Content vs Themes
Everyone talks about Content as King. Let have a conversation about your WP theme.
Is a theme really important?
If all Big G care about is content why not use the simple/basic theme that comes with WP?
How many hrs or how may $$ have you spent on something that can not help you with PR or SERP?
Here is the big question.
Do you feel you could make the same amount of money without a theme?
Well, there has been a lot of debate regarding this topic. I believe that good content should be well presented to the end-user. When you create a friendly visual environment on your website I am sure users would stay in it for a while and maybe browse new pages or even click on one of your ads, Whereas a very basic page gives the user a feeling that you (the site owner) didn't invest much or careless about the visual appearance of the site and this may lead to a user exiting your website promptly.
These days it's all about looks.. and the design of your website plays a big role in your overall earnings. Although content is the key factor in the business, how many people out there actually don't judge a book by it's cover?
I've played around some with my sites that have relatively predictable traffic. Have noticed differences in ctr based on ad placement more than the theme. At first I thought it was the theme which would result in the improvement in ctr...but upon further analysis it was not.
Ignoring link units and ad placement at the bottom of the content until fellow NB'ers and Will said to do so multiple times ended up costing me money.
To answer your question, believe that you need a theme...but the degree that it needs to be appealing is based on your goals for the website...for big G doesn't matter so much, but for your users yes.
Looks yes Ok but how much is really necessary? Where I'm at all I have is dial up. To many bell and whistles load way to slow. I bounce.
Originally Posted by Aziz
With this thought a person could start out with a simple theme and as you get more readers upgrade the theme as needed.
Originally Posted by javanx3d
I have noticed in BST that people only seem to care about dollars of what the site has made or the PR. They don't seem to bid on how well the theme is made or laid out.
Yeah, on one of the old posts somewhere in NB :) Will posted a link to some of the older DoshDosh themes that load pretty fast, are simple, decent add placement, customizeable(in the PHP code), etc that I've used with some success on a few sites.
I've found a good test for load times is this really slow TMobile web-n-walk card I'm having to use while waiting on Christmas or the German TelCom guy to show up (right now Christmas may get here first) to my flat to hook up my DSL :)
On a number of sites of "Gurus" they tell folks to pay 10-12 x monthly earnings per site if everything else works for them in the current economy...other metric like you said seems to be PR as well.
If I bought something really cool looking with professional graphics, I would worry a bit about the legality of the imagery and if the owner could prove he/she really had the rights to it if I was paying a lot of money.
Almost seems as though until you hit a level of traffic where you can start to build a "mini community" the ROI on graphics/theme, etc would be hard to realize for those of us who make 1/4 or less of Shenron and Will...but if I was as talented as Aziz I would use more "guicci" looking graphics. My background is in Web3D, but not much money in that for the time I have personally nowadays.
Theme is very important to me. If a site looks bad or obviously uses a well known default theme chances are I will just leave it. For one thing it just screams that this isn't a professional resource. Secondly, I think there's almost always a competing resource which can present its content in a more pleasing manner. For someone with a bit of a fetish for good web site design, and also as someone who stares at the screen almost all day, it's nearly a difference between pain and pleasure. :)
I sometimes literally get to the site and leave thinking "this guy has got to be kidding me if he thinks he'll keep me on this site, he better fix this up or I'm never coming back". That said, I am among the more hard-to-please guys in this department. Not everyone may be as adamant about site's look as me. :)
I also think that web sites design isn't comparable merely to a cover of a book. A cover of a book is just that, a cover. It's comparable to a splash screen, nothing more. Web site's design is far more integral to what the web site actually is, its identity, its function, the readability of its content and so on. It could be argued that the design actually is a part of content because it does communicate a lot, but at the very least it puts a significant slant on the content which may make the content seem better or worse.
Also, I don't think you need to worry about bandwidth (an issue for people using dial-up). A good design doesn't at all mean a bandwidth-heavy design. It's not about the amount of graphics at all. You can have an extremely good design without any graphics at all, just some simple CSS and HTML work. It may very well load even faster than the default theme you might be using.
Finally, I think there is one way in which design indirectly affects google rankings. A good looking site is more likely to attract links than a bad looking one which means greater rankings. :)
The theme per se isn't so important as the layout and site architecture. A basic theme with a well designed layout will provide better results the bells and whistles. The reader needs to be able to find what they are looking for. But even more important is that they are able to know the topics that are available. Wordpress publishes the content in chronological order which is a problem in that the content ends up "buried". So, in my opinion its more to focus on the framework. It's also possible to add a logo or header etc.
Personally I wouldn't stay on a site with a bad layout unless I really needed to (i.e. there was something I knew was on there that I was trying to find out).
But I guess thats the web designer in me.
I still think a well made layout can make a website great (instead of just being okay). It's more for getting a good amount of returning visitors than anything else though.
I can answer this question for you in a very simple manner.When I search for something online,and open a site that has a lousy and cheap design I close that site the moment I see the design.Why ?
Its simple,I think like this:
"Lousy design,probably a spam site,if it were a good site it would look more professional,I am out of here"
Its that simple,and I am sure there are a lot more people that do things this way.
Exactly, same here. Even if a site has good rankings a bad look can make those rankings worth far less. What worth is traffic if nobody is "converting".
Originally Posted by xxtoni