Continuing with my personal saga of creating a web 2.0 website based on WordPress I decided I need to discuss perhaps the most important part – [tag-tec]web design[/tag-tec]. WordPress is one of the platforms that actually overwhelm you with number of choices when it comes to theme selection.

But if your goal to create a flashy web 2.0 portal using [tag-tec]Wordpress[/tag-tec] you might find yourself in a bind. The look and feel of your website is what creates first impression about you, about your site and will either make people stay on your site and read or click away instantly. And keep in mind – to present yourself as Web 2.0 portal you have to provide visitors with multitude of options to interact and contribute to content. Oh, yeah … and let’s not forget that you also wouldn’t mind to make some cash in process – would you now?

With these things in mind I have set my goal to find a theme that will correspond to a few main requirements:

  • Theme has to be somewhat attractive or easily customizable by me. I have to be able to take a theme that I will like and make it mine, create a unique appearance while keeping it compliant with standards and not breaking any licenses.
  • Design of the theme has to be usable, i.e. navigation is intuitive and pleasant. Options are easy to find and modify. Usability of your site is second most important thing after its look, if people decided to stay on your site after they have seen it, you need to make it easy for them to find information you present.
  • Theme has to be widgets ready, i.e. using the latest in WordPress development and making a truly interactive web 2.0 portal while keeping it simple for me, as administrator. While I do enjoy digging through code I still prefer to keep it as simple as possible and Widgets are perfect in that perspective.
  • Theme has to be AdSense ready. Like it or not but [tag-tec]AdSense[/tag-tec] is the simplest way for any webmaster to get paid for their efforts and even if you don’t have an account you can easily substitute AdSense ads with others while keeping same appearance.

As you can see my requirements are not too much to ask for and yet – I have found it to be extremely challenging to find themes that meet all requirements listed above. As of this moment I have found 3 that meet almost all of my requirements and I present them to you here:

1. AdsMined 1.3 – this one is one of the better theme’s that corresponds to most of my requirements but it is not widgets ready. Although its nice layout and simplicity in modification has definitely put it on my list. :

2. Adformat 1.0 – same as the [tag-tec]theme[/tag-tec] above it lucks the widgets ready option but it is very simple and has nice layout. This one can be a winner if taken as a base for your personalization’s and modifications.

3. TypoXP Reloaded 1.1 – last but not least these theme fits all the requirements I have outlined but has one minus – a huge number of deployments on the web. But is is a very nice looking theme, AdSense ready and widgets ready theme. I have successfully tested it on WordPress 2.1.3 without any issues.

Whichever one you choose as a base of your web design for WordPress blog to make it a true [tag-tec]web 20[/tag-tec] portal, make sure to choose wisely. It has to show you but also be usable to your visitors. BTW, I’m still undecided as to which I will choose 🙂