As WordPress and blogging become more and more popular, the list of customization options continues to grow. One can attribute that to each user wanting his or her blog to be unique or very much personalized. Who knows, one day a theme can be just as unique as the blogs author! The following is an overview of the latest developments on WordPress themes.

WordPress Widgets

The blog software developer has recently come up with an edition of this plug-in for the full-version WordPress. A Widget here refers to those tools you can use to modify your site its sidebar, design, or general layout without having to know and use HTML codes. About a hundred Widgets are featured in the WordPress Widgets blog, and they are classified in categories such as photography, music, discussion, video, income, and links, among others. It is a fun and easy way of customizing your site, so that it features everything you care about, and nothing you don’t.

Not all themes are ready for these Widgets, however, and some modifications need to be done to include this fun feature in the sites that make use of such themes. gives full instructions on how to go about making your WordPress site Widget-friendly. WordPress is continuously adding to their already-vast selection of Widgets to suit their users whims and personalities.

Canvas Plugin

This blogger-friendly plugin has recently allowed blog users to create their very own theme for their WordPress blog. The good news is that this plugin allows users a pretty good level of customization without them having to study and use codes. The result: a site that looks very professional built within the range of a few minutes to a couple of hours. Even better news is that this plugin comes for free.

This stand-alone plugin opens up to a bare starting point, with a selection of blocks that you can include in your layout by drag-and-drop method. Among the many features of Canvas are Banner, RSS, Static Text, Feature, Digg, Flickr, Random Tagline, Comment, Category List, Asides, Archive, Description, Calendar, Search, Post, and Navigation functions. Meanwhile, an Ink tab gives the user the freedom to determine the styles to be used on the page, sans the need to check the actual stylesheet.

This tab proves to be quite useful for beginners, because it features help links that corresponds to each theme component, the style of which you may be about to identify. These links load the template with an indication of the part in question, to give the user a clear idea of what effect the change will have.

More Themes to Match Content

While it is all up to the blog author to decide, it would be quite useful to have a theme that will give first-time readers of your blog a pretty good idea of what to expect by simply looking at the design in use. For this reason, WordPress theme designers are coming up with more specific themes to match a variety of specific types of content. Experts say that the first several seconds spent by a visitor on your blog determine the impression they get of your site. So if your site fails to capture attention right away, then its most likely that youre losing potential repeat readers or site visits.

When designing your site or choosing the appropriate theme, keep in mind that the first concern of a site visitor is whether or not the site has the kind of information needed by him or her. The visual elements, being much faster to grasp than the textual, will help in a big way. If the theme you choose does not correspond to the general content of your site, then attracting more followers will need more effort. Whether we like it or not, looks matter for a lot of people, as this is how beliefs and opinions are initially formed.

WordPress Theme Contests

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To ensure your steady stream of new themes, WordPress and certain partners have organized theme contests to discover and recognize the best themes that have cropped up lately. Last year even saw several competitions that attracted theme creators and users alike. This year, however, the WordPress camp has witnessed a slowing down in the production of themes, perhaps due to the fading novelty of it all, not discounting the fact that a lot of those who submitted themes before did it for free.

Nevertheless, customization of WordPress blogs still holds quite a lot of promise, with the arrival of new customization features, such as the Canvas and Widgets plugins. It also promises more highly-customizable themes in the future. For now, you would already be missing out on a lot if you are not already trying out the latest WordPress customization plugins.

You can also try modifying some basic features, such as whether your front page should show excerpts or the full blog entries, or changing the number of posts that will show up on your blog index, or both. Whatever you choose, there are hundreds of themes available and other options for you to use, to get as close as ever to your most desired look for your blog.

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