What's in a theme?
Whats in a Theme?
When someone googles you, what comes up? The second your site comes up (or doesn't), first impressions are formed. If you have a business, this impression could be the difference between building a relationship or sending someone the opposite way.
How do I know what's important?
Simply having a domain builds credibility but there's a couple things you can do to make sure your site is a great fist impression.
User Experience - this is hard to pin down but overall, how is the experience of viewing/using your site for the first time?
It is hard to get a site to not look great on a laptop or desktop, but what happens when people google you from their phone? Having your content adapt to screen size not only makes your site look better but helps with functionality as well.
Navigation and 404s
I prefer the KISS principle on this one. The more pages, links and navigation you have the more confusing the site can be to navigate. More links and menus are also just a pain to manage.
Make it pretty!
Sites from the 90's deserve to stay in the 90's.
see: Space Jam
Even someone who is non techy can tell when something is off about a site. It may seem like a small detail but the effort behind color pallets, typography, and site design have a huge impact on user experience and perceived confidence in your brand.
Where do I start?
With the outline above to consider, getting started can seem daunting. One way to get a head start is to start with a foundation someone has built for you. Here are a few of my favorite (FREE) themes that incorporate UX, responsiveness, straight forward navigation and (I think) are pretty.
Personal Jekyll Theme
Event Jekyll Theme
Agency Jekyll Theme
For why and getting started with Jekyll see the talk I gave at @dsmwebgeeks