Are you looking to install a new WordPress theme ? Well, keep reading because in this tutorial you’ll learn how to choose, how to install, and how to configure your WordPress theme.
Now keep in mind when you change themes it will change how your site looks and functions so make sure to read through our checklist of things you should do before changing your WordPress theme. Are you ready?
Let’s get started. I’m gonna open a new browser and type in my web address to see it. Here it’s a little bare and I’m not excited about the look but that’s okay we’ll work on the look next by finding a theme.
In WordPress, a theme is a premade design that a designer or developer created so you don’t have to know the code to get that look on your site instead you just use the theme and then you can further customize it and make it completely your own.
To do that we need to go to our website dashboard. To go to the backend of your website just type in your web address in the browser and then add wp-admin at the end. This will take you to the login screen and this is where you’ll put in your username and password you can also click remember me so you don’t have to do this every time.
Now that we’re logged in this is the back end and here’s the dashboard area, you can get a quick glance of how your site is doing, you can see here things like your posts your comments and pages. You’ll also see some latest WordPress news here and this area will look different depending on what plugins or themes that you have installed. Over here on the left, these are all the areas that you use to customize your site.
We’ll cover most of these later but for now, I want to go over the appearance section, specifically our themes section. So I’m gonna click on the appearance and go to themes and right now these are all of the themes that we currently have on this site.
If you go to your site yours will look a little bit different and you can tell this one is the active theme or the one that is being used on my site right now. Now the number and types of themes that are on your site they’ll look a little different depending on when you installed WordPress. If I want I can switch to any of these themes by clicking activate and I’ll change my site’s theme immediately.
For instance, I’ll activate this one and now my site looks like this. But if you don’t want to use any of these themes that are already installed we can click on the add new button and we can search for a new theme.
Now we see thousands of themes to choose from, all of these themes are created by a designer or developer from all over the world and they’re reviewed and approved by WordPress. They’re stored in what’s called the WordPress theme repository and since they’re reviewed you know that they’re safe for your site.
You can search by featured by, theme popularity, you can find the latest ones that have been uploaded, you can save your favorites here, or we can also do a feature filter and that’s what I’m going to show you right now. So you can click on the feature filter area and check off some of the features that you know you want for your site.
You can also filter by the type of site that you’ll want to have such as a blog or maybe an e-commerce site. I’m going to click apply filter to see the results, as you scroll through and look at them you can hover over in a theme image and you can see the details and preview to see what it might look on your site.
When you do that it’s not actually activating it’s just giving you a preview of what it will look like. So go ahead and take a few minutes to look through all of these themes and pick one that you might want for your site. For this Tutorial I know which one I want to use so I’m gonna type it in here and search for it and once it pops up I’m gonna click install and then activate it and now looking at the site it’s already a huge difference from what it was now we just need to customize it.
Alright, to customize it we just need to go back into our dashboard area and I’m gonna go to the customize area. A couple of things about this area is number one if you selected a different theme than what I have then this area will likely look a little bit different.
This area is just dependent on which theme you get and what options are available for you. The next thing to understand is any changes that I make here you’ll see them real-time over here however they won’t actually go live on your website until we click Save and publish so there’s a little bit of testing the waters before you make any changes.
So we’ll just start from the top and start making the changes to the site. For site identity that is the site title, we have it as Bloggingarea.me and you can do a tagline for your site as well and you want to decide if you want to display that.
That’s what it looks like for me so I’ll keep that. The site icon that is this little guy right here and you’ll want to make sure that you have a logo or an image that you want to use that it’s 512 pixels tall by wide and we’ll cover that shortly when we’re dealing with logos.
So I’m happy with that I’ll click back and now we’re gonna go to colors we can pick a color scheme for me I think that the darker text on that image is better. As you can see you can just play with any of the colors until you hit one that you like.
If you’ve gone too far with your colors and you just want to start from scratch you can click on the default color anytime it’ll just take you back to what it was and you can start again. For this site, I’m gonna choose this color for my header text color and we’re good to go. Next, we’ll take a look at background color I’ll show you what the background color looks like.
For me, for this theme, the background color is down here and again you can choose something a little lighter. As a side note if you need some inspiration on what kind of color combinations to use then search for cooler Adobe it’s been changed to color Adobe.com and go and look through the Explorer area and just scroll through here and see which colors, which color combinations you like and then you can use them for your site.
The way you do that is you find one that you like and you can click on the Edit copy to adjust it or if you like them directly then this is the code that you want to copy. For instance, I’ll copy that code and then you can go back into your area and paste that code there and now that’s the color that you can use.
So feel free to play with that a little bit to get your site colors exactly how you want them and finally let’s take a look at the header background color. You can see that this is the default one since I have an image up there you’re not seeing that come through when I change the color then you see that replaces that background.
I’m going to click back on default and here in a minute we’ll, we’ll choose the picture so we can get our picture back. Under header image these are the ones that come with the theme you can either keep them or you can add your own image if you add your own image you want to make sure that the header size is 1600 by 400 pixels.
You can choose between any of those. For this I’ll keep the nature picture I like that. Okay and moving down if you want to add a background image again that will be down here in place of where all the color is and you can upload an image. In just a bit I’ll show you how to deal with images as well.
For me, I’m not going to add a background image. For the next two, I’m going to skip those because we’re going to deal with those separately because we need to create some pages before we can set up the menu. The static front page you can either set up a page as your front page or you can continue to use your latest posts for the home page and that’s just depending on what your preferences are.
Some people choose to create a static front page and I’ll show you what that will look like. So if I hit static page my front page I only have this page right now but then that would be kind of like your home page maybe you can say welcome you know whatever you’re wanting to convey on the front page you can use that as your front page.
Since we don’t have a front page set up and I really want to keep this as a blog I’m gonna go ahead and just keep it as my latest posts and go back. For the accent color for this theme that’s everything that you see here the icons, the underlining comment, or you can pick from these standard ones or you can also if you have a particular color that you want to use then you can use the color picker like we did before.
For me I’ll use the orange I have one more called the post option, that is when you get more posts do you want to show the full post and have people just keep on scrolling all the way down until they read it all or do you want just a post excerpt or meaning a, a small snippet of the post and then they’ll have to click on read more.
For me I’ll keep it as post excerpt and now that we’re done with that I’m going to click Save and publish so all those changes that I just did will now become live and you can see that by going back to our site, clicking refresh, and now all those changes are made.
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