Many of the available review plugins come with their own custom themes. However, I tend to be a bit picky when it comes to web design and internet marketing. For this site I wanted to use a theme that I was already familiar with because I knew I liked the look of the theme, and I also knew I wanted complete control for SEO.
Here is the recipe I used for this site in case you want to replicate it…
- WordPress - Hopefully this first one was obvious. If you’re new to WordPress then your learning curve will be a bit steeper, but rest assured, WordPress is extremely user friendly.
- Thesis – I’m using the Thesis Theme from DIYThemes.com. Lately Thesis has caught some flack for not complying with the GPL standards, but the fact remains that Thesis has been the trailblazer in SEO friendly, highly customizable WordPress frameworks and I don’t see them playing second fiddle to any of their competitors anytimes soon. Thesis gives me total control over my on page SEO as well as the look and feel of the site.
- ThesisFolio Premium Thesis Skin – If you are adept at web design then Thesis will be all you need to create the perfect site. However, if you are like me and have little to no CSS or html experience then you might want to think about picking up a premium Thesis skin. The nearly all peopledesign options within Thesis are fairly limiting for the non-designer crowd, but a Thesis skin can dress up your site with a professional design in minutes.
- MyReviewPlugin- I’m using MyReviewPlugin to handle the reviews for this site. As you can imagine, I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching each of the review plugins, and this one won out for me. You can find my complete review here.
- scribe – Scribe is an SEO plugin developed in part by Brian Clark of Copyblogger. I use Scribe on all my sites. What I love about Scribe is that it doesn’t pretend to automate SEO or do the work for you. At the end of the day, the top SEO’s use their brains, not tools, to get to the top of the search engines. With Scribe, you write your posts as you normally would, for human readers. Only after you have written your content to you cycle back and evaluate it from an SEO perspective. This helps ensure that you don’t get tripped up and compromise the content in your posts because you are too concerned from the get go with SEO.
So, there you have it. These are the key pieces to this site. This is just one approach to going beyond the standard themes and features offered with the various review plugins.