Premium WordPress themes can be a designer’s best friend. But most websites worth visiting know better than to use a theme straight “out of the box.” Your site design is part of your branding and it’s the first impression visitors will have of your product. It only takes seconds for a new visitors to decide whether your site is “reputable.” And, like it or not, they will make that decision based on looks.
That’s why when you’re deciding which premium theme to buy the most important question you can ask is, “Can I make this theme look custom without reinventing the wheel?” To help you make this decision, TutorialBlog will begin showcasing a selection of sites all based on the same theme. Take a look and see for yourself some of the customized themes that started with a premium foundation.
From the wpzoom website:
This magazine-style theme is a knockout for any type of informative website even a complex News Portal. With its simple layout, this theme can be easily styled to create the perfect look for your blog.
From a design perspective, the Yamidoo theme has several distinctive features that make it recognizable — at least to those of us that recognize these things. Most noticeably the rotating featured items menu and the category columns on the front page.
As a foundation for a site, Yamidoo Magazine has some great built-in options that make it an excellent foundation theme for building a website with WordPress. To prove it, here are a list of sites that have each customized the Yamidoo theme in different ways. It’s interesting to note that in some cases, even a simple change like adding a new background image can make a big difference.
This site uses a unique header, custom top-level page navigation and a subtle striped background to differentiate itself from the standard Yamidoo design. In addition, this health site shows how easy it is to integrate adsense into the Yamidoo layout. Because the post image is displayed in the sidebar, there is plenty of room to place adsense in the post without looking spammy.
Using a premium theme as a foundation for a custom news site is a good idea for any business, but especially a college news site where resources are limited. It allows students to focus on content and look good doing it. Stanford customized Yamidoo by adding the school colors and boxing in content with black borders that mimic an offline newspaper.
The iceaxe.tv version of the Yamidoo WordPress theme is one of the simplest set-ups —everything below the category columns has been removed. It’s the icy colors and crisp photos that make this site a knockout!
Country Music Pride kept many of the original details from the Yamidoo theme. Their main customizations were to the link color, background image and the addition of an eye-catching header that makes the while site look custom.
Stampin’ Savvy’s extra-tall header picture and two-color navigation bars add personalization where it counts. Again, it’s pretty simple changes that make an extraordinary difference. Yamidoo is an excellent choice for this blog because it showcases the photos and allows the author to highlight many crafty projects from the main page.
This site has a lot going on! And, while some may argue that the design is too busy, the Internet Chef has earned a place in the showcase be proving that event just changing the background image and header logo can have a dramatic impact. Of course, this design also removes the “top story” on the right and replaces it with the author’s social media links — a bright idea for any business with a strong social media presence!
Except for a fancy new background image and logo, the Social Media Guide keeps their customizations limited to the sidebar, changes which can be accomplished through widgets. Proving that even if you don’t have the time or money to hire a designer to customize your Yamidoo theme, you can still create an original-looking online magazine by changing two key elements.
The Bronx View is one of my favorite Yamidoo theme customizations. Not much was changed, but the background stripes lets new visitors know what the site is about immediately. Quick communication with a minimum of work. Excellent!
Fresh and lively, Oarks Unbound uses a summery yellow and bold headlines to liven up their site. The color scheme and font choices add a dynamic element that works really well. Unfortunately, the color scheme hasn’t completely carried over into the side bar or footer — two final touches that would make this site stand out above the crowd.
Again, Kindred Spirit Mommy is a site that uses a gorgeous color palette and extra-large header to make her blog unique. A few tweaks to the navigation, removal of the featured posts from the home page and this is a mommy blog that doesn’t look like all the other Yamidoo sites.
So, there you have it. Ten completely different websites all built on the same foundation. In creating this list, the most common “mistake” I noticed was incomplete customization — usually involving color changes.
If you decide to change your color scheme be sure to carry it through the entire stylesheet. A tip is to use find and replace. For instance, say you want to change the blue links to red. Start by copying your CSS into a plain text editor. Then find the hex value for the blue (it’s #154A7F in Yamidoo) and use find and replace to switch it for your red (maybe a nice Indian Red #B0171F). Now paste your code back into the WordPress theme editor or upload the new stylesheet using your favorite FTP client. In some themes, such as Yamidoo Magazine, you may have to do this for multiple stylesheets in order to get all occurences. But the results are worth it!