Search Engine Optimized Mistylook Theme For WordPress

The MistyLook theme for WordPress has to be the most popular theme on the planet. John Chow uses it, and uses it well. I considered using it at one point because it’s a very clean theme that is also super functional.

Since the theme is so popular, I have had quite a few requests by email and comments asking me to create a search engine optimized version. For those of you that requested it, the day is finally here: download the seo’d Mistylook.

Here’s a link where you can find the other themes I’ve worked on: Search Engine Optimized WordPress Themes.

Mistylook SEO Theme

File-By-File Overview Of Mistylook

  • header.php – The site description was wrapped in <h2></h2> tags. This is a bad idea because the h2 tag can help you get ranked for keywords that are in it. Having a bunch of random parts of the page wrapped in h2 will lower the effectiveness of post titles, which are also wrapped in h2 tags. I fixed this mistake by creating a new <div> (#sitedescription) for the site description and altering the style.css to keep it looking the same.
  • sidebar.php – The headings in the sidebar had the same problem – they were wrapped in h2 tags. I usually like to use h3 for the sidebar headings because it leaves h2 for the post titles. I fixed this issue by changing the sidebar headings to h3. The style.css already had h2 and h3 set to appear the same way so I didn’t have to alter it. The only sections wrapped in h2 tags are now the post titles.
  • index.php – This page didn’t have any problems at all, in fact it was laid out exactly how I would have done it.
  • archive.php – Perfect.
  • author.php – Perfect.
  • comments.php – Perfect.
  • contact.php – Perfect.
  • footer.php – Perfect. I added a link in the footer that gives me credit for the work I did.
  • functions.php – In this file I had to make a few changes so that those of you that use widgets could do so without losing the SEO benefits. Feel free to widgetize!
  • page.php – Perfect.
  • single.php – Perfect.

Court’s Thoughts On Mistylook

This theme was easy to optimize and I was happy to see that there wasn’t anything shady in the original Mistylook design. Lately I’ve been finding a lot of hidden, spammy links in the themes I’ve worked on. There wasn’t any such problem with Mistylook. The theme was already somewhat search engine friendly and now it’s as good as any theme on the planet.

Since many of you will be adding your own image to the top of the theme, let me know if you need any help changing the color scheme. I can create versions in different colors – you’ll have to let me know what colors you want. You can use the comments to let me know!

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  1. Thanks a lot for this Court – I am about to set up a new blog and I love John Chow’s simple design, looks like you have done a great job creating this SEO version. Thanks again!

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  2. Great work, Court! I’ve been looking forward to this. I really appreciate the work you put into it. In fact, I appreciate the work you put into this site as a whole. It’s THE most helpful blog I read. You’ll be getting a Wendy’s meal from me for this one. Keep those super informative articles coming!

  3. Pingback: No Longer A John Chow Copycat »

  4. Hi Court,
    Thanks for all the themes, but I wonder if you could help. I am just learning about WordPress (it’s driving me nuts BTW) and am getting the same problem with a lot of the themes I am trying (although not all of them). When I install a 3-column theme I often don’t get 3 columns – the 2 right hand columns are pushed down to the bottom of the page underneath the left hand column (the site is – so there seems to be some sort of formatting problem – is there a simple adjustment I can make to get the 2 columns back up to the top of the page where they should be ? Thanks. Vic

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      Hi Vic!

      Believe it or not, that usually happens when there is an image in your post that is too large!

      When I learned WordPress that actually happened to me and I figured out that there was a wide image that was pushing the columns down. Let me know if that isn’t it and I’ll help you to figure it out!

  5. Hi Court,

    Thanks for the answer, unfortunately that isn’t it. There are no images in the post, there were a couple of charts so I removed them but it is the same. It doesn’t happen with every template, it seems to be just with 3-column themes when the two small column are on the right-hand side. 3-column themes with the main column in the middle seem OK. The site is if you want to have a look. It seems that the columns are too wide, so they can’t fit in the space. Is there any way I can change the column widths ? Thanks, Vic

  6. Thanks for updating this theme! I am using a customized version of mistylook. I think I might update to your version this weekend to ensure I have the best SEO’d version.

  7. Hi Court, I downloaded the theme to use on a new blog. I wanted to change the green font colour on the title, post titles, categories and links. I discovered the hex colour for the green is #265E15. When I started replacing this colour in the stylesheet it appears that the blog title and the post titles will take the whatever color you assign to the “links”. Is there a way to change the colour of these items to be different the templates “link” colour?

    ps. Hope you had a good cruise.

  8. Court –

    Hope you’re enjoying the cruise. When I went to set up a new blog last week, I remembered you did some work with themes, and it was nice to have a “go-to” resource in mind given the limitless options.

    I hope you don’t mind, I took the link you had off the footer, and added you to my blogroll instead.

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