The 7 Most Customizable, Free WordPress Themes

 

I must start with a caveat – I don’t believe any one theme should be all things to all users. A few years ago, a theme used to simply be a pre-made design that you could apply to your site – an overall look and feel, not a “website in a box”. You used a theme because you didn’t have the design and/or coding skill to create your own. But, nowadays users want to be able to control every aspect of their site’s look and feel – basically design their site themselves, without doing any code. If you are not an actual designer, then there are many downfalls to this approach. But that is not the point of this post.

Now, as I write the update, Gutenberg is in full force. It’s still being improved but it’s already a very powerful tool, giving site owners a lot more control in laying out their pages. The theme landscape is evolving, and at this particular moment, it’s still figuring out what it’s going to become. The power of themes seems to be tending toward the set of blocks and pre-made layouts they can provide.

Needless to say, people like free themes and they also like flexibility. So here are 7 themes that fit the bill. I’m not saying they will do anything and everything you want, but for free, they are pretty extensive. I’ve tried to point out the features that are useful and/or unique, but that doesn’t mean I’ve included every possibility. But these themes are free, so you can try them for yourself at no risk!

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How Will Google’s Core Web Vitals Affect Your WordPress Site?

Core Web Vitals are the 3 key metrics that Google believes indicate healthy performance for your web site.

Whether you agree with their selection of metrics or not, soon you will not really have a choice.

Unlike their previous PageSpeed metrics, which did not impact ranking at all, Core Web Vitals will eventually be used as a ranking signal.

Today, we’re building on this work and providing an early look at an upcoming Search ranking change that incorporates these page experience metrics. We will introduce a new signal that combines Core Web Vitals with our existing signals for page experience to provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page.

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/05/evaluating-page-experience.html
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How To Make a WordPress Test Site In 8 Small Steps

How To Set Up a WordPress Testing Site

Every time a new version of WordPress is released, some people will experience compatibility problems with their sites. These can be minor and easily resolved, or they can  be more tricky to diagnose. Either way, especially for non-developers, such problems are a little scary, particularly if they make your website inaccessible or unusable. One way to ease the stress of an upgrade, or to experiment with any changes you may want to make on your site, is to create a sandbox, or testing site. The video below shows you how you can easily do that using free tools. 

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Create Custom WooCommerce Layouts with Beaver Builder

In this series about customizing WooCommerce product pages, Beaver Builder is the next tool we’re looking at. I previously wrote about PootlePress’ WooBuilder Blocks.  

Beaver Builder is an established page builder plugin with its own interface which replaces the default WordPress editing screen. There’s a free version and a premium version along with numerous free and paid add-ons from various 3rd party developers. 

Using the core Beaver Builder plugin you can choose to enable the builder for your Product pages, but word to the wise, this isn’t going to get you very far. In this mode the builder doesn’t fully take over the whole editing experience so you can’t actually change the product layout. I spent a fair amount of time beating my head against this wall before I found this guide. Keep that handy as you embark on this mission. 

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