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How to make your own website (Part 3 of 4)

How to make your own website (Part 3 of 4)

September 28, 2014 10:43 pm0 comments

Hey Everyone,

This is post three in a series on how to make your own website cheap and easy. You can read more about the series here. This post will be on how to select your WordPress theme. You will want to make sure you have Part 2 complete before working on this part.

Okay, so what is a theme? A WordPress theme is the basic layout and look of your website. Here are a couple examples of  different themes.

Can you see how the theme can change the entire look and feel of the website? That is why it is important to first start with choosing your theme. Once you have your theme you can then start to add content, but you want to make sure you can pick a theme that will meet the requirements of your website. You also want to make sure your content will look good on the theme you pick (e.g. don’t pick a theme that has a lot of text on the screen if you want to show off your photography).

The first step in finding the right theme is figuring out what the purpose of your website is. Resume site? Small Business site? Photography? Blog? Mix? The answer to this question will be the major factor towards finding your theme. Honestly, this process is more of a art than a science. It involves a lot of Google searching. Here is what you need to know to make the search process a success.

1) Places to search:

There are two main places to search. The first is within WordPress. Once you have logged into www.YourDomain.com/wp-admin, click on apperance–>themes

Then at the top search for different themes

The second is on Google. I recommend these search terms

  • Best free WordPress theme for X
    • Where X is the type of site you want (e.g. resume site, small business, photography)
  • Top WordPress themes
  • X WordPress Theme
    • Where X is the type of site you want (e.g. resume site, small business, photography)

Basically what you want to do is keep searching through different pages to find a theme you like. You’ll find there are a lot of themes out there to choose from!

2) Responsive vs Non-responsive

If a theme is responsive that means that the site will be able to adjust to fit a mobile device (i.e. it will respond differently based on the screen size). You know how some websites look designed for mobile and designed for the computer? Well WordPress does this through being responsive. So basically, if you want your site to look great on the computer and mobile you want a responsive theme.

3) Free vs Paid

You’ll find that some themes will be free and some will ask for you to pay. This choice is ultimately up to you. I have only paid for a theme once ($10) and I did this to gain responsiveness. You’ll find that some themes have a free version that contains less features. If you do pay for a theme, I recommend you go with a theme that offers this because you can test your site layout with the free version and then just pay to gain the other small, but important features.

Special note for those who want to do e-commerce (i.e you want to sell items on your website), I recommend you find a theme compatible with WooCommerce. In general though, if you should not be making an e-commerce site your first time out. Mostly for security reasons. Ask me for help if you’re trying to achieve this.

4) How to install a theme if you find one online.

Once you have your theme picked out, you need to install it. Typically when you find a theme online you will download a .zip file. Once you have that file, log into www.YourDomain.com/wp-admin and then go to appearances–>themes

Then click “Add New” at the top

Then click “Upload Theme”

Then browse for the .zip file you downloaded and install it. It will ask you during the process to activate the new theme. You want to say yes to this.

 

That’s it! You should now have your basic theme setup. You again want to make sure the theme you picked will fit the look and feel of the website you are trying to create. In the final post in this series I will walk you through how to customize the theme to fit your exact needs. So keep checking back or sign up for the rss feed!

Until next time,
-Troy

Troy@TroyBouman.com

www.TroyBouman.com

 

 

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