Paid Vs Free

Premium WordPress Themes Vs Free WordPress Themes

Before you jump on board with free wordpress themes you’ve found during your search, there’s a few things you need to look out for and actively compare the free wordpress themes with paid premium wordpress themes.

When you first set up a blog with WordPress, you’ll be given a default choice of themes, which are quite boring. There’s no reason why the WordPress team couldn’t include a handful of awesome themes pre-installed, but it’s my opinion that they don’t in order to open the market to designers like iThemes for paid premium wordpress themes and other free wordpress themes.

Developing themes for WordPress can be quite lucrative for web designers and some of the premium wordpress themes deserve fair credit.

Conversely, there are developers from the open source community who live by the philosophy that software should be free. And don’t we love them for it!


Often though – and this applies to everything in life – you get what you pay for. That is, if you pay in peanuts, you might end up with a big lumbering elephant. Instead, we should be looking for a themes equivalent of a sleek cheetah, optimized for speed and to be lightweight in it’s download size.

That’s not to say you can’t find spectacular free wordpress themes. Free wordpress themes are a dime-a-dozen (er.. zero-a-dozen?). Finding the good free themes are actually just as hard finding good premium wordpress themes.

How To Choose The Best WordPress Theme

Even if you only want to get a free wordpress theme, I recommend taking a look at some paid themes as well. This will give you a good idea of the difference in quality and various design techniques to look out for.

What you need to look for are themes with a demo. You shouldn’t have to install themes just to see how it looks. Also, don’t rely on screenshots because you can’t test the functionality or proper layout on your screen.

You really should test a theme before deploying it on your main blog because you could regret it later. Spend a bit of effort making a wise choice to begin with and save yourself time and heartbreak down the track.

Testing WordPress Themes in Demos

If a theme’s author can’t get their own demo right, you certainly can’t trust them to get the theme’s inner code working well enough either.

1. Test All Links

Click on all the menu and navigation links. Click through to articles and make sure they all display as expected. Also make sure the ‘author’ link works – a link on the post author’s name. Often, that page is missing (because it’s technically not essential, but it’s nice to have).

2. Re-size Your Browser

A common web design technique called ‘responsive design’ adjusts certain elements of the theme to re-size as your browser window changes in size. Un-maximize your browser window and make it smaller. Notice if the website elements start shifting around.

Responsive design is recognized as good practice and your theme of choice should get bonus points for being responsive.

3. Load From Mobile

The web is quickly shifting to mobile devices and therefore you can’t just focus on desktop themes. Load the demo on your phone and tablet to see whether it still looks good.

Some themes will load a special mobile-optimized version while others might re-size elements to fit the mobile window, such as with responsive designs.

Free Vs Premium WordPress Themes

There is a common perception that when you pay for something, rather than get it for free, that the paid option would be better quality. With wordpress themes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Premium wordpress themes can still have bugs, performance issues and missing components.

On the other hand, free wordpress themes can be so lightweight and “simple” that they just work, which gives those the upper hand over bloated premium themes.

Your choice of theme comes down to a balance between features and performance. Often, more features slow down a website so think hard about whether you’d need that flashy gallery or fancy menu system.

Where To Get Free WordPress Themes

Instead of just re-hashing what other bloggers have found, here’s a few links to check out: free wordpress themes. best responsive wordpress themes. awesome responsive wordpress themes.

Where To Get Premium WordPress Themes

iThemes have over 130 premium wordpress themes and live demos of each.

iThemes are also the creators of the BackupBuddy plugin which automates backing up your entire wordpress installation to the cloud or sent to your email address.

If you are looking for an easy way to edit your theme of choice, try DIYthemes who provide great looking themes together with powerful layout plugins.

Modifying WordPress Themes To Suit

Often, you’ll find a near-perfect theme that’s missing just one feature or you want the layout to be slightly different. If you don’t know how to code, you could hire a web developer through Elance at very reasonable rates to help you mold your theme to suit your tastes.

Readers, what is your budget for WordPress themes?


14 Facebook Etiquette Mistakes Parents Keep Making

Back in the early days of Facebook, it was considered a real mistake for parents to friend their children and especially their children’s friends. This resulted in the Facebook etiquette phenomenon for kids to limit their profile so the parents could only see certain information.

As Facebook became the most ubiquitous social network with well over a billion users, the younger and older generations grew to share the network equally and understand it’s value as a place for community engagement.

As Facebook matured, so did the user base and those prior limits that kids imposed on their parents are no longer relied upon.

Kids and parents alike now rely on unwritten rules of Facebook etiquette. Most of them are a set of “Don’ts”.

If you are a parent yourself, don’t make these Facebook etiquette mistakes.

Bad Facebook Etiquette

1. Don’t pressure your kids over 18 years old to fully open up their profile to you. Even though they’re your babies, they are now adults who make their own decisions and can expect to reserve some privacy.

Don’t be offended though. Down the track, your kids may loosen up a bit and let you in.

2. Don’t comment on every single picture posted on your kids’ wall or status update. At least you could pretend not to be stalking them.

3. Don’t like every single status update. Liking everything is like the boy who cried wolf. Clicking ‘like’ is not to be used as an acknowledgement that you’ve seen the status. ‘Like’ only if the status is worth liking. Not all are.

4. Do not request to be friends with your children’s friends. It’s creepy and may be stepping over the line.

If that child is under 18 and you have a legitimate reason, you may want to get permission from their parents first before even sending the request.

5. Don’t reveal private arrangements in comments or status updates.

“See you tomorrow at our house at 3” may seem harmless enough, but it’s a general rule not to give burglars a heads up that your kid’s place will be unattended at a certain time. Instead, send such comments in private messages.

6. Don’t tag your kids in embarrassing photos. Actually, don’t upload those pictures at all. Scrutinize every picture and decide whether your kid would be okay with it being online permanently – yes, pictures stay online forever!

7. Don’t be the first to reveal big news of family members. Give them a chance to do it first.

8. Don’t fight with friends of your kids via comments. Sometimes kids will post comments on pictures or statuses that may seem offensive to a parent but are just playful schoolyard banter.

If you are concerned about bullying, ask your child first before jumping into a slanging match.

9. Don’t post vague status updates that can worry your children or designed to generate concern and attention. “Gee, I hope my husband is OK”.

10. Don’t post complaint after complaint. Hey, here’s an idea. Try post something positive, a silver lining, a nugget of gold for the day. Don’t use Facebook to vent all the time.

11. Don’t only post overly lovey-dovey, ‘look how great my life is’, spiritual wisdom type updates.

These have their place in the right context but won’t appeal to everyone and may make your life look a bit fake.

Nobody’s perfect, even those lucky enough to have the perfect life at certain moments. If you’re in that boat, show some humility around your more unfortunate Facebook friends.

12. If someone has deleted a comment you posted on their wall, status or picture, it’s probably for a good reason. Don’t get mad. Think about whether your comment was inappropriate and just let it slide. Take it on the chin.

13. Don’t post too often. A few times a day may be the upper limit for most friends, where others may have a higher tolerance. A general rule: If you have nothing important to say, don’t say anything at all.

14. Don’t share pictures without permission. On Facebook, a user who shares a photo with their friends only (as opposed to publicly) has intentionally limited the reach of that photo. When you come along and share that photo with your own friends, it’s kind of like sharing a private conversation.

The same goes for status updates. It’s not your place to make these things public if it was never intended to be.

If you want to avoid the dreaded ‘unfriend’ situation, take notes from 13 Reasons To Un-Friend On Facebook And In Real Life.

Also read 38 Things Not To Share On Social Networking Sites.


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