Picking Your Theme
So you’ve picked out your website or blog idea and set up your WordPress account – if you haven’t, check out this post here
! Now let’s get your website lookin’ nice with a theme. First, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance, and then select Themes.
You should have several themes to pick from, but if you don’t, just click on the Add New button near the top. If you are using WordPress.com, you will be limited to a select set of free themes. I strongly recommend NOT purchasing any themes at this point. If you are using WordPress.org, there are a TON of free themes available. There are a lot of themes for sale as well, but again, don’t purchase any themes at this point. Start off slow and test out the free stuff until you’re sure which one works for you.
So pick a free theme that appeals to you. Remember that this will be the basic framework of your site and will set the initial “tone” of your website. If you’re short on time for whatever reason, pick anything. Really. You can change it later.
When you have some time, I strongly recommend that you browse through the available themes and you select one that fits your website. For example, don’t pick a theme that is specifically designed to display images if you only intend to write articles. Go with what’s right.
But I Already Have a Site!
If you already have content in your WordPress website, you might be slightly apprehensive to mix things up. In this case, just click on the Live Preview button on the potential new theme. This will give you a general idea of how your content will be displayed on the new theme. It may set you up with new pictures, but don’t worry, your pictures are still safe. The best thing about Live Preview would have to be how it’s not permanent. If you’re not feeling it, click back or close out the window. None of the changes will take effect.
But What if it’s Not Awesome?
When I first started my website, I had flipped through several themes. I ultimately decided that I was super happy with a single page theme (as in, everything technically on one page). During my theme-nomadic ways, I had discovered that some themes just don’t work quite right, some don’t have quite what I needed, and others had straight up problems.
“What do you mean ‘None Found?’ What the heck are you even looking for? And why are you directly in the middle of my home page?”
So if something doesn’t work the way you think it should, try switching to a different theme and see if it is fixed. And the fun thing about WordPress? A couple weeks down the road you can switch to something else if you want! And you can always switch back to an older theme. It’s all up to you.
Okay, so you’ve set up your WordPress, picked out an awesome theme, and kinda got your homepage setup all nice and pretty. That means you’re done, right? Not quite. WordPress, themes, widgets, forms… pretty much everything that makes up your site will need to be updated and they rarely need updated at the same time.
Unfortunately, there’s always the chance that your website can stop operating properly if even one plugin requires an update – it just depends on the plugin. I check my hosting site and my WordPress dashboard for updates every day, just to make sure that everything is doing great.
And, We’re Finished!
Just kidding. For the next post, I plan on digging into the best ways to setup your main pages, such as Home, About Me, and most importantly your hook page – the page to display the exact thing you want your reader to take away from your site. Till next time!