A unique blog design plays a big role in popularizing it. Blogging with a standard theme makes it somewhat difficult to compete with established blogs with highly customized themes. You write great content but struggling to retain your visitors? Maybe your standard blog theme is repelling your visitors. Let's try to understand why a custom theme is necessary for every professional blog.
Every successful business is recognized by its brand. The products are packaged and marketed under a brand name that differentiates the company from its competitors. Same thing applies to blogging. Blog branding is an essential ingredient of every successful blog marketing effort. It gives a unique voice to your blog. An identity that makes it stand apart from the crowd.
Your blog's custom theme with a unique logo, header and layout resembles your brand. The more you will invest in creating a stunning custom theme, more it will be easy to market, promote and develop it as a unique brand.
A custom theme gives you the liberty to add non-standard extended features that are normally not available in a standard theme. For example, if you want to integrate video posts, sliding articles gallery, random posts section on the homepage, a standard theme may not support these features. With custom theme you can choose your desired layout to make the landing pages more sticky and attractive for the visitors.
Speed And Reliability
Normally a custom theme is created from scratch and special attention is paid on creating highly optimized code for better reliability and speed. Today, a large chunk of traffic comes from social media sites. This traffic tends to exhibit high bounce rate and is volatile in nature. If your blog theme is sluggish, you are going to loose most of your traffic from these sources.
A custom theme optimized for speed not only helps in keeping the readers engaged, but also reduces the load on your web server significantly.
Search Engine Optimization
Whenever a standard free theme is created for masses, not much attention is paid on the SEO aspect while coding it. The code of these themes is often bloated that may introduce several complications while running the blog.
On the other hand, a custom theme is crafted to perfection with several in-built search engine friendly features. The classic example is Thesis Theme, which supports several search engine friendly features out-of-the-box. This means your blog will be crawled regularly, there will be no duplicate content and your posts will rank higher in SERP's.
Better Browsing Experience
As I said in the beginning, great content alone does not guarantee that visitors will be glued to your blog. Your blog's theme - it's layout, navigational structure, it's look and feel plays a big role in convincing and retaining the visitors. If a reader enjoys his stay on your blog he will come back more often.
Clean navigation structure, legible fonts and custom typography gives a unique browsing experience to your readers helping in reducing the bounce rate of your blog. With a custom theme you can experiment to choose the best performing combination that gives them most fulfilling experience to your readers.
Have Your Say
Do you think a custom theme is really necessary for any blog? If you have recently switched to a custom theme, what positive effects you have experienced after changing it?
A custom theme need not necessarily have to be a paid theme. You can modify the code of any free theme to customize it to any extent, provided you have the necessary skills to modify the theme of your blog.
Image Credit: Andy Woo