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Alana Riley is the Associate Director of Web Design, Content & Social Media at Providence College. When she's not tweeting about design-oriented things or snapping shots on her iPhone, she's researching + testing simplistic, minimal WordPress themes and plugins that display multimedia in beautiful ways. Connect with Alana: Dribbble | Zerply | Portfolio
Finding a minimal WordPress theme that delivers a rich media experience can be challenging. You don’t want it to be so vanilla that it gets lost in the crowd, but it shouldn’t be so different that it causes usability issues or appears thrown together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve landed on a website that looks like it has just woken up after a long night on the town — it ain’t pretty! Bad design could very well mean bad business, and in this economy, good business matters more than ever before.
If you are in the market for a minimal WordPress theme, you first need to determine how bare you can go without sacrificing functionality. Focus on the structure, visual presentation and usability of the theme, even if that means setting aside some of your own aesthetic preferences. Your website should of course reflect who you are, but does it really need to be hot pink from top to bottom with lime-green font and 300 drop-shadows? I hate to break it to the eccentrics out there, but, alas, it does not. You would only be putting more money in the pockets of eye doctors. So, the question is, how do you get viewers and prospective clients to feel comfy in your digital world, while keeping everyone’s vision intact? The answer is to keep it simple and choose wisely.