Hello and welcome to this article about choosing and installing your WordPress website themes. If you have stumbled upon this post from Gawd knows where, you may be interested to know that this is from a series of articles from a Kindle eBook called, “How to Set Up a WordPress Website from Scratch.” If you would prefer to buy the book to make life easier, feel free to download it by clicking the image below.
I assume you are in your dashboard already. If not, please log in. Now that you’re in your dashboard, hold down ‘ctrl’ or ‘command’ on your keyboard and click on the top left-hand link which either says the name of your website or ‘My Blog’. Now you should have two tabs open, one with your dashboard and one with your website. Before we do anything else, have a look at your site as it looks now.
As usual, I have done a video to help you with choosing and installing your WordPress website themes. In fact, I have actually done TWO videos. The first one shows the more traditional way to choose and install a theme. The second one shows you how a theme that allows you to import data works. Feel free to watch both but, as usual, remember to read this section first as there may be things I forgot to say in the videos.
At the moment, you only have four pages and no posts so it is going to be difficult to choose a theme based on the content you have. However, the great thing about WordPress is that you can change your theme as many times as you like. So, this part of this eBook is more about the process than the end result.
Step 1: Deleting Themes
Look down the left-hand side and click on ‘Appearance’. You will automatically get taken to the page with all the themes on it. The first thing you should do is delete all the themes that you don’t want. This makes working on your site easier and it also means that you won’t have so many updates to deal with on a daily or weekly basis.
The way to delete a theme is to hover over each one and you click the button saying ‘Theme Details’. A popup will appear with lots of info on it. Look at the bottom and you’ll see two buttons in the middle – ‘Activate’ and ‘Live Preview’. If you look further to the right, you’ll also see ‘delete’. Click on that.
What you want is to end up with only one theme in your dashboard; the theme that your website is actually using. And this is a good rule of thumb for everything. Later, we’ll look at plugins. Feel free to add themes and plugins as and when you want but make sure that when you are happy with your site, delete any themes and plugins that you don’t need.
Step 2: Adding Themes
Click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page. There are three main ways to add a theme to your site.
1. You can click on ‘Popular’ and just scroll through 1000s of options and choose the one that you like the look of.
2. You can click on ‘Filter’ and tick some of the features you want. This may be difficult because you might not know what you want.
3. You can search for a particular niche by typing it into the search box, such as business or entertainment, and then go from there.
Now, all you need to do is play around and choose a theme you like. Feel free to install and activate the themes you like (remember, we can delete them anyway later). Think about what you want your website to do and see if you can find a theme that reflects what you want to do.
Step 3: Things to Remember
However, there is only one point I would make. You want to have a theme with TWO menus, one where menus are normally (below the title of your blog) and one either at the very top of your website or somewhere near the bottom.
Remember to delete all the themes that you installed but don’t want. It’s not a big deal if you don’t but it will mean you will spend more time updating themes for no reason because you are not using them. Personally, I always delete the themes I am not using so I would do the same.
Wrapping It All Up
And that’s really it for choosing and installing your WordPress website themes. There really isn’t anything else I can do to help you here. Remember that as you add more content to your site, the look of your site may change. If, as it changes, you decide that you really don’t like the look of it anymore, just repeat the steps above for finding a new theme.
You won’t be getting thousands of people visiting your site in the first few months. No one will care or be put off by your website changing its look because, when you’re first starting out, only a few people will even notice. Have fun with your site and do whatever makes you feel happy. Now let’s move onto the next article which is all about customising your WordPress website theme.