Jason Yormark

Anatomy Of A Blog Redesign: Meet The Standard WordPress Theme

I have to admit, I’m a WordPress theme junkie.  I’m fascinated with the art of blog design, and I often find myself spending too much time browsing some of the industry leading WordPress theme sites.  My personal favorite site these days is certainly Themeforest as they have a tremendous variety of themes available.

I’m also guilty of growing bored with my theme design on about a yearly basis.  But rightfully so I believe.  Last year I paid a pretty penny for a custom site that initially I really liked, but just like anything, times change.  After a year of blogging, and watching the blogging landscape evolve, I felt the itch to update my look and feel again.  However I wasn’t interested in shelling thousands of dollars on blog that doesn’t really drive any income for me.  So I took to the web to find my next design.

This time around I had very specific wants when it came to choosing a new theme & direction to work with.  These included:

  1. I wanted a theme that was a bit more minimilist.  One that focused on the content, and less on everything else.
  2. I wanted a theme that was coded clean, and supported a design and features that would make the site less dependent on plugins.
  3. I wanted a theme with a strong community and support so I could have access to the help I needed with customizations and technical issues.
  4. I wanted to stray away from a 3rd party commenting system to improve performance, stability, and to be able to integrate the CommentLuv plugin which I also highly recommend.  CommentLuv encourages more comments through dofollow links and the ability to give commenters the option of promoting their blog links as part of the comment.

After hours of browsing, I found what I was looking for and what I believe to be one of the finest WordPress theme frameworks on the web; the Standard Theme.  The Standard Theme met all my requirements and more.  I spent a few weeks playing around with the theme on another domain, familiarizing myself with everything, and within a few days I was convinced I had made the right choice for a variety of reasons including:

  1. The theme is incredibly easy to use and has a terrific admin panel that makes the entire customization process idiot proof.
  2. The support and community are terrific.  It’s a thriving community and the forums have practically every answer to any question you might have.  Support is incredibly responsive and helpful as well.
  3. This theme is super clean and fast.  My blog now loads much faster.
  4. I’m down to only having to use 2 plugins as all my other needs are met right within the theme framework including SEO, social sharing and advertising support.

These are just a few of the great features of this theme.  They have 2 versions you can purchase the first being a $49 version that basically includes just the theme and no support/community access or upgrades, but if you seriously consider this theme, I would just go with the $99 full version. I initially purchased the $49 version, and quickly upgraded as I was thrilled with the theme and wanted the support.

I rarely dedicate an entire blog post around a product or service, and when I do, it comes highly recommended.  I anticipate using the Standard Theme for a long time to come despite any design changes I plan to incorporate.  If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll be more then happy to answer.

Jason Yormark
I'm a 20 year veteran of digital marketing & the owner and founder of Socialistics, a social media agency based in Seattle. My spare time is filled with writing, baseball, my boys and everything Seattle has to offer.

22 comments

  1. Hi Jason, I’m like you, I place a lot of weight on theme design and tire quickly of themes. I appreciate your telling us all that went into your selection process when choosing a new theme.

    I am currently looking at Theme Forest themes and may be switching mine sometime soon!

    1. Let me know if you need any tips. Like I said, I’m a WordPress theme fanatic. If you go the Themeforest route, just make sure you choose a theme that has solid community/support.

  2. I’m a WP theme junkie too. How nice to hear someone else say/ write it. I window shop for new themes every week. I’ve paid for half a dozen premium themes. So far, I end up back running Thesis, every time. It’s not perfect, I’d like to see more features, but it seems to suit my personality more than the other themes that may actually be better. I just go with the one that works for me.

  3. I’m a huge fan of the ST and the team behind it. I’ve been using it since last summer and love it. I was able to use the helpful support staff to customize it to my liking. You’ve done a great job with your theme!

  4. As someone mentioned previously, having a responsive design is a good way to go. I suspect you will change to responsive very soon, especially if the new version of Standard includes it.

    Having your screen size automatically fit the users display is crucial. Ipad, Kindle fire, iPhones, etc. are all so different. People are becoming more mobile and require your site to work seamlessly.

    My plan is to move my site to a responsive design this year. I am using Weaver now and love it. But, in order to move a page of my website onto a Facebook size….it must fit.

    good thoughts! – Jan

  5. I am just now getting into blogging and although still a college student, I am trying to brand myself and this post is so helpful! I am still lost in the world of themes and WordPress but I am slowly learning with the help of this post!

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  7. I’m glad to hear your having good results with the theme and that the support is really good. What set this theme apart for you? Visually its similar to so many others including many free themes, what make this your choice?
    Kim

    1. Well I would say it’s coded very clean and the core features I was looking for were built in instead of needing plugins. Also the support is very good, and they are actively developing improvements so it’s here to stay. That’s what put it over the top for me. Usually free themes aren’t coded as cleanly and don’t have the clean professional feel that I feel the Standard theme does out of the box.

  8. Like you, I get bored very easily with my blog theme. I am going with the Standard Theme and hope to be able to make smaller tweaks on it to keep it interesting (mostly to myself!). Thanks for a good reasonable article on this theme without so much techno-babble.

  9. I want to create a custom WordPress theme, but I don’t have administrative access to the computer that I’m using, so I can’t install WordPress to test my theme. Is there another easy way to do it?

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