Deciding on a WordPress Theme

Posted May 16, 2016 by Kayla in Blog Series, Wordpress / 0 Comments

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Starting with WordPress- Themes

Last week I explained about installing WordPress on your new host. This week I’ll be talking about themes.

A theme is what will control how your site looks; the colours, the fonts, where your widgets are, etc. This site is using the Ingrid theme at the moment which is a free theme from Nose Graze and Anna Moore, and is available in the WordPress Repository.

A widget is a small section of your blog which you can add a sign up form, social media buttons, a list off all your categories, hot topics, etc. Widgets can be control by themes because the theme has a pre-selected area where these widgets can be added. For example, this is a one column theme, which only has widgets in the footer. However the theme designers allowed 2 widget columns. If you look at my footer you will see some widgets. I have a search box, archives, categories listing, etc.

Themes are awesome because they allow you to start working on your website ASAP, without knowing how to code, for free. Think of it like a website template. WordPress has a lot of free themes you can use. You will probably have to dig around to find more unique ones. Some themes offer a few customisation, which include allowing you to change your colours and fonts, and changing the header image.

There are also themes that you can download from private websites. These may or may not be free. Yes, there are premium themes that you can purchase from individuals and other online businesses. Some themes like the Tweak Me V2 theme I use on my blog, allows you to even decide the number of columns you want, where you will want your widget areas and such.

There are also premium themes that uses a framework, like the Genesis Framework. Unfortunately, with these you have to buy the framework and then buy themes to work with that framework. This is a larger investment [probably not affordable for a hobby site] but it’s better for someone who is not hands on or is not techie, to allow them to have maximum control over customising their website.

Personally I wouldn’t want to use a framework like this the Genesis but I must admit that there are some lovely themes for it.

Installing a Free theme from the WordPress Repository

  1. Log in to your WordPress as the administrator. You can log in from your website.com/wp-admin/.
  2. From the side menu, choose Appearance and then Themes.
  3. In the Themes view choose, Add New.
  4. Here you will see a grid with available themes. You can view the themes by Featured, Popular, Latest, and Favourites. You can also click “Feature Filter” to filter the themes by other options.
  5. If you see a theme you want to explore, place your mouse over it and you will see “Details and Preview”, click the theme and there you can read about the theme and it’s available features and get a live preview of how it would in action.
  6. When you find one you like, you can click Install to install the theme files to your WordPress.
  7. After installing the theme you can click “Activate” and this will change your site to look like the theme you just installed.
  8. Now you can customise your theme via Appearance > Customise.

Installing a premium theme or free theme you downloaded

  1. Log in to WordPress as the administrator. You can log in from your website.com/wp-admin/.
  2. From the side menu, choose Appearance and then Themes.
  3. In the Themes view choose, Add New.
  4. Click “Upload Theme”.
    1. When you have downloaded a theme it should come in a .zip file. Do not unzip the file.
  5. Click “Choose File” and open the folder you have the zip file saved, the select your zip file by clicking on it and then clicking “open”.
  6. Click “Install Now”.
  7. After installing the theme you can click “Activate” and this will change your site to look like the theme you just installed.
  8. Now you can customise your theme via Appearance > Customise.

Thanks for visiting this week. Check back next time for information on how to Customise and Configure your WordPress to truly make it your own.

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