Microblogging is becoming more and more popular, so it’s not surprising that you can find many WordPress themes specially designed for this type of blogs. The most popular microblogging site is tumblr.com, and you can find many WP themes which enable you to have a Tumblr-like blog.
Microblogging allows you to post varied content, such as notes, images, videos and chat transcripts. A good microblogging WordPress theme will support most of these formats.
Understanding the Differences Between Blogging and Microblogging
Microblogging can seem like a shorter version of regular blogging, but there are some notable differences. Good microblogging themes will take these differences into account and make a perfect environment for your microblogging website.
Some of the most important differences between blogging and microblogging are:
- No huge chunks of writing. While you are not restricted to 140 characters like on Twitter, microblogging is all about short messages and quick posts. They are short and to the point, often dealing with one idea rather than multiple ideas at the same time.
- One type of content at a time. Regular posts often consist of blocks of text accompanied with images, videos, links and other content. Microblogging is all about posting one thing at a time: a short message, an image, a video or an individual link.
- Frequent updates. In regular blogging, updating once per day is often more than enough and many blogs survive with publishing a new post every 2 or 3 days. As a rule, microblogging is more dynamic, with frequent updates and a large number of posts.
- Varied content. While both regular blogs and microblogs can have a special theme or a niche, microblogs usually have a more varied content. It’s often about different post types present on a microblog: notes, images, videos, quotes, links, and more.
- Blogging from mobile devices. While you can create your posts from any device you want, microblogging is often done from mobile devices. It’s much easier to post a short status or a picture from your phone than to type a 1000 word blog post.
WordPress Post Formats
Post formats were introduced with WordPress 3.1 and they are what make microblogging possible. Post formats are meta information allowing themes to customize the way posts are presented. In other words, post formats determine how a specific post will be styled. An image post should be different than a post displaying a short chat or a post with a video.
Currently, there are 9 post formats available (10, if you count “standard” format, the one that was used from the beginning for regular blog posts). These formats are:
- Image – A post format for publishing a single image.
- Gallery – A post format for publishing more than one image at the same time.
- Status – Used for short status updates, very similar to Twitter status updates. They are often limited to 140 characters.
- Aside – This post format is used for presenting short notes. They are usually styled without a title and they resemble Facebook status updates.
- Video – For posting a single video. Depending on the theme, it can be a self-hosted video or embedded video from websites such as YouTube or Vimeo.
- Audio – For posting an audio file. Often used for songs and other similar files.
- Quote – This format is made for posting a single quotation.
- Chat – This post format allows you to post a chat transcript.
- Link – For posting a single link to another website.
Choosing the Best Microblogging WordPress Theme
You can find many quality free and premium WordPress microblogging themes online. You can check popular WordPress theme resources, such as ThemeForest or Themify. Alternatively, you may visit a theme directory listing such as ThemeShaker that lists all the greatest WP themes from various sources.
There are certain things you need to take into account when choosing the best WP microblogging theme for your website. It all depends on the nature of your blog and content you wish to share, but here are some of the things to keep in mind:
- WordPress post formats. A good microblogging theme will support many post formats, to allow you to include varied content on your website (images, videos, statuses, quotes, links, and more). Ideally, a microblogging theme should support all WordPress post formats.
- Fast loading time. Microblogs tend to be filled with images, videos and many other posts, so fast loading time is a must. You may also choose a theme with infinite scroll feature.
- Content organization and functional design. Because of the large number of posts, theme design needs to display them all in a functional, organized manner. Pages in the website shouldn’t be cluttered or difficult to navigate. It’s therefore important to choose a microblogging WordPress theme that puts your content into focus. Clean, minimalist themes are often a good choice in this situation.
- Responsive design. Microblogs are often managed and visited from mobile devices, so it’s important to choose a theme that’s fully responsive and works on many different small screens.
Free Microblogging themes
Here are some free high quality microblogging themes to get started with :