Wednesday WordPress Quick Tips-Themes

Welcome to my series of quick tips for WordPress bloggers! Please note that nothing I post here will be for experienced users. Instead, the series is just quick little tips that I’ve come across since moving to WordPress. If you happen to have a random question about WordPress, feel free to send me an email and I’ll do my best to hunt down an answer!

This week’s quick tip…themes!

wordpress theme imageWhile Blogger has Templates, WordPress has Themes. And Themes are a little more complicated than the basic Blogger website design because they incorporate all the little details of the design. When you first start using WordPress, the sheer number of available themes can be completely overwhelming.

There are thousands of great free Themes available, ready-made Themes to purchase and, of course, designers can be hired to create a custom Theme. When you are first starting out with WordPress, you are probably just fine sticking with a free Theme initially. But your posts and pictures won’t look quite the same when you change your theme, so don’t set your heart on one specific Theme. Find a few that you like and see which one works best for you.

Of course, you could just visit the WordPress Free Themes Directory and hunt through it until you found one you liked, but I found it much more helpful to check out a few websites that shared some of their favourite free themes. And for easily finding a theme with the specific features you want, has some nice search functions. You can narrow down your search by browsing through themes with two or three columns, themes that are widget and AdSense ready or themes in different colours.

Themes are downloaded as .zip files and once you’ve downloaded a theme, installing it is as easy as installing a Plugin. Simply click Appearance in your website’s sidebar, then click Themes, and choose the Install Theme tab at the top. Then just upload the file from your computer and activate it.

And as an added bonus, the Install Themes tab has some handy tools for letting you search for new themes too! Choose the colours, columns and features you want with the help of handy check boxes and then search the WordPress Free Themes Directory right from your dashboard! It’s a great way to narrow down your choices a bit to help you find a theme you like.

Your Theme is what gives your website its personality, so take the time to hunt for one that suits you perfectly. And if you can’t find one, there are some amazing designers in the blogosphere that will create a completely custom design for you for a pretty reasonable price. But as long as you have a Theme you love, that’s the most important thing. After all, it’s essentially the “face” of your website, so make sure it reflects you!

4 thoughts on “Wednesday WordPress Quick Tips-Themes”

  1. Great post Kat. When I moved to WordPress I had no idea that you could choose your own theme. I thought you had to get a designer to create one. The designer I’ve used from the get go has always created a theme that has reflected my personality and lifestyle and I just love it so much.

    It’s nice to know that if I should choose to change my theme, that there are so many free ones available. I did not know how to do this until reading this post. It sounds relatively easy and a lot of fun. I would feel fear and do a lot of trembling if I were to attempt this on my own before reading this tip. Your post is easy to understand and guides us step by step to create that fabulous theme that will make our blog hum.

    (nudge) I would love to learn how to add or change my comment avatars on my blog. At the moment I can only get the Google G avatar and I can’t seem to change it. (wink)

    Thanks so much Kat for your awesome tips, I really enjoy them so much. <3

    1. Thank you SO much Lilac; I’m so glad you’re enjoying the tips! A free theme can be great, but there is no question that there is something extra special about having a custom theme. My boys even like coming to sit down on my lap and look at “Zackary” and “Benjamin” on my new header! But it really is amazing how many beautiful free ones there are!

      I’m sending you an email about the gravatar issue right now; I MAY have tracked down the problem… :)

  2. I’m not going to make any changes right away, but, once I get a little more comfortable with WordPress I will definitely be referring back to this post to pretty up my blog. Thanks for all the wonderful tips you’ve been posting, I’m loving them all.

    Monica :)

    1. I was actually thinking of you when I wrote this post, Monica! :) It’s definitely best to wait and get comfortable, but you are going to have such a BLAST once you try out a few themes! :) I spent hours just “window shopping” before I moved to WordPress; there are some gorgeous designs out there!

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