sizing graphics is a very nice feature, but it means that script will run ever single time someone visits your page. If you have a webhost stingy with their RAM and processor power like Dreamhost, TimThumb adds overhead on every load. Even worse, popular WordPress host HostGator does not support TimThumb by default. You’ll need to contact tech support and give them a rundown of what you are trying to do to have your account fixed to run TimThumb.

Here is a sample of what is coming.  Grab the Make Money Writing Online Feed to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Coming soon…

  • Top WordPress Theme Features to Avoid
  • Top WordPress Theme Features to Look For
  • Most Important WordPress Functions
  • Most Important WordPress Functions to Avoid

In the meantime, here is an article regarding the so-called empty themes out there that claim to be good WordPress themes for writers.

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