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Best WordPress Theme to Build a Flowtown and Simply-Zesty Website

by · December 7, 2012

Task: Build an Optimised Blog, based on Flowtown and Simply Zesty.
What You Get: What theme to use, and all the plugins needed.
Time: Couple of days of tweaking.
Budget: €35 for the theme

 Best WordPress Theme to Build a Flowtown and Simply-Zesty Website:

Blogging, as we all know, is important to a start-up, but as with every start-up time is precious and you want to get as much bang for your buck. Over the past year we’ve been researching how best to build your blog. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about the structure of your blog, and what’s the best WordPress theme to build a Flowtown or Simply Zesty sites.Yep we know content is still king, . But! Our thinking is if you’re going to put the time into creating good content (and it does take time) you might as well make sure the lunch box your putting it in is going into Neil Armstrong’s rocket, not Miss Daisy’s trunk. Once you get an audience you can follow your own design. Remember, not only does content take time to write, it takes time to build an audience. Here’s how Simply Zesty got to 1000k sign-ups in 3 months.

- Get 1,000 Sign-ups In 3 Months - 

So from researching around, we noticed a pattern followed by popular blogs like Flowtown, Kissmetrix, UnBounce and our own SimlyZesty. They all had a similar layout, so be broke it down into blocks and then looked for a theme to jump start the blog, as John was busy working on the core our core website Bullet.

In this blog we’ll explain to you what building blocks you need to get your blog structure to that standard. We’ll give you the plug-ins, the themes and everything else so you can get your up and running quickly. The theme we use isn’t perfect, but it will get you where you want to go quick, bear in mind the whole blog took about 1 week to get working. Here is a selection of interesting blog posts here, and here.

 Here is the layout of the layout of the Blog

Click to Enlarge

Bullethq Anatomy-Of-A-Blog-Landing-Page

Here is targeted layout of the blog post

Click to Enlarge

Bullethq Anatomy-Of-A-Blog-Post

Some Basics First

  • Bullet’s blog is built on wordpress.
  • It still took about a week to get it to the standard that Bullet’s blog is at, so you might need some techie help.
  • Again, it wont mean people will read it, content will do that, but it increases your chances of getting found and shared.

Best WordPress Theme

Bullethq: WP Edge Theme from Theme Forest

  • We used the ‘Edge’ theme by WP Bandits, they had the best wordpress theme as in visually the closest to the template blocks above – you can buy it here

Best Free WordPress Plugin’s

All the free wordpress plugin’s below are availible by (right click save as) all the plugins

Feather

Bullethq: Feather Theme from WordPress

Version 1.2.5 | By Jermaine Marée of WPBandit | Visit plugin site
Why: It makes the ‘Edge’ theme work

WP HidePost

Bullethq: How to hide a post in Word Press

Version 1.1.9 | By Robert Mahfoud | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this for publishing large graphics we want to be 900px wide. Blog post default to 500px wide, but pages are 900px. This plugin lets us use publish the pages, but hide them from categories or the blog homepage. If you click on the info-graphic image about Irish tax, you’ll see the larger image sits in a blog ‘page’.

WordPress SEO

Bullet: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Bullet: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Version 1.1.5 | By Joost de Valk | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this to insure we’ve kept to good SEO guidelines when we’re writing out blog, here’s a quick video to explain

Share This

Bullet: ShareThis WordPress Plugin

Version 5.0.0 | By ShareThis, Manu Mukerji | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this for our social sharing tabs on the bottom of our pages. It’s a little tricky to set-up, but their support unlike a lot of the plugins in very good. Having analytics on your social sharing is super important.

Social Media Tabs

Bullet: WordPress social-tabs

Version 1.3 | By Lee Chestnutt | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this for our social media tab’s on the right of our blog’s see this screen shot

What: MailChimp

Bullet: Mailchimp for targeted e-mails

Version 1.2.6 | By MailChimp and Crowd Favorite | Visit plugin site
Why: We use a Mail Chimp for our targeted emails, so we use this plug in to capture signs for our blog, screen shot here

Google Analytics

Bullet: Google Analytics for website traffic data

Version 1.0.2 | By Kevin Sylvestre | Visit plugin site
Why: Not sure why you’d need this!

EmbedIt Pro by SuperThemes

Bullet: How to allow readers to embed your infographics

Version 1.11 | Visit plugin site
Why: This enables us to present embed html code on the page without WordPress messing it up. We use this so people can embed our infograhics. You can see it on the top of this blog page.

Best WordPress Theme to Build a Flowtown and SimplyZesty Website

If you found this helpful, signup to our blog. If you have any questions just ask below.

  • Tony S.

    Great post with a nice step through of your set up. You mention using the WordPress SEO tool to keep SEO best practices which is an excellent idea. However your blog is on its own subdomain which will not pass any of its gains in Google to your main site.

    • bullethq

      Hi Tony.  Thanks for the comment.

      On the subdomain: it’s easiest for us currently to have the blog on a subdomain.  The prevailing wisdom at the time was that there was little SEO difference between subdomain and subdirectory.  I don’t know if Panda or Penguin have made a difference to the treatment of subdomains; I know there is some confusion over penguin at the moment.  Have you had bad experiences using subdomains in the past?

      • Tony S.

        Not any bad experiences as such. 

        At the moment the Panda update places value on content that is regularly updated and content that is ‘heavy’ meaning pages with at least 400 words, images, videos etc. ‘Thin’ pages will gradually fall from Google’s rankings. One way to avoid this happening is to have a blog on your main domain http://www.example.com/blog/ rather than the sub domain. This way as you add posts, get links, receive comments you get the benefit from Google on your main domain. Not to mention that the essence of getting decent rankings in Google has always been back links which is what the Penguin update is for. To identify bad/spam links to a site and drop that site accordingly. By having content that people will want to link to in your blog (which you do) on a http://www.example.com/blog/ you can avoid, hopefully, being effected by Penguin as a blog.example.com blog does not pass its SEO value to the main doman. 

        This is also good practice with language sites. So instead of having http://www.french.example.com you would have http://www.example.com/fr/ As your site grows you may in the future explore hiring an SEO agency (i dont work for one) or SEO guy (im not one) to help improve your natural rankings and one of the first things that they will tell you is that you should be on a …/blog/  

        really like the site by the way especially the try first – sign up later feature.

        T

        • bullethq

          Thanks for the info and feedback Tony.  We’ll certainly be looking at this closely soon – we don’t want to lose any link juice between the sites :)

  • scurri

    very handy article, than you. What is the social media plugin on the left? I love that it only follows the page content

    • bullethq

      Hi scurri, We use the DiggDigg by Buffer plugin: http://bufferapp.com/diggdigg – it’s awesome!

      • scurri

        You’re right, it is awesome! Thanks for this article and the comment, was very helpful. Our blog may looks weirdly similar to yours but hey imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

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