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Oxford: Preferred WordPress Theme of the US Embassy, United Kingdom

by Drew Strojny on December 22, 2014 / Leave a comment

Image from Website Using Oxford Theme

“Well-meaning British friends advised me not to use the term “special relationship” before I came to London. They said it was hackneyed, worn out, a cliché. I listened – then quickly realized when I got here that they were wrong. The US-UK partnership really is exceptional.”

–Matthew Barzun, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom

It’s always a pleasure to see someone benefiting from one of our themes. And when it’s clear we’re really helping a small business enhance communication with its audience, seeing one of our themes in action is more than just a pleasure; it’s an honor as well.

On other occasions, we’re totally blown away that a certain person or organization has chosen to use one of our designs – and that’s exactly how we feel about this user: the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom.

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Choosing stock images for your website

by Scott Rollo on December 15, 2014 / 3 comments

Using images in your content helps you express ideas, attitudes, and sentiments, all the while improving communication between your brand and your audience. But images can only help you do these things when you choose the right ones.

When you choose poor or low quality images, your audience might find them ambiguous, bland, or, even worse, inauthentic. And you don’t want that.

Let’s explore how to identify images that support your message and elicit a positive response from your audience. We’ll focus on images from popular stock repositories that are affordable for most small businesses.

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Checklist for WordPress theme typography

by Scott Rollo on December 2, 2014 / Leave a comment

Web typography baffles many business owners and WordPress developers. What fonts and font layouts are most appropriate in a WordPress theme – and how should you evaluate the plethora of options at your disposal?

While there isn’t a catch-all solution to the typography question, one thing is certain: typography should help your readers to obtain value from your written content – not discourage them. To identify typography meeting that specification, pay close attention to the following:

  1. Readability: Reading your content should never be a struggle. It should be effortless and natural.
  2. Appearance: Typography should have a clearly defined hierarchy, contrast, and spacing among content areas.
  3. Errors: Some themes omit, overuse, or combine certain typographic styles. You should avoid themes that do this.

Think of these issues as a checklist where each item informs the quality of a theme’s typography. When you’re evaluating WordPress themes, typography should always meet these benchmarks! Let’s examine each issue in greater depth so you can identify WordPress theme typography that works for your website.

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Key performance indicators (KPIs) for Google Analytics

by Drew Strojny on November 20, 2014 / Leave a comment

Google Analytics offers a multitude of data-related features for websites serving nearly any imaginable purpose and targeting all kinds of audiences. And best of all, you can start using it today, free of charge!

There are numerous helpful tutorials on the Web that show you how to use the different tools in Google Analytics. At the end of this post, we’ll direct you to some Google Analytics-related articles that we think are relevant and practical for WordPress users.

But before you start perusing the pie charts, line graphs, and spreadsheets available in the application’s UI, it’s important to figure out what to monitor. Otherwise, you could face information overload – not to mention a lot of time tracking metrics that have little to do with your goals.

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We’re hiring a Community Manager!

by Drew Strojny on November 12, 2014 / Comments are closed

Update: Applications are now closed.

If you love helping others learn and are an all-around enthusiastic, accountable, motivated communicator, come work for us!

The Theme Foundry is hiring a full-time Community Manager. You’ll work as part of a small, distributed team that’s deeply committed to building beautiful, functional products for WordPress users. At The Theme Foundry, we’re focused on learning, discussion, and clarity – especially in writing! Our Community Manager will value these things, too.

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Selecting an effective business WordPress theme

by Scott Rollo on November 6, 2014 / Leave a comment

Identifying the perfect WordPress theme for your business website requires time, tenacity, and – this one might surprise you – restraint.

While there’s a seemingly endless array of gorgeous WordPress themes at your disposal, choosing one isn’t a decision you should base solely on aesthetics. A business website, after all, doesn’t exist just to look nice; it’s a tool that should help you generate revenue.

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Customizing WordPress themes before they’re live

by Corey McKrill on October 29, 2014 / Leave a comment

Publish button

If you’ve ever switched WordPress themes, you know how frustrating it can be to tweak your site to perfection while it’s live. The whole world can view your changes in real time, not to mention your mistakes. It’s far from ideal, sure, but what choice do you have?

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To choose a custom WordPress theme… or not.

by Drew Strojny on October 23, 2014 / Leave a comment

Earlier this year, we published a post about how to find the best WordPress themes, whether free or premium. That post speaks to some of the issues you’re likely to encounter as you scour the Web for themes. It provides guidance on subjects like:

  • where to search for free themes and how to identify the highest quality (and most secure) choices among them
  • the difference between theme marketplaces and independent theme shops
  • how to gauge the quality of a WordPress theme provider

However, one thing we don’t cover in that post is why you might prefer a readymade free or premium theme to a custom WordPress design, or vice versa. There’s the obvious response to that question – that everyone would prefer a custom theme if they could afford it – but we think the initial cost difference isn’t the only issue. There’s so much more to the story!

Whether to invest in custom design is a question many bloggers, freelancers, and small businesses using WordPress wrestle with. Let’s look beyond upfront cost and consider all of the factors that should influence this important decision.

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Translate our WordPress themes to another language

by Corey McKrill on October 16, 2014 / 2 comments

All themes from The Theme Foundry come translation-ready. Instead of making you create a file containing the human-readable text from a particular theme, we’ve included that file with the theme itself. All that’s left is performing the actual translation, which is where you (or a professional translator) come(s) in.

Why translate a WordPress theme? For starters, around 44% of WordPress websites are written in a language other than English. People all around the world use WordPress!

Translating a theme can also help you “localize” it for a specific lexicon. For example, our friends in the UK might “get ‘round to” a task while Americans simply “get to” it. Localization can help you tailor a theme to the vernacular of a specific country or region, if you so desire.

We’re about to show you how to translate our themes. But first, let’s examine the three types of files involved in the translation process: .pot, .po, and .mo.

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