One of the things that make WordPress the dominant blogging platform on the Internet is that it is free and customizable. It is so customizable that there are thousands of themes available. A theme is a set of files and functions that produce a unique look and design for any WordPress website.
There are free themes and “premium” themes and themes that are free to download, but you have to pay for support, and so on. Most of them are not good. It seems that coloring and graphics is what makes a theme “good” to most of the Top Whatever WordPress Themes lists out there.
But, that being said, the shear volume of available themes pretty much guarantees that you will find one that you like enough to try out. I have tried out tons of WordPress themes as a writer.
But, once you install the theme and put in your content and start creating your vision there will be things that you would like to be a little different. A little tweak here and there, and pretty soon, you are knee deep in spaghetti code that you can’t remember whether it was your or the original code. By the time you get it all ironed out, you have a great site.
A week or two later if you want to tweak something else, it’s even tougher since you probably don’t remember how the whole thing works and what you did and didn’t mess with.
This is what is wrong with the so-called theme frameworks out there is that you still have to wade in and understand all of the bells, lights, and whistles before you can do anything.
The new Child Themes feature in WordPress 2.7 is a huge help, but it still requires a lot of effort to get any theme just right.
Easy WordPress Theme Customization
I know my way around HTML, CSS, and PHP, but I’m not a full-on expert, and I have never had the opportunity to really sit down and claw through all of the ins and outs of WordPress programming, so starting from scratch isn’t a very viable option.
I’ve made due with customizing WordPress themes to be more like what I wanted, and have started taking advantage of using child themes to help get my site just like I want it and keep track of what is me, and what is the original theme.
The advent of child themes might be the happy ending for this story except for one thing: At least 50% of anything I need to change in a WordPress theme is deleting things that are in the original, not just changing them to something else.
That’s why I was really happy to stumble upon the Empty WordPress Theme.
The best part is that it is “empty,” so you don’t have to spend anytime hunting down and getting rid of the Corvette graphic that has been used as the default bullet by a car-based theme that you wanted for its layout and design, not for its incorporation of as much car stuff as possible.
A little search along these lines turned up some other promising themes built along the same concept. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play my new toys…I mean, themes.