The focus of your blog isn’t your theme, it’s your user and the content is centered around him. The presentation is crucial though - it can’t be ignored.
I am not talking about colors and design. Think of a theme as a structure to put everything in. A bag to store your website’s content. It’s the car to drive your curated content in. Whether you want a Hatchback or a Sedan - that decision is yours to make.
And it’s not necessary you will always select the theme with most features - you need to know the needs of your blog to select the right theme suitable for you. The traffic of your blog and how actively you update it is what decides everything.
So today, we are looking at what features should a good theme have. We will describe what each of those features which you see on the marketing pages actually mean. We will also see what benefits it provides or the repercussions of not having this feature in a theme. This will help answer many of the questions which a rookie might have. Finally, we will introduce you to some of the most popular themes (on MyThemeShop) with their features and benefits.
Things to look for in a Theme
In this section, we will be looking at a list of essential features.
a. Responsive Design: A website can be accessed from a variety of screen sizes - from smartphones, tablets, or bigger monitors. Your website must scale automatically otherwise else broken user experience will drive visitors (potential customers) away.
If your theme does that job of scaling the display automatically for different display sizes, then it is a fully responsive theme. Then you need not worry about maintaining different websites specific to each site. No extra code, no additional resources to maintain - your theme does everything!
b. Social Sharing: Few of your website’s visitors will come back repeatedly or through google search. When billions of people today consume social media, it makes sense to concentrate your marketing efforts on these platforms.
If your themes have social sharing buttons built-in, you are increasing your reach - automatically, without any additional or heavy plugins.
c. Several Page Styles Built In The Theme: Some webmasters prefer sidebar on the left or right. Different pages might need different layouts too. An about us page, testimonials page, portfolio page - are all some basic page layouts needed by all the websites. Besides the basic layouts, check some extra layouts and cool effects the theme may offer. A good theme will provide layouts for multiple page types. But you might not need all of them. Don’t go for the flashiness - go for the usability!
d. Support and Updates: Post-sales support is what differentiates a good company from others. Most free themes provide basic support but paid themes also provide advanced support forums. These technical support forums have active participation by the developers of the theme, who will help you to solve errors. You can also request features for the theme, and chat with their developers.
e. SEO Optimized Code: This is another of the essential feature. Your theme should follow SEO guidelines and have great loading time. These are the factors used by Google to evaluate how user-friendly the site is. Besides, a fast loading website can be great if you want to deliver advanced and complex user-experience features.
What is MyThemeShop?
MyThemeShop.com gives you a whole bunch of themes - all of them with a great set of features. All of them are clean, professionally coded, and reasonably priced. It is recommended by many pro bloggers.
So here are top 10 best themes from MyThemeShop. At the time of writing this article, price of all themes is fixed at $59. Checkout their features and pricing. We have also put a nifty comparison table for each theme at the end of the list.
Schema claims to be the fastest wordpress theme. It scores 90+ in all major website speed testing tools. At the time of writing this article, Schema theme has ratings 267 ratings and has 5 stars on MyThemeShop.com. Site loading time is a major ranking factor,
Schema was designed keeping in mind a single goal - a fastest loading theme. To achieve the same, developers have audited and optimized each and every line of code. It also claims to have SEO best practices built right into the theme’s code.
Additionally, many of theme’s features usually require an extra plugin. Since with this theme you won’t need them, your website times get boosted naturally. Less plugins means less maintenance, faster and cleanly managed code.
Let’s take a look at the major features it offers.
- Search Engine-Specific Markup: It provides clean code for search engine-specific markup, Basically what this does is, it tells the search engines what each visible section on the blog means. When that happens, your website immediately becomes much more search engine friendly. So services which can easily cost around $3000 or more - are built right into the theme.
- Dedicated Ad Management Panel: Ads are one of the easiest ways to earn money. Schema’s Ad Management Panel lets you insert your code into pre-designated slots so that you don’t need an additional plugin to do that.
- Built-in Review System: This very popular feature has also been added to Schema. It is specially suitable for ecommerce sites and again it reduces the number of plugins.
The objective for building this theme was to increase your social shares, traffic, and revenue. The SociallyViral theme is more suitable for viral blogs which depend largely on social networks for traffic.
Obviously, social sharing is enabled for each post within the theme itself and you won’t additional plugins for that. The theme is designed for engaging user experience. It provides one-click switching between home page layouts and site-wide color schemes. Overall, the theme helps you increase social shares and hence the traffic to your website.
SociallViral Free is the free version theme - a sister theme for SociallyViral. The key differences between SociallyViral and SociallyViral Free are:
- Free version does not have a Theme Options panel
- Free version lacks the option to add a “Subscribe via Email” box
- Free version does not let you add more social share buttons to the Header
- Free version has less number of layouts available
- Free version has overall lower customizability
Some of the key features of SociallyViral theme include:
- Optimized for Adsense - To take advantage of newly generated traffic
- Four different loading effects - To make posts more engaging and give them a fresh look
- Schema theme integration - Just like Schema theme, this theme also improves SEO-friendliness of your website
- Mega Menu - To create a menu with images in the dropdown. Users can take a quick preview of top posts in each category directly in the menu without having to navigate away from their current page.
- Options to choose different menus for each page - To help improve your website’s navigation and enhance the user experience, which is absolutely vital for viral blogs.
- Retina-ready Icons - To display HD icons on devices with Retina display
Other common features in SociallyViral theme:
- Fully responsive theme - no need to maintain different websites for different devices
- Translation ready - Supporting more languages for audience in different countries
- Lazy loading for images (another feature for faster loading speeds)
Support for 600+ Google fonts - Establish and promote your brand’s visual identity.
PointPro is loaded with features for individuals. If you are doing well in your profession as an individual and looking for a theme to help you highlight your specific capabilities, then this is the theme for you.
The goal of designing this theme was to create something that is SEO-ready but not exactly a news site or viral site.
How do you make sure the visitor trusts you? This is the main concern for individuals (or startups, for that matter) who are looking to launch their business online. PointPro theme gives your website a clean, professionally designed look, which helps you stand out against your competitors.
Let’s look at some important features of this theme:
- Drag and Drop to customize sections: Easy to customize the layouts of your page, saves you a lot of time. The customization can be performed by the individual owner and they won’t have to consult an expert for basic changes. Basically, there is no need to learn HTML and CSS in order to customize any theme from MyThemeShop.
- Features section: Highlight your best work through the features section. This will help individuals to bring more attention to their best works.
- Projects section: Individuals like photographers, designers, freelancers, and startups need to highlight their recent projects to showcase their work to visitors and potential clients.
- Team section: Introduce your team and highlight their work in a neatly organized and beautifully presented Team section.
- Custom sidebars: Choose what you want to display in the sidebars. With PointPro theme, you can change the default sidebar content to display featured posts or any specific pages you want. With this feature, you can give a unique look to your site to stand out from the crowd
This theme adds plenty of features for magazine-type websites and makes them SEO-friendly as well. It is perfect for print magazines which are looking to launch an online website of the magazine. It provides 4 different homepage layout along with drag and drop sections for homepage.
All this customization makes the theme extremely popular with magazine-type websites which are heavily focused on images and need variety of layouts for different types of articles.
Some of the distinct features of the website include:
- 4 different homepage layouts with drag / drop sections for customization
- WP Review Pro Compatible - WP Review Pro is plugin for adding reviews in your website. It provides multiple rating systems, user reviews, CSS animated reviews and also helps generate Rich Snippets which are picked by search engines. When visitors see the reviews from your website directly on Google, it helps identify your website as a high authority publisher in your niche and ultimately drives more traffic to it.
- Adsense Optimization - Allows you to place your ads in specific high value slots on the blog. The ad placement is not intrusive so visitors won’t be frustrated. Ultimately, clever placements of ads will help maximise your click-through-rate (CTR) and increase your ad revenue.
- Bounce Rate Optimization - Bounce rate indicates the % of users which visited your website and stayed on your site for larger chunk of time. The lower this rate the better it is for your blog - it means the visitors are interested in your content and there is nothing repellent about your website. Design and visuals in MagXP theme have been optimized to deliver better readability scores and hence, lower your bounce rate.
- Two single post layouts - Better customization for different layouts of content.
This is another magazine-type theme but unlike MagXP the design is customized for content-rich websites, but if your website is more focused on images - it will be better to go for MagXP.
One of the unique features of this theme is the Tabbed Homepage Layout. “Trending” and “Latest” are the two tabs on the homepage of your theme. This is an extremely intuitive design which makes navigation fast and seamless.
If you are a blogger who wants a single theme optimized for blogging for use on multiple websites, then this is the perfect theme for you. “Content is the king” - this statement may not hold true all the time - still content is the center-piece of your blog.
So for bloggers, it is important to have a theme centered around content.
Some of the unique features of Blogging theme are:
- Integrated Facebook comments - You need not install additional plugins to integrate Facebook comments. Users can use this social media profiles to post comments and these comments can be shared on their Facebook timeline as well. Thus, the Blogging theme helps drive more visitors through social media and enhance your blog’s engagement metrics.
- WP Notification Bars compatible - This is a plugin which lets you publish notification bar to the user in the event of a contest, or simply for marketing purposes as well.
- Different menus for different pages - This feature lets you create a more fluid and intuitive navigation experience with customized menus for each different page.
Best is a generic fluid responsive themes that is both SEO-compatible and also loads very fast. It has an integrated review system and optimized for both search engines and advertisers. It is also highly customizable.
This theme creates a carousel of latest posts in the end of each page, which allows users to easily navigate and discover more content. As user engagement goes up, bounce rate goes down.
Also there is an option for enabling the floating navigation menu. visitor won’t have to scroll all the way to the top to see the menu.
Each post can have its own layout. You can then customize each page according to the layout that works for its own content. The Best theme also provides a bunch of pagination display options.
Last but not the least, the home page slider of this theme also supports touch sliding. So, it works on mobile devices same as on the desktop browser.
TruePixel provides an eye-catchy layout for creating mobile-friendly and SEO-ready websites. With its Schema theme integration, you get your pages perfectly structured for search engines.
The unique thing about this theme is the “Viral Layout” option which very few themes provide. This is a special layout in this theme which you can use if you are designing a viral website. This layout will help you get more social shares and traffic and enhances your monetization potential.
One of the most eye-catchy features is a fixed navigational table-of-contents on the left side of your blog posts. As users scroll, the nav bar travels with them so they will have access to quick navigation within the article. Your everyday posts may not need this option. But if you regularly write long form content, then this option is like a boon to your readers.
Also, with TruePixel, you get to design a single page by drag / drop of various elements. Customizing your website could not get easier than this.
A special “Mobile Menu” option lets you design a more compact menu for mobile devices. If you are targeting a user base which mostly uses your website from mobile, then it makes sense to customize your menu for mobile and provide users with easier navigation.
As the name suggests, the theme provides minimal look and feel without any flashy colors. But even without a intensive UI, it highlights content through its layout. The functionality is also kept to the most essential ones.
But make no mistake - the theme comes with 10 powerful widgets that extend the basic functionality with some impressive add-on features.
These widgets provide additional content-related widgets like Recent and Category specific posts and also a subscribe widget. There are also social widgets like FB Like Box, Latest Tweets, and also widgets for ad placements.
It is one of the most popular SEO-ready themes on the market. It provides rich functionality like sticky header, lazy loading, integrated reviews as well as support for Rich Snippets.
When it comes to home page layouts, this is probably the most comprehensive theme - with 9 home page layouts - all flexible. Four pagination styles, unlimited sidebars, unlimited color schemes / backgrounds provide really powerful customization.
For need-based translation, an integrated translation panel is provided which loads only when you enable it. This saves a lot of time while implementing translation.
The Popular and Recent post tabs in this theme are coded using AJAX, meaning the articles are not loaded in the list by default, they get loaded only when user clicks on the tab.
Mythemeshop is a one- stop-solution for all your Premium WordPress Themes requirements. I am using it since I started blogging in 2015. It helped me to give a professional look to all my blogs. I always prefer Mythemeshop themes when someone asks me for a Seo Friendly, lightweight, professional, affordable theme for a wordpress blog.