Hello friends! How exciting that another month has come and gone. I’m desperately waiting for Spring, personally 🙂 Or just less snow and warmer weather, but it seems like the Northwest has other plans! Anyway, following up on my last post, I talked about starting my blog and what helped me in the process. If you’re interested in reading that one first, click here.
An important (and fun!) part in setting up your blog is choosing a theme, also known as the way your blog looks/its design. Much like my process for getting started on blogging, I looked at other blogs I admired and saw what they used for their blog design.
To find this, it’s generally located towards the bottom of the page in the form of a link. When you click on the link, it takes you to the graphic designer’s website and gives you information about how to install it. If you’ve looked all over the website and can’t find any mention of a blog design, it’s very likely they either hired a professional designer (usually $300+ for custom design) or designed it themselves (usually pretty rare).
For my personal blog journey, I was looking at blog themes before I even got started. It’s probably the banker side in me but I like to look at all costs associated before I start something. I had paid $25 for the E-book, I had a good idea about the costs of getting a domain and website hosting and thought it was pretty reasonable. But, as I started looking around at the most popular and beautiful themes I was seeing, I panicked a little bit because DANG THAT IS EXPENSIVE.
The popular and honestly the most practical/flexible/easy to use themes on WordPress use Genesis Framework. This alone is $60. That’s not even for any of the cute extras and sleekness you’d find for the actual theme it’s mainly just the background functionality. Most people don’t just use Genesis Framework on their own they also install what’s called a child theme which has all the bells and whistles.
- Parent theme (like Genesis Framework): background functionality and responsive flexibility with different functions
- Child theme: Works in conjunction only with parent theme to provide the design aspect and appearance of website (also known as bells and whistles 😉 )
Most bloggers, especially those who treat their blog like a business, use Genesis Framework ($60) and a Child theme ($75-$125+). Don’t get me wrong they are beautiful websites but I personally couldn’t justify, at this point in my blogging journey, spending $135-185 just for my site appearance on top of the other costs in getting started.
Thinking you have to spend hundreds on dollars to get set up like the pros is a mistake.
So what’s the alternative?
I found my highly responsive WordPress theme that INCLUDED Genesis Framework on Etsy for $30.
They even have ones that are less expensive.
I honestly had to do a double take and read the product description like five times just to make sure I was reading it correctly.
Once you buy it, you receive the Genesis Framework parent theme, the individual child theme, a very helpful step-by-step installation guide PDF file. If you don’t think you can install it yourself, the Etsy site that I used in particular, offers to install it all for you for an additional $15. That made it easier for me to purchase it because I knew if I messed up it wouldn’t be a total waste of a purchase and I could have her install it for me.
There are soo many WordPress themes on Etsy but make sure you reading the product descriptions closely. Here are things to check for:
- Make sure you are looking at a theme for the right platform. You will find WordPress.org, WordPress.com, and Blogger. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two completely different blog platforms and the themes do not work together. Make sure your theme is compatible for the site you use. I personally use wordpress.org.
- Some themes include Genesis Framework and some do not! You can find this out by reading the item description or messaging the shop owner.
- Not all designers offer to install for you, you should be able to find this out in the item description as well
Most Etsy theme designers offer a no refund policy for their themes. It’s digital content so you can’t really return it.. therefore, they can’t really refund it. That’s why it’s important to read the item description to make sure you’re getting what you want!
I, for one, am incredibly happy with my theme choice! I get a very responsive/customized website, a beautiful professional looking theme, for an all in cost of $30.
I’m one happy camper so I had to share with you guys too!
Remember, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a quality website design!
Here’s link to Eclair Designs, who designed my theme, which as you can tell, I highly recommend.
Happy theme hunting!