After you’ve published some posts, you may decide that it’s time for a website makeover. Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn HTML or any other coding language to customize the look of your website. Usually all that you need to do is find a WordPress theme that displays your posts, header and other website objects just the way you want them to look.
Using WordPress Themes
WordPress makes it simple to control the layout of your website by using ‘themes’. Each theme can display your website differently. There are a variety of free and premium themes that you can use.
The advantage of using a free theme is that you don’t have to buy it. But it also means it might be tougher to get support if you encounter a problem. Free themes are often designed by WordPress coders who work full-time to support their hobby. This means it could be a while in-between theme updates, meaning you may not get to use the latest features immediately.
Premium themes can give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to your site’s layout. They’re often simpler to customize and use. Since this is a business for the theme developer, it’s usually easier to get support if you do encounter technical problems.
But the downside of a premium theme is that you have to buy it. Some themes you can buy and keep forever. Some require you to pay a yearly fee to keep the theme updated with the latest features. It depends on the designer you buy from and what their policies are.
Start with a Free Theme
If you’d like, you can start with a free WordPress theme and upgrade to a premium one later on when you’re ready. You can test out new themes by signing into your website. Then click on the left side where it says ‘Appearance’.
You’ll be taken to the themes page. At the top of the page, you should see a link to ‘Add New’. Click on this and WordPress will load a selection of themes for you to see.
You’re browsing what’s known as the WordPress theme directory also found here. All of the themes inside of it are free and you can use them on your website for as long as you’d like. Some themes may offer a premium version with extra features if you choose to upgrade but you don’t have to.
You can search the WordPress theme directory. There’s a search box in the right corner. You can search for themes by color (such as pink, green, blue, etc) or by features (flexible header, mobile responsive, etc).
When you find a theme you like, click ‘Install’.
Once the theme is installed, click on ‘Activate’.
If you decide you don’t like the theme, you don’t have to keep it. WordPress will allow you to have as many free themes on your website as you want.
Upgrade to a Premium Theme
Some people already know the theme they want to use on their WordPress site or they see a gorgeous one that they fall in love with. After you purchase your theme, the theme designer will allow you to download a ZIP folder. This folder contains your WordPress theme.
To install it, sign into your website. Click on ‘Appearance’ on the left.
When the theme page loads, click ‘Add New’.
At the top of the next page, you’ll see an option to ‘Upload Theme’. Click on this then add the theme to your website.
Find the zip file for your theme on your computer or device then click ‘Install Now’.
Once the theme has installed, you can click ‘Activate’.
If you don’t know how to set up your theme, contact your theme designer. Many designers create tutorials and videos that show you how to get your website to display like the demo theme.
Some premium WordPress theme providers that you may want to consider using include: Socrates, StudioPress.
When it’s time for a website makeover, explore the different themes and have fun. Remember, you can always change your theme later as your website and business grow!