The first thing that everyone wants to change is their site title and “tagline.” The site’s title defaults to your user name and the tagline defaults to “Just another WordPress.com site.” These are changed in the wp-admin page under the general settings menu.
The second thing everyone wants to change is their theme. This is what makes WordPress such a powerful platform for small businesses. You can have an attractive customized website for nothing more than the cost of hosting.
Before you select a theme, I want to again stress- the simpler the better. Also, unless you are a night club don’t choose a theme with a black background.
To select a new theme click on the appearance tab in the left column and if you don’t automatically go there, choose Themes. Scrolling down the page will reveal random themes selected by word press. If you loo through these you’ll note there are many many different themes and that some are free while others are not. Unless you’re a developer that needs to pay royalties to a theme’s owner I cant recommend paying for any theme. Especially since so many of the free ones are great!
When browsing for themes you should select “Feature filter” and search for themes that have the features you want. There are so many themes to choose from that you should be able to find something to fit your needs. One of the downsides of hosting your site on WordPress is that you can’t install themes from an outside source. WordPress lets you choose from 130 of their selected designs, but there are 1000’s more choices out there on the web.
Your theme will determine how many columns your site has and what the general look and feel of the site will be. Some themes come with multiple columns and have features built into some of them. For example, the theme might list your posts and categories. Some themes include sidebars. Sidebars allow you to put content on every page. The IndieGoGo banner on the left of this page and the Facebook box on the right are both housed in sidebars. As you move about the pages here you’ll see that these columns don’t change. Some Themes have options where you can define how many side bars and columns you want.
When you find a theme that you like, click preview. This will show you basically how the theme will look with your site’s content. Keep in mind that everything might not transition perfectly. If you’re generally happy with the results, click activate and you have a new theme on your site!
Tomorrow we will talk about sidebars again and all the amazing things we can do with widgets.