After my first two websites, when starting the website using the MesoColumn theme, I decided to use one of my 25 free Site Rubix websites and create a test website. I created a couple of pages and a few posts with a paragraph of content and a couple of images each.

I then install the themes of the websites I have and activate the one I wish to try customizations with, whether it be colors, fonts, or plugins, before altering my live website. The last thing I want to do is screw up my live website because of a change.

I am showing the MesoColumn theme again, in the above image, as it appears in the WordPress theme selection page so you can see its default colors, font and formatting. Because of the many customizations it has, I transformed it into what you see below.

I know that the colors blue and green are more calming and inviting than the colors red and orange. Seeing how MesoColumn uses these non-calming colors by default I wanted to change the look to give a better user experience.

Not long ago I had a background image of a blue sky with white clouds. But when optimizing my website for faster speeds I had to get rid of it and use a plain light blue background. That change increased my home page speed score from 89 to 97.

Though both of those numbers are great, within the green light indicators, I still opted for the change to help increase the pages and post scores that fell into the lower yellow and sometimes red light indicator ranges.

FINAL NOTES

When knowing how to choose a WordPress theme for your website, remember that a simple theme is sometimes the best option, especially if it offers many customization options like MesoColumn.

Always look not just at the selection screen and what the theme will look like once content is added. Always check out the Demo and Details screens. When you find a theme you like but have not made a decision on yet, save it to your Favorites List to decide later.

If you have a website already and are looking to start a new one or customize the one you have, create a test website using one of your free Site Rubix websites and test your changes there. To learn more about using a test website, see my training at the below link.

Why You Should Create a WordPress Test Website...

To learn about ways to make your website pages and posts more visually appealing, click the link to my training below. In that training I offer visual examples and links to a couple of custom text, graphs and chart resources.

How to Make Your Content More Visually Appealing...

If you liked this training please show your love and click the Green Like This button below. If you have any questions on what I discussed here in this training or any comments, please leave them below and I will be happy to respond.



Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Dhind1 Premium
Thank you for taking the time to do this. I have struggled through finding the right theme. Eventually I used the search box on the theme page and searched for my niche theme. This gave me results that were tailored to my niche. However, I did not check the details tab. I will do this in the future.
Reply
boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. It is always important to check both the Demo page to see the default formatting of the theme and the Details page to see the capability options.
Reply
gartnerf Premium
Good advise, especially using one of your free siterubix sites for a test or development platform. That's the way I design and test my sites until I get it the way I want/need.

The one thing I would add is checking the compatibility of the theme with the current Wordpress version. If someone isn't updating their theme to keep pace with Wordpress changes you may have glitches or problems with WP operations and possible plug-in conflicts.

Thanks for the info!
Reply
boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome and yes I agree, using a test website is also good to test themes against latest WordPress updates. A test website is a smart approach to website development in my opinion.
Reply
JeanLouis87 Premium
To: boomergp08
JeanLouis87
Hi Robert: Very interesting. I bow to your themes expertise.

I just changed my website theme to one that looked good, then discovered (as I had with the one I just dumped) that the large mountain scene I thought was an integral part of it, was not included! So all I got was a band of one colour across the top!!

Decided I would later add images. I then found that they shoved all
my menu scattered across the top...looks ghastly! I cannot find in
the menu customization how to get it all out of there and do it down the right hand side. Any ideas you could give me, please?

One other question...Since every one of my 16 posts will be listed in my menu, do I need to spread them across 3 or 4 pages? Makes no difference to the reader as far as I can see, right?

John aka JeanLouis87
Reply
boomergp08 Premium
John,

This is the main reason why I highly recommend members create a test website, so they can see how making theme changes will look before they make them to their live websites.

As I stated in this tutorial, it is important to remember that the themes you see on the selection screen are what they could look like with images that you will add.

To see an example of what your website will look like when first starting out, make sure to click the Demo link under the theme. The majority of themes do not come with the images you see.

To add your own images you will have to go into the theme's customization section and look for how to add/edit the Header Image. Most themes are different so you will have to experiment with changes.

Again, themes are different in how they display pages and posts. Personally I am not sure by what you mean by having your posts in your menu. There is no right or wrong. It's all personal choice.
Reply
JeanLouis87 Premium
Hi Robert: Very interesting. I bow to your themes expertise.

I just changed my website theme to one that looked good, then discovered (as I had with the one I just dumped) that the large mountain scene I thought was an integral part of it, was not included! So all I got was a band of one colour across the top!!

Decided I would later add images. I then found that they shoved all
my menu scattered across the top...looks ghastly! I cannot find in
the menu customization how to get it all out of there and do it down the right hand side. Any ideas you could give me, please?

One other question...Since every one of my 16 posts will be listed in my menu, do I need to spread them across 3 or 4 pages? Makes no difference to the reader as far as I can see, right?
John aka jeanlouis87
Reply
MozMary Premium
great training Robert, but I've had the 'new policeman' come in and tell me to remove my links from my blogs to my wa training, it will be interesting to see if 'he' comes in and does it to you here :D

oh yes, with a threat to report you as spam otherwise!
Reply
boomergp08 Premium
LMAO!!

Who ever this new spam policeman is, they are not too smart if they think sharing internal links to our own training tutorials are spam.

If it were true then Kyle and Carson have violated the spam rule and all of my training blogs and tutorials would have been flagged years ago.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing "internal WA links" within our tutorials and blog posts. The links we are not to share are outside links to our websites.
Reply
MozMary Premium
yeah, an ambassador!
Reply
boomergp08 Premium
Perhaps this Ambassador should use some common sense about what kinds of links are allowed and which ones are not.

Look at it this way. It is an SEO fact that internal links help to increase the SEO of a website.

Here at WA we share internal links all the time in blogs, tutorials, comments and live chat, to help further educate members.

Why would the sharing of these internal links be considered spam when they are INTERNAL? Plus it is encouraged by Kyle.

All members, even Ambassadors, need to be more careful in what they claim is true before sharing with the community.
Reply
MozMary Premium
yes, it is a no-brainer

also entering our PM box with demands is actually against the rules for members, even if he was right, which clearly he wasn't in my case and a no-brainer for morale and keeping referrals on the platform too
Reply
Top