Your website is a mirror of your brand and professional identity. It tells people what you do and who you are even before they read a single word of your copy. It’s a showcase of your skills and contributions. It reflects what you’re about to do as well as what you’ve already done. And today, building your website isn’t a matter of coding. It’s a matter of WordPress, and choosing a theme that suits you best as an author.
Your website needs to be perfect even if you’ve never been into technology. Cling on to the simplicity and intuitive approach that WordPress is famous for. And take advantage of the fact that you don’t need to be a web designer to have a sleek, stylish and informative online presentation.
And there’s no excuse for not wanting to go with the flow. One can be a recluse writer who doesn’t seek publicity and enjoys having an anonymous nook with a handful of confidantes. But if you’re an author, you already know why it’s crucial to push your work out to the surface. Pleasurable though it is to share your thoughts with thinkalikes, you want many people to google you and find your official nook on the Internet. You also want them to eventually end up buying some of your stuff.
I won’t say that a great WordPress theme for autors will do all the work there, but it will definitely help you.
What Features Should You Look for?
Did you know that there are more than 44,700 WordPress themes on ThemeForest alone? And that is just one of many repositories where users can purchase or download themes for free. If you type “author” in their search bar, there are over 1,000 search results as of this writing. The keyword “writer” returns over 300 results. It’s a real forest you have to find your way through. And popularity of a theme doesn’t mean it would suit you.
Yes, it’s that complicated to find a perfect theme for authors. So, while you’re searching for it, here are some considerations you should be having.
- It should be responsive. This is a technical requirement, but it’s an absolute must nowadays. Remember those years (or decades) old websites that look just awful when you access them via phone or tablet? You have to zoom in and out, and the visual content just won’t collaborate with your small gadget. Your website should be accessible from all kinds of devices. Before purchasing a theme, make sure to enter the preview or demo and check how it looks on all of them.
- WooCommerce support. If you’re willing to pay for a professional theme, you’re probably not just a writing hobbyist. You need to sell your work too. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin for sales. It’s pretty much self-explanatory and comes with hundreds of free and paid add-ons to make your life easier.
- Your theme should have a personalized touch. You’re building your own website as an author, so it’s only logical it shouldn’t look like a huge, sterile corporate presentation. Plus, you don’t want to use a theme that would be too abstract. Choose one that shines out some of the creativity that made you who you are. And don’t forget to build a portfolio page on your website, so it can function like a resume.
- It should be simple and easy to read. There’s hardly anything more annoying than a website that doesn’t want you to read it. Since you’re most probably a writer, typography is everything. Go for simple, clean, readable fonts. As for organization of your website, try to declutter your space, since you don’t want to distract your reader with a bunch of options jumping at them at once. That would eventually frustrate them and make them go elsewhere.
- Don’t overestimate the power of beauty. As all writers know, beauty equals clarity. And that’s closely tied to my previous point. Today, beauty means simplicity and elegance. Translate that to the language of web design and you’ll get as few on-page elements as possible, to make the front-end experience as seamless as possible. The fact that every theme has a bunch of options doesn’t mean you should use all of them.
Best WordPress Author Themes – Reviews & Why to Choose Them
I’ve done a bit of research, so today, I’m presenting my own, personal list of best WordPress themes for authors in 2019. Note that it will only feature well established themes that have excellent customer service and are mobile responsive.
Take a look at this WordPress theme and you’ll nearly get to smell a freshly printed book, with the pages gently stroking your cheeks. I’m not joking! The theme’s elegant simplicity offers wonderful possibilities of showcasing your work without overwhelming the reader.
Choose from 10+ blog layouts, 3+ shop layouts, 15+ portfolio layouts, sticky sidebar, unlimited retina sliders, and stylish but not kitschy typography with over 800 available fonts. Pages are easily customizable with a huge collection of premade template blocks including 8 types of headers, and you can manipulate them through drag & drop process.
All of us know how mailing lists are important, and you’ll be able to create them and implement into your marketing efforts with Mailchimp, free integration. Contact Form 7 will be a good way to collect those subscriptions.
If Charles Dickens were alive, I think he would use this WordPress theme for his blog. I can totally envision chapters of “Oliver Twist” published on a website like this, one after another, with attention-grabbing images that build anticipation of breathtaking events. As a reader, I think it’s hard to get tired when reading articles that are so well formatted. For example, the theme includes text format tags for titles, so even a single title can have various formatting and feature bold or italic words alongside regular.
Plus, there is a custom typeface with over 400 display icons that you can use just like characters to customize your text.
The theme is also great for magazines featuring various authors, since it clearly shows the names of author and co-author if any, with custom avatars. Your readers will appreciate the tool that counts and shows minutes needed to read a post. If you don’t want or have many high-quality images, there are a few templates included, and some of them give priority to text over visual content. You can tweak the dynamic sidebar and grid-based layout. If you don’t like the color scheme, change it easily.
The name rings similar to the wise and powerful Norse god. Indeed, this theme is excellent for authors of epic fantasy and similar genres, with its luscious fonts and image previews. Use it to show your books in their best light.
Just like the subtitle says, it was made with authors who sell their work online. And it’s really well equipped for this kind of job. It features WooCommerce support, options to always show the Cart button, Events widget, Add to Cart and Read the Book buttons in Book Panel, etc. You can also enable the page flipping effect, so your readers could really enjoy the experience.
It even differentiates between single and multiple book writers. The former can conceptualize the whole website as a single landing page. It’s a straightforward, linear process that directly leads to buying. The latter should find it easy to create a Book Shop where they can display all of their work.
To be more precise, the theme is best for photoblogging, since it allocates some of the most precious space for photos. Social media icons are positioned very prominently, allowing the visitors to easily find you across the Internet. The page is widgetized, which means you can turn on and reorder as many widgets as you want to show additional content. Choose from three layout options that best suit your blog posts.
There’s a bunch of paid and free plugins integrated, such as Localization Support, StagTools for adding shortcodes and custom widgets, Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7 for subscribing to your mailing list, etc.
If you don’t have a bunch of professional photos, take a look at this simple and flat theme. It can help you organize your works and present them without any distraction or noise. The theme customizer is very easy to use and you’ll have your website up and running within minutes.
Templates include Book Launching Landing Template for when you’ve got a new book coming up soon, Book Filter Template so the readers could easily find what they’re looking for. Further on, there’s a wonderful 404 Page that gives you another opportunity to showcase your works. Change colors, font types and sizes, manipulate headers and footers. The WooCommerce integration will help you set up your sales funnel in no time.
I especially like the Book Filter option that singles out this theme among its competitors. It’s a wonderful little tool if you have many works published. The reader can easily find what they’re looking for, while being presented with some other works from the same category. The home page will also feature visible social media buttons, so your visitors can easily find and follow you.
If you are going for a clean and classic design, you will adore this theme. Just like its name says, it’s made particularly with bloggers in mind – especially those who write a lot and do different blog types such as text, video, audio. Choose from infinite scroll or standard blog options.
Sidebar and menu can be sticky if it suits your purpose. Widgets include Flickr, Twitter, Dribbble, Popular Post and Recent Comments, so you can direct your readers wherever you need them most. Colors can also be customized, as well as fonts – choose from 600+ font database from Google.
If you are really into visual effects and have loads of professional photos, this theme is right for you. It will instantly show your followers your artistic sensibility and good, minimalistic taste. Admittedly, it won’t click with everyone; you should only consider it if you’re publishing a certain kind of content – your travelogues or passion for recipes, for example.
It operates as simple as it looks. WordPress Customizer will allow you full control over every single element on page, and there are a bunch of convenient features such as Infinite Post Load. When the visitor is near the end of the page, it loads the next post automatically, thus enabling wider exposure of your content.
Of course, if the written content is your primary focus, this theme won’t do it much justice. It looks best with only short straps of copy that will bind the imagery together and provide it with context.