Chapter 9. Using Free or Premium Themes


  • Understanding the user experience

  • Finding and implementing free themes

  • Finding and implementing premium themes

  • Exploring Free Theme Frameworks

  • Comparing Premium Theme Frameworks

In WordPress, themes are a major part of the user experience. As with any Web site, the user interface can make or break a site's capability to build traffic, expose content for discovery, and enhance user stickiness.

Finding the balance between these three areas is a somewhat fuzzy, experimental process. Many WordPress users change their themes often. Some do it to experiment to see what works best while others do it to showcase their own design abilities and to try new things. Still others change themes regularly for no other reason than that they are bored.


Stickiness refers to how long readers stay on a site. The longer they stay around and read articles, the higher the site's stickiness. If a blog contains many long-form articles (more than 300 words), the site will have an enhanced stickiness level. If readers click too many pages and read them, this also enhances stickiness.

Understanding the User Experience

Much science (or in some cases, voodoo) goes into creating a good user experience. Experts agree on many principles, but the devil is usually in the details. Many of the practicalities of user experience are subjective or change based on the demographic of a site, or the messaging and branding involved.


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and styling ...

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