WordPress Customization

Now that WordPress is installed on your Website, it is time to “make it your own” through WordPress customization. You should have received the URL to use when for logging in to your Dashboard. This is where you do all the work – create the look and feel of your site; make changes, add pages, updates, posts, etc.

Your URL should appear as:  http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin or http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin. You may have another directory after your domain name (/blog/wp-admin) if you installed WP into a special directory.

As you begin to customize you site, think of it as painting a picture. This is the beginning of building your brand; so, take your time as you customize. Make sure you are presenting the image you want.

The first step is to choose a theme and select a few security-focused plug-ins.

So, let’s begin . . .

Pick Your Theme

WordPress Themes

There are a number of free themes available inside your dashboard. All you have to do is click on:  Appearance – Themes – Install Themes. This will allow you to search through the available FREE themes. Or you can search: WordPress.org (Themes).

As you explore the options, you will also notice that some can be upgraded to premium themes, which require a fee. Prices usually start between $70 – $80.

If you are interested in a premium theme, do a Google search for “premium WordPress themes.” You should also research theme developers to make sure they are legitimate and that their themes do not carry undesirable links.

Be sure to read the documentation that is provided by the developer. This is an important step that some people skip – DON’T SKIP IT! The documentation will help you avoid misusing the theme.  For example: The developer may require that you leave the “created by” information in the footer. This is fairly common with the free themes.

Recommended Premium Themes

  • Woo Themes – These are beautiful themes with good flexibility. They offer a large selection covering many different niches. Although they are advertised for designers and developers, I used their CANVAS theme and found it fairly easy to use.  I will admit that I had a lot of help from their tech support, but both my sites worked out pretty well.  With a purchase they may offer one or two additional themes at no cost.
  • StudioPress.com – A good selection of easy-to-use professionally-designed themes. Their themes offer excellent  functionality and simple customization from the dashboard. Tech support is available through a private message board for owners only.
  • ElegantThemes.com – This site offers a wide variety of beautiful, clean, professionally-designed themes and great customer support.
  • OboxThemes.com – If you are looking for an e-commerce theme – this is the place. You can choose from numerous premium themes and count on receiving excellent support and great documentation. In addition to all of that, there is an active support forum.
  • PremiumPress.com – They pride themselves in offering what they called “turn-key” themes that are quick and easy to set up. They are presented in categories by type, which makes it easy to search for a theme that matches your business.

You have probably guessed that there are many other sites that offer premium themes, but with these five you have a place to start.

Always consider choosing a responsive theme, which means they will work well with any device (or screen) that the user may be using – including smart phones and tablets.

We are rapidly approaching an age when our society will be completely mobile. As a result, it is a necessity that you address that factor when building your website.  On that note, you will be happy to know that responsive websites are easy to build with WordPress.

See you next time . . .

Nancy

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