PSSSST…Here’s a way to have the blog you want

Working with WordPress ThemesIt’s the best thing since sliced bread!! WordPress appeared when blogging began replacing conversation. Active bloggers wanted more and more, all the better to express themselves. Typical features maybe, like a bouncing smiley or a worried –looking clock face were needed by those wanting to press home a point, but did not have the time or skill to write the source code for such eye-catching electronic gimmickry. Thus was born the hugely popular idea of templates and themes, widgets and plugins and the ability to personalize WordPress themes!

For starters, the 39-page theme directory spoils you for choice. There are bold-as-brass themes, cutesy-pie themes, the serious and the fun themes. At least one is bound to be ‘your kind of theme’, all with some in-built options for color and font, or the presence or absence of tools on the toolbar. However, one could not change the number of columns, or the width or the functions of the sidebar. Thus came the newer themes which are widget-friendly and SEO compatible. The plug-in architecture of the templates allows wide scope for personalization. Simply download the free widgets of your choice and start displaying the subsequent modifications. Widgets could be on-screen tools that provide streaming information or improve navigability. Any website can use widgets created by someone else. An auction site might use a ticker or you may use a pop-up on your blog. You get to personalize the WordPress theme, with the aid of plugins and widgets, without having to rewrite HTMLs and PHPs, until your blog screen is completely you. When tired of a particular widget, simply move on to a new one. Business blogs can exploit widgets to broadcast a change in image or announce a new product.

Geeks, however, may redo the source code using HTML or PHP and totally make it their own, thanks to the multiple author capability of WordPress. For instance, take the all-important side bar. Ideally it should be dynamic. But if your chosen theme does not support a dynamic side bar, and you happen to know something of PHP, then a two-line addition to the source code is all it takes to make the static dynamic and voila – your side bar is widget-friendly! The WordPress user interaction page takes you through a couple of easy examples of side bar activation. If you want your old look again, simply de-activate the side bar. What this means is that you retain the WordPress theme that reflects and personalizes your business but you tweak it for superior expression and ease of use. Of course, some themes look stubbornly unhelpful after ‘widgetization’, in which case the author of the theme has to rewrite the code for a sleeker look.

A further advantage with these plugins is that the content is automatically updated from the original site, your WordPress software helps manage the plugin, of course. Bloggers looking for personalized WordPress themes never had it so easy. You get to pick and choose and give your blog the personality you desire.