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!
While 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, FreeWPThemes.com 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!