November 25, 2017

Don't let your blog suffer when you apply new Wordpress or Blogger theme

This post comes in the wake of two bad experiences shared by bloggers with me and my colleagues in the last six months.

The bloggers had gone for blog themes available on the web. In both cases, the themes had very good reviews and in one case it was from one of the most popular web theme developers who comes on top of search results when you search for 'blogger themes' on Google.

One friend created his blog on Blogger but did not like the available templates on Blogger. He looked for good themes and found one with so many good features: a nice two-column layout with modern title area, a fine looking menu bar, good fonts, nice looking social bookmarking and social media buttons, rich cards implemented, SEO optimized and good speed. It worked that way for three months but then the blogger found something fishy as his Google AdSense did not work the way he wanted, his titles of feeds would sometimes appear and sometimes not, and the 'related posts' widget worked erratically. He shared the theme with me and I applied the trial version of the theme on a free blog and then checked its source over time.

The problem with this theme was that the coder had hard-coded some features that should not have been, and had disabled/ modified some generic Blogger codes and widgets. Then I looked at the code minutely and found clever codes and links.

This happened with a paid theme!

In the second case, it was a free theme and it had links to the coder's proxy sites and scripts which won't work when modified, without damaging some of the features. Even when the blogger removed the theme and installed a native theme of Blogger, it kept on creating issues till each one was manually resolved.

A small disclaimer: Since we mostly deal with Blogger blogs, these examples are of Blogger themes. I reckon that the same might be the case with Wordpress themes.

Blog theme sites should be transparent about their codes, links and third-party resources, but that unfortunately is not the case. So, my advice to dear bloggers is that they must be careful in installing themes on their blogs other than those available with the blogging/ website creation platform.


apply new theme on Wordpress Blogger blog
Do not buy cheap themes from sites such as Fiverr. Buy themes only from reputed  vendors and go for them even if their themes are a bit expensive.

One way to check the quality of themes is to check some good websites/ blogs for the theme they have applied. (In case of free themes, the imprint will be somewhere on the blog's homepage itself, perhaps at the bottom; in paid themes, it might be available when you see the 'page source' of the web page.)

Though reviews can be manipulated, they still help in taking a decision. But the final decision must come after considering all aspects. In fact, in ITB we believe that content matters much more than looks.

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