OK, so you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, picked a domain for your blog, selected a place for it to live and loaded up the software. What’s next?
Well, you could run with the default theme (ie appearance) but they’re usually pretty boring and it’s best to choose something that’s jazzier and fits in with your theme. If you’ve loads of money you can get someone to write a custom theme for you but realistically most of us use one of the many free themes around and perhaps modify it a little by adding a personal photo or whatever later.
If you’re using the WordPress software then the easiest way to find free themes initially is to go to the WordPress theme viewer. This gives you a whole range of search options including themes with from 1 to 4 columns, various colours, fixed/fluid width, whether it needs plugins, if it’s widget ready and if it’s got an options page plus a few others. Wow! Complicated, or what? Don’t worry though: most of them don’t matter much and I’ll explain the main ones here:
- Number of columns. Four columns really require widescreens and one is too limiting, so it’s best to go with either two or three column layouts. Initially you’ll find that two is enough but as your blog grows you’ll need three at some point.
- The colours? Take your pick.
- Fixed/fluid width. If you use fixed width then on people using wide screens, your blog will only take up the middle of the screen. Fluid width themes fill the screen no matter how wide it is.
- When you’re starting out, forget those themes requiring plugins as it’s a complication you don’t need.
- Widget ready themes are handy to have though you’ll not use them initially.
- Sometimes an options page is handy. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find a theme that has one though.
So, choose a theme that has 2 or 3 columns, in your favourite colour, with fluid width and ignore all the other search options.
This will bring up dozens or perhaps hundreds of themes. When you find one that you like, click “Test run” to get an idea of how it will look. Once you’ve found one or two that you’re happy with click “Download” to get it onto your computer.
The downloaded file is a zip file which means that it’s compressed. To get this onto your hosting site, you need to open the file that’s downloaded (Windows automatically converts the file to an uncompressed version for you) and copy the directory within that from your computer to the wp-content/themes directory on your hosting service for your blog (usually ftp://ftp.yourblog.com/wp-content/themes).
That’s the complicated bit done. All that you need to do now is to login to your blog, go to presentation and select the new theme. Once that’s done, check out how your blog looks with the theme you’ve chosen in case it’s not quite so good looking in reality as you thought.
If you don’t like that theme, just download another one and change it!Copyright © 2007-2013 by Mums Finance. All rights reserved.
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