When my WordPress Meetup group discussed the new features of WordPress 3.0, I was gungho to get started. Not only did I download the upgrade, but I also decided to test out a new theme.
Good thing I “tested” it on a training blog . . . because OOOPS my new theme crashed my site.
Good thing Hostgator was able to restore everything.
But where to turn next? Actually, as I’ve written before, LinkedIn Answers are ideal to find an expert for just about everything I want to know.
Here was my question:
My LinkedIn Experts did not fail me. In fact Sallie Goetsch, who runs our WordPress Meetup group wrote such a great response that I asked to publish it as a Guest Post:
Guest Post by Sallie Goetsch
Themes do have to pass certain tests to get into the theme repository on WordPress.org–they need to be licensed under the GPL and be free from spam links and malware. So even if you find the theme elsewhere, it’s good to check to see whether it’s available from WordPress.org.
Second, check to see how recently the theme has been updated and what kind of support the developer is offering. (You can usually find this on the home page of the theme developer. There should be a link to this in the style.css file, which you can open in Notepad.) Theme updates are often released as blog posts, with comments from users that let you know about problems.
Run the Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) plugin. This checks your themes for suspicious links.
Themes from developer sites are likely to be more trustworthy than themes from spammy-looking sites with thousands of free themes. Many of those will be out of date and won’t work well with newer versions of WordPress, even if there’s no malicious code in them.
If the theme is a complex one with theme options and built-in functions like slideshows, check to see whether it relies on certain plugins, or might conflict with them. (And check to see whether those plugins work under your version of WordPress.)
There’s always some trial and error involved with themes, especially now with WP 3.0. If the theme passes the other tests, install it and see what happens. If it doesn’t work properly, deactivate and delete it, and try a different one.
If you have a favorite theme that doesn’t take advantage of all the new WP 3.0 features, there are several articles out there for theme developers on how to upgrade your theme.
If you ‘d like to read the rest of the great answers, please check out the other responses I’m adding to the Comment section.
And please feel free to add your own experiences and tips, as well.