Back in the fall of 2011, I had recently discovered blogs and was reading them nightly to get my finances on track and get ideas for starting my own business. I had been on a journey at that point to get out of debt and get my finances straightened out for a few years already. After reading about how blogging is a great way to build an online platform that you can use to start or grow a business, I decided to create my own website. The final decision after that was how would I create my site and what software platform would I use for my blog? The answer was WordPress.
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Since that first website I created on December 4, 2011, I’ve been using nothing by WordPress. When I say WordPress, I’m referring to WordPress.org, or the self-hosted version of WordPress, not to be confused with WordPress.com, which is a hosted platform.
Today, I Use the Self-Hosted WordPress Software for Everything
With WordPress.org, the self-hosted version, you can download and install the software on your own server, which gives you full ownership and full control over your site. This is a big advantage over using a hosted service such as WordPress.com or Blogger, where you don’t own your site and you don’t have full control over it. A hosted service is sort of like using Facebook. You get a profile and can use the service for free, but it’s up to them which features your profile (website) has and you don’t own the content.
Because of these reasons, I use WordPress.org for all my sites. The best part about it, other than the points I just listed, is that it’s easy to use. A non-geeky coder such as me can use it and that means you can too. I’ve since learned how to do quite a bit with WordPress and today, people may me hundreds of dollars to create sites for them or help them with their sites.
How to Find and Choose a Great Looking WordPress Template
For years, I stumbled from WordPress template to WordPress template, trying out different ones to see what worked the best for me. I first tried a premium theme from ThemeForest. Next, I went with a simpler, cleaner look and purchased a Solostream theme called WP-Clear, which I still use today on my personal blog. The Solostream theme worked pretty great with responsive technology for mobile devices and a whole bunch of tools for customization.
But then I needed to get serious when creating my Mathias Media site (this site). I needed something modern and attractive. A good friend of mine Andrea Whitmer, owner of Nuts and Bolts Media, told me that she used nothing other than StudioPress Themes with the Genesis Framework. I had no idea what a framework even was or what a child theme was, but Andrea said Genesis had search engine optimization built in, responsive design built in and there was many extremely well designed themes to go along with it available from StudioPress.
Mathias Media Uses the Agency Pro Theme from StudioPress
So, I took a look and decided upon the Agency Pro theme from Studiopress. It looked attractive and modern and it seemed to fit the brand I wanted to create for helping small business owners create a polished web presence. After a day or two of customization and finding and purchasing a high resolution stock image to go with the theme, I ended up with a polished site that I fell in love with.
Throughout the past few months, I’ve come to really like the look and feel of the Studiopress themes as I’ve installed them on several of my clients sites since. I installed the Centric Pro on my client’s site ZZZ Sleep Products. I installed the Minimum Pro on my client’s site Steveonomics. I plan to install these themes on many more clients sites in the future as well
All together, I believe installing a nice modern, clean, responsive WordPress theme from Studiopress will help your business polish your web presence without breaking the bank as themes run less than $100, including the Genesis Framework. Right out of the box, they will look great, however, each theme comes with directions on how to customize it to look like the theme demo looks. *Note, is there is a stock image used in the demo, it will NOT be included in the purchase of the theme. You will need to go to a stock photo seller, such as iStockPhoto, in order to find and purchase the license for an image to use for your site. I would not recommend using an image without the license to do so as that’s not ethical or legal in most cases. I purchased and used this image to for my site to make it look great! Of course, I did have to do a little color tweaking in Photoshop, but that’s a whole other post by itself.
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