This is another fun part! Here is where you get to decide exactly how your blog looks.
Let’s just assume for the moment that you aren’t a web developer that knows how to customize your own themes. As long as this isn’t the case, you have two options: a free theme or a premium theme.
Nowadays there are thousands of free themes out there, a lot of which have all of the features of the best premium themes, such as a customized back end, which makes it extremely easy to set up, and built-in SEO capabilities.
Premium themes can be anywhere from $20-100, with custom themes priced much higher than this range.
Whether you want a free or premium theme really depends on the amount of time you want to commit to the look of the site and how easy you want the process to be.
Generally, you’ll be fine with a free theme at the start, but premium themes can definitely add advanced features and ease of use that make them worth the money in the long run. Premium themes also come with support and updates, which often isn’t the case with free themes. This is very helpful when you run into problems with a theme that you can’t solve on your own.
Here are some free theme sites:
If you want a premium WordPress theme, I’d recommend checking out one of these resources:
- Theme Forest: Large collection of diverse, professional looking themes.
- Woo Themes: Similar to Theme Forest.
- Thesis: Extremely customizable but slightly more difficult to do so if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Step #7: Install a Theme
Even though you have a free theme to start with, you want to get a premium theme installed as soon as you can.
This is probably the most important step of the second half of this tutorial.
A WordPress theme allows you to keep all of your content the same, but make your site look completely different.
By installing a new theme you can make your site look beautiful and professionally designed with very little work. You can use a free theme to get started if you’d like.
However, based on my experience it’s worth paying an extra $40-60 for a premium theme.
Because not only will it look better, but it will be easier to customize to your liking, and less technical to make major changes.
I personally recommend you check out Theme Forest. This is where I buy 95% of my themes, and I’ve always had really good luck with the ones I’ve bought on there.
If you’ve bought a theme, you’ll have to download it from the site where you got it. It will come as a .zip file, and you do not need to open that up, it can be uploaded directly into WordPress.
To get started:
- Click Appearance (on the left tool bar) and Themes.
- Then at the top of the page, click “add new.”
- If you have already bought a theme that you want to upload then click the “upload theme” button.
- Choose your .zip file and click “Install Now.”
- Once done, go back to your main theme page and you will be given the option to either preview your theme or activate it.
To customize parts of your theme, like the color, headings, number of sidebars, etc., click “appearance” on the left side menu and then customize.
Every theme will have different customization options, and many of the premium themes will have their own dedicated menu in the dashboard sidebar.
Look for a new menu item, or look under the “appearance” menu to see if you see a theme with your name on it.
One last benefit of a premium theme is that usually their documentation and support is much better. If using Theme Forest, look for themes that say “well documented” to make sure you have all the help you need customizing – as each one does act differently.
And don’t forget, you can always go back and change things if you don’t like them!