Many WordPress users take advantage of the press’ beautiful templates, because of the ease of use, affordability and the zero knowledge of HTML that is needed to use them. The challenge then is to decided which template is best for you. Using two examples on my blog, I’ll show you how I evaluated them and why I chose the one I did. Hopefully, this will assist you in choosing your template of choice.

The criteria I use is from Robin William’s The Non-Designer’s Design Book. She covers the use of proximity, alignment, repetition and contrast. I also am looking at the readability of the font, letter spacing, colour and overall look. The two pages I’m looking at are below: Button 2 (with the light wallpaper background) and Sela (the one with the sunflower.) I chose them because their differences are subtle, not extreme, which would be easier ha!

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a. Proximity — the relationship between elements in connection with each other is clearer with Sela, but really it’s very minor. Buttons 2 to me has too much white space. It’s harder to read because of that than Sela. The page title is not close enough to the header, and a lot of elements are floating unconnected. With the font, the lettering is closer with both and ok to read.

b. Alignment — all the elements on the page line up together, giving the pages an organized appearance.  I’m not a fan of the central justification in the Button 2 title as a person’s eyes tend to look right to left first, and the central justification does not draw the eye to the body of the text below.

c. Repetition — repeated use of some design element throughout the publication. Repeated elements add consistency to our publication and tend to tie the whole thing together as a cohesive unit. The colour of the lettering is interesting in both: the red lettering of the Menu in Sela is repeated in the header of the page which is bolder than the connection between the title and the menu in Buttons 2. The site heading and page title being the same font and is also good in both.

d. Contrast — things that are different and emphasizing their difference. Right away it’s clear that Sela has more contrast. The colours of red in the menu bar on top, on the side, and yellow of the flower really pop. I love the white lettering on the red as it really stands out. The lack of contrast between the wallpaper background and the rest of the page in the Button 2 template is downright boring, and does not make any information pop. Where the Button 2 does have contrast is in the font types: the page title and the website header are the same font but different colours, and the body of the text is in another.

e. Font choice – The font used in Button 2 is softer and rounder, with a flowery feel. Sela however is more clean, and easier for me to scan as we know that most people don’t do in depth reading on webpages.

So at the end of the day, I like a bit of pop in my pages! Sela it is.

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