Five Reasons I Converted My Blog to Standard Theme

I no longer use Standard Theme. The developers have closed up shop and no longer support it. Regardless, I ended up developing my own theme. It’s called Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress. If you’re in the market for a new theme—one designed specially for people who want to build a personal brand—check it out.

One week ago today, I converted my blog to Standard Theme. You probably haven’t noticed much difference, because all the changes have been “under the hood.” I kept the design the same.

Screenshot of the Standard Theme Web Site

When I had John Saddington redesign my blog last year, he started with the “Daily Edition” theme from WooThemes. It was a great theme and has served me well. But, frankly, the “backend” or administrative side had become a jumbled mess. (This wasn’t WooThemes fault or John’s; it was due to my own constant tweaking.) So I wanted to start fresh.

In the meantime, John and his team at 8BIT had developed their own WordPress premium, called Standard Theme. I am loving it. Since installing it last Thursday, here’s what I have noticed:

  1. My blog loads much faster. The code is just tighter and better written. I have heard several people comment that my site seems “snappier.”
  2. My metrics have improved dramatically. According to my Google Analytics account, my visitors have increased by 38.4% and my page views by 43.8% in the week following the installation compared to the week before. I realize it’s only been a week; other variables may have contributed to this, including (perhaps) more popular blog posts. But I really think Standard Theme’s native search engine optimization (SEO) accounts for most of the uptick.
  3. My blog is easier to administer. The backend of the theme—the part where you manipulate how the blog is displayed to your readers—is really simple and easy to use. It is intuitive, allowing you to customize nearly every aspect of my readers’ experience. It took almost zero time for me to get up-to-speed.
  4. My blog is now using WordPress’s commenting system. Previously, I was using IntenseDebate, a third-party commenting system. It had a lot of great features, but, because it was hosted on a third-party system, it could be slow at times. Consequently, it slowed down my page load times. (And Google penalizes you for this in ranking your site.) In addition, the comments didn’t always sync up with WordPress, leaving my comment count off, which drove me crazy.
  5. My favorite plugins work flawlessly. First of all, with Standard Theme you won’t need as many plugins. They have built in some of the features that typically require plug-ins—things like social media sharing options, pagination, advertising, etc. But if you need additional plugins (and I still use too many), they work great, including ScribeSEO, which I cannot live without.

If you are looking for a premium theme, I highly recommend Standard Theme. The guys at 8Bit are constantly improving it, and they have a great community of users for support and ideas.

Question: What theme are you using? Have you ever considered Standard Theme?
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to self-hosted WordPress? Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Jmiller

    One Software that is good is Omnistar Affiliate because you can setup an affiliate program in a couple hours.

  • Desertrose5173

    I like to change mine as the seasons change, as long as they fit my needs. I like variety.

  • http://www.geoffsnyder.com Geoff Snyder

    I’ve always been a fan of your site – Tom Schulte turned me on to it about a year ago and I’ve noticed the tweaks and changes along the way. I’m curious, as to you mentioned that you’re using the WordPress native commenting feature, yet I’m seeing Disqus (which I also use) – and I’m curious on your insight.

    Thanks again for sharing this with us.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I got tired of the WordPress native plugin. I couldn’t reply or moderate via email (as I am doing now). I started noticing that many of the biggest sites and blogs I read use Disqus, so I decided to give it a whirl. I love it. I have used WP, IntenseDebate, and now Disqus. By far, Disqus is the most reliable and feature rich. It also doesn’t slow down my site, like IntenseDebate did.

      Thanks also for your kind words about my site.

      • http://allanwhite.tumblr.com Allan White

        I love Disqus, been using it before the WP buy. Since I design & admin multiple sites (on several CMS’s), being able to manage the conversations in one place is gold.

  • Peter Scholtens

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve appreciated reading your blog this past year. Have a blessed New Year!

  • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

    I just started a new blog (as in, today), and I am using Modularity Lite. Since it’s a photography-focused blog, I thought the the wide dark column setup made the pictures stand out more. shine4himphoto.wordpress.com I’m still new to WP, though, so I don’t know yet how the backend issues compare to any of the other themes.

  • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

    Hi Michael, we’re big fans of your blog here at Luis Palau. We scrutinized your blog pretty closely when we launched our Leadership Blog this Autumn. ;) I looked at Standard, but as I was new to WordPress (I’m an old Expression Engine hand), I decided it would be too much work for me to mold into the shape I wanted. You bring up some great points, and his design is excellent.

    One question: you write in your post that you’ve switched back to the native WP commenting system, but I see you’re using Disqus currently (which we also use on several sites). Are you planning on ditching third-party commenting systems altogether, or are you happy with Disqus? I haven’t heard many anecdotes about Google penalizing those systems in search results, but I’ll sure be looking now. I do think Disqus edges out IntenseDebate on performance, and the “Identity 2.0″ integration is wonderful.

    Would love to hear more about that aspect. Thanks for sharing all your insights!

    Edit: I see you addressed this in a comment below. Thanks, any other thoughts appreciated!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I am really happy with Disqus. It is much faster and more reliable than IntenseDebate. I like it much better than the WordPress native system. I have more control and can manage all my comments via email. That gives me one less inbox to check.

      Thanks for your support!

      • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

        I really like how users don’t have to login to each blog they visit. Letting them login with Facebook, twitter et. al. I think really reduces “friction” to conversation.

        The mobile version has greatly improved as well.

  • http://twitter.com/2020VisionBook Joshua Hood

    I am also using Standard Theme for my blog (2020visiononline.org). The thing I love about it is that it is simple enough for a beginner to use, but complex enough that advanced users can enjoy its functionality as well. A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.

    Joshua Hood
    2020visiononline.org

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s well put. I would put it up against any theme out there.

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  • Joey

    Hi Michael,

    Can you use this template for selling online content e.g. downloadable e-books etc? Are the price once off or a yearly subscription?

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    Michael, I really like the look of Standard Theme, but I’m not sure about making the switch from Headway. Do you know anything about the differences between the two themes?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, but I don’t.

  • http://www.premierpixels.com Las Vegas Web Design

     Thank you for sharing the information with us.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Thanks for this, Mike. I’ve considered making the switch to Standard.

  • http://twitter.com/catejt Cate Thomas

    Hi Michael, Thanks for all your great advice and info.  I’m hoping someone in your community may be able to help me – I’m making the switch to Standard Theme, and love it, but have encountered some problems (I am sure all of my own doing!). So I am looking for an expert to help me out – is there a smart and friendly web developer out there who works with Standard Theme and can help me get my blog back up and running (and who charges affordable rates!)??  I’ve tried DMing a few, but have been surprised to not get any responses to my requests, so thought I’d fish in your community.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Have you tried MilkEngine.com? They are the guys who did my site initially. Also, you might try the Standard Theme Community Forums.

      • http://twitter.com/catejt Cate Thomas

        Thanks so much – I’ll try MilkEngine.  Couldn’t find my problem in the 8Bit forums, and couldn’t figure out how to express it either, so maybe time to go to a professional!  Thanks so for your advice.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bango-Carrera/586456913 Bango Carrera

        MilkEngine – “Milky Milky”. Thanks for the tip.

  • http://www.AnnieAndre.com Annie Andre

    Well hello, i ‘ve been researching the standard theme and so here is how i came to your site.
    I was wondering about two features on your. The page flipping in the upper right hand corner and the bar at the bottom of your blog. Are those ad ons, widgets or are they part of the standard theme?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, they are not part of the theme. The page peel feature is a plug-in. (There are numerous ones available.) The bar at the bottom of my blogs is custom code. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    getting ready to purchase this. 

    25% of until July 5th. Been waiting for the price to go down. 

    Thank you for recommending it. Excited to get it started. 

  • Anonymous

    I just purchased Standard Theme. Who do you recommend for hosting? I was checking on Blue Host, but wanted to get some recommendations first. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t have a recommendation. I used to use Media Temple, but was not happy with the amount of down time I experienced. I am on a custom solution now. I know many people who use Blue Host and love it.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for getting back with me. 

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  • http://www.hlminteriordesign.com Matthew Iacopelli

    Hello Michael! I recently switch to standard theme. I love it. However on mobile devices my post load and then disappear. I can’t figure it out. It looks perfect on computers, but on mobile devices you will see the post load then disappear. Any suggestion on where to go to find an answer. Thank you. My site is http://www.hlminteriordesign.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I would check with StandardTheme tech support.

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  • http://www.insidermonkey.com/hedge-fund/soros+fund+management/2/ George Soros

     The first of these presses were developed in France and Germany, and quickly spreading to Britain. Recently modern minting techniques involving electric and hydraulic presses have been more commonly employed.

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  • http://unveiledwife.com/ Unveiled Wife

    Just thought you should know that you might want to update your #4. :) you use disqus now not wordpress comments 

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  • http://adicondrea.ro/ Adrian Condrea

    Michael, 

    I would like to ask how can I change the fonts on Standard Theme. Thanks a lot. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You might want to check with StandardTheme support. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/HareLynn Lynn Hare

    Michael,

    Thanks for the information. After reading this blog post, learning more about it in your book “Platform,” and exploring  the Standard theme on their website, I decided to go with it.  I’m excited to take my blogs to the next level. I believe it will turn out to be an important inflection point for my platform, too.

    Blessings,
    Lynn Hare

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It’s a great theme. I used it for years.

  • Tim White

    Have you launched your new theme: Get Noticed?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Not yet. It is still in development. I plan to send out an update next week.

  • Amy

    Great minds think alike. This is the only theme that I have favorited so far to use for my upcoming blog. I am glad it is a good one!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You should note that this is a pretty old post. I built my own and talk about it here.

      • Amy

        thanks

  • ajay

    I think you hooked upon extra menu of that theme .it take time but it is easy Website designing Company in delhi

  • Nurya Love Parish

    In case anyone is still reading comments on this post, be warned: I assumed Standard Theme was still functional and a great theme, bought it and used it to develop two sites. Had a few issues and decided to go check the forums at 8BIT, the developer’s help site. To my dismay they are disbanding and will no longer be supporting the theme. If you completely understand WordPress, you still may want it. If you need developer support, look elsewhere.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am so sorry. It was a big surprise to me when they discontinued it. I am going to put a warning at the top of this post. Thanks.

      • Nurya Love Parish

        Thank you so much for responding! I understand that you could not be responsible for their decisions–and neither of us had any way of knowing that was was true three years ago would no longer be true into the future. The warning looks great. Thanks again and blessings on your work.