In the blogging world, WordPress designs are called themes.
Out of the box, your blog will look something like this:
It isn’t the fanciest design out there, but it’s workable.
There are thousands of themes to choose from. But, it can be easy to get trapped in “Shiny Object Syndrome” and not walk away with anything.
You can swap out your theme any time, so don’t get too caught up with the bells and whistles.
First, you need to log into your WordPress admin. You can access this by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Here, you’ll need to enter your user credentials to log in.
If you’re new to WordPress, the dashboard might look a little daunting at first, but you’ll be an expert with a little practice.
To install a new theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and click “Themes.”
WordPress comes with a few themes – their “Twenty-[Year]” themes.
Instead, we’ll search for flashier themes that will instantly make your eyes twinkle. Click the “Add New” button at the top to get access to thousands of WordPress themes.
Your taste and mine might be different. Fortunately, WordPress has a “Feature Filter” that lets you search for something that will fit your style.
The 3 categories are “layout,” “features” and “subject.” Here’s what your filter requests might look like.
After applying the filters, you’ll see amazing themes that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars in design fees. Since I like you, it’s free.
If you click on the theme’s thumbnail, you can get an instant preview of what your blog will look like. Evaluate if it fits both your personal style and the topic that you’ll be covering.
Once you’re satisfied with the sneak peek, click the “Install” button. In my case, I select Verbosa WordPress theme.
Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button and you’re all set.
If you can’t find a theme that you like, there are premium themes that you can purchase from sites like:
By now, your theme should be activated and ready to go. Let’s move on to customizing your theme.
There are endless customizations that you can make on a WordPress blog. We’ll stick with the essentials.
Themes are the foundation of your design and include the core functionalities. WordPress also has plugins that can add to or extend the functionality of your blog.
For example, you can use plugins to add forums, contact forms or sliders. While they might seem like basic features, they aren’t always available by default.
The first step is to click the “Customize” button on your active theme.
Menu options in the sidebar will vary, depending on the theme you choose. The main category to edit is “Site Identity.”
Here, you can add the name of your blog and a tagline if you wish. When you’re done, click the “Save and Publish” button.