How to Use WordPress Themes and Plugins to Bring Your Blog to Life

Have you started a blog with WordPress? Do you want to know how to take your blog to the next level, to get it noticed and make it stand out? If so, read on.

WordPress is a powerful platform allowing flexibility and creativity in almost every area. There are thousands of free and paid themes and plugins that can create a completely unique experience for your site’s visitors. The sky is the limit, and sometimes that can be confusing to new bloggers. Taking a few minutes to think about your blog and how you want it to grow can help you make good choices.

Analyzing Your Needs

What type of blog do you plan to build? Is it going to be a hip, trendy magazine, a minimalist blog featuring your thoughts and creative writing, or is your blog going to feature products or services you’re selling? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create…cheerful, Goth/punk, high tech? Do you plan to feature a lot of photos or videos on your blog?

Choosing a Theme and Layout

The answers to the questions above will help you choose a theme and layout. For example, if you rent an apartment in Manhattan, and you plan to post photos from your busy night life, you’ll need a theme with plenty of room for photos and videos. A flexible width or magazine style theme would be an excellent choice in this case because it lets text and photos flow together smoothly.

On the other hand, you might want something more serene if you’re building a blog to feature your poetry. In this case, you might want a one column layout in cool colors that invite visitors to stay and read for awhile. Blue, green, or a soft shade of rose might work well with this kind of blog.

While previewing themes, keep in mind that most people glance at the top left corner or fourth of your page first, and that’s what they will use to decide whether to keep reading or surf away to another web page. Make sure the content in the top left corner is interesting and that it encourages the reader to venture further into the site.

Choosing Plugins

There are many powerful plugins available for WordPress. Using a search engine optimization plugin can help bring traffic to your blog by formatting things like page titles in a way that appeals to Google and Bing. . It takes a little time to learn to use this type of plugin, and the investment is worthwhile over time.

The WordPress developers have made an excellent, free package of plugins called Jetpack that can add classy touches to your site. It can let you easily create photo galleries, add share buttons to your posts, post your blog entries to Facebook and Twitter, and post videos on your pages. It can also make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your new posts by email. Combined with the right theme, you can have a fun, feature rich blog going in just a few minutes.