Make a Great First Impression with a Great WordPress Theme for your Blog: How to Start a Blog – Step 4. Now it’s time to talk WordPress Themes. After installing your WordPress blog, the next thing that you’re going to want to do is choose the theme. It is simply a template for your website, and one of the best features of using WordPress because there is no design experience needed. WordPress comes with tons of free themes and there are some really cool paid WordPress themes as well – prices range from just a few $$ to $1000′s.
You don’t need to know how to code the site at all. For example, you might choose to have a theme with two columns or three columns, and a header or one without. There are almost unlimited amounts of design options that you can choose when it comes to having your own WordPress blog.
Find the Themes
So where do you get these themes? There are numerous places that you can obtain them for your WordPress blog. First of all, the easiest way is to simply click on the appearance tab in your WordPress dashboard and then you will see the option for themes.
Once you click on it, then you can do a search within WordPress for all kinds of free WordPress themes that are available, i.e. on wordpress.org. You will see many variations. Spend some time really looking at all of the options available.
There are also paid WordPress themes that you can find online from different vendors, including PremiumWP and StudioPress (founded by our friend Brian Gardner, and highly recommended). If you are going to have a site that is for your business or other professional interests, you might want to invest in a paid theme that will allow you to do all kinds of other customizations that many of the free themes don’t allow.
These can range in price from very inexpensive all the way up to a $200 or more. A lot of this depends on whether you’re going to use the theme just on one website or whether you plan to use it on numerous sites. Some theme designers have an option called a multi-site license or even a developer’s license. Make sure you know what the licensing rules are for the package you purchase.
One great thing about WordPress is that it doesn’t require you to be technologically savvy to use it. However, some can be quite complicated and complex to use, especially for a novice.
You don’t want to purchase a theme this could be overly hard for you to customize to suit your needs. However, if you do find one that you don’t think you can set up by yourself, then you can always outsource that task to someone else who does that on a regular basis.
As an example, you might decide that you want a custom header to go at the top of your site. This makes your site stand out from the crowd and gives you an opportunity to brand yourself better. Many people will make a website header for less than $25 by hiring a graphic designer on sites like Elanceand Guru.
Map Out Your Site
Before you purchase a header or even use a free one, it makes sense to sit down and map out how you want your site to look. If you are planning to generate passive income on the site by using Google AdSense or affiliate offers, you need to think about exactly where you want those advertisements to be placed.
Certainly, many studies have been done over the years pointing out the best areas to place your website advertisements (like this Google AdSense Heatmap) to ensure maximum conversions. Do some research online to find out the best places to place your ads so that you can make the most money from your website?
If you are not planning to put advertisements on your website, then you still need to think through what you want the user to experience when they come to your blog. Thinking through this ahead of time will help you narrow down the choices when you’re looking for themes that will fit with your blog site plan. You might even want to ask around if you’re on any kind of Internet forums to see what themes other people are using with great success.
You should also review how your website looks in different web browsers.
Install a WordPress Theme
To install a theme, it depends on where you got it. If you’re using one of the free themes that come inside of WordPress, you’re simply going to click on the theme and hit the install button. Once installed, it will ask if you want to activate the theme and you can simply click on the “activate” button.
You can load several themes onto your site and preview each one individually before activating the one that you want to use. Thankfully, themes are very simple and easy to change on a WordPress site, so don’t worry if you load 5 or 10 before you figure out which one you want to activate. It really is just simple clicks of a button to change them out.
If you purchase the theme from somewhere or download one from somewhere else on the Internet, it is still very easy to install on your site. In most cases, you will be given a zip file when you download a theme online.
You’ll simply click into your themes area, click on the install themes tab and then look for a button that says upload. Once you browse and find the zip file that you downloaded, simply upload it to the site and activate it.
As you can see, installing a WordPress theme is very easy. With a few clicks, you will have a site that literally looks like it was designed by a professional. This is one of the biggest perks of using WordPress to build your blog. You don’t have to worry about all of the technical jargon. You just need to know where to click and before you know it you will be publishing the first few articles on your blog!