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!