Wordpress is growing at a phenomenal rate. I don't know by how much compared to the others, but I do know it is more than others (Drupal and Joomla, those are the big contenders). I'm not talking about Blogger and Wordpress.com, I'm talking about creating your own website and then thinking, oh shit, I don't know diddly squat about html. That realisation used to be in the past. We have Wordpress, and themes! We have the freedom of choice!
My goodness do we have choice. Can you imagine 10 years ago, at the click of a button, pay a web developer $50 and you have a beautiful website.
Now we have over +1,000 (it could be a million by now, LOL) good looking websites for free at the click of button, How the world has changed!
For the beginners, that freedom of choice and plethora of options is sometimes limiting. There is a saying:
Boundness to the unbounded is the worst form of boundedness
It is actually a Dutch saying "Gebondenheid tot de ongebondenheid is de ergste vorm van gebondenheid".
It is true when viewing all the available themes in Wordpress.org or on your Wordpress Appearance section, "Add new" theme. A bad internet connection is not a good idea when all the themes start loading. The list is endless and changes every month. For the beginner this is heaven, oh my god, all the options, it's like walking into Massmart, Tesco and Woolworths at the same time. Choices, choices. Endless, endless.....headache is starting to develop. Shit.
If you have registered a domain, and installed Wordpress, STOP. As a newbie, before deciding on a theme follow the advice below.
You will create content first. Good content that is unique, written with passion, not just copy. Until you have at least 20 posts, actually I want to go as far as 50, but let's go easy on you. 20 Wordpress posts, then only can you consider a theme.
A theme is the expression of your personality, the content is the expression of you character.
Build character first, develop a personality later.
The protection and marketing of your character and personality will come later when choosing plugins.
Disappointed in the answer of this post, I know you are, but rather start writing because that is what it is all about. Content. That is what Google, Bing and Yahoo and all the others are looking for, not a theme, themes are not picked by search engines, content does.
Once you start writing, or developing the character of your website, a theme will quickly fall in place and it will be easy to choose because you will know your sites personality.
Happy theming!, oops, blogging!
A simple theme that I have been enjoying is called Lontano. Just search for it on Google. It is not complicated and has a friendly layout. The pro version is only $20 at the time of writing which I think is worth it.