Starting Your Own Blog Part 5: WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes:

There are thousands of free themes for wordpress out there. You can go to the “Appearance” tab and click on “Themes”. From there, you can “Install Themes” and browse for new ones. I would, however, recommend going a different route. I recommend using one of the custom themes below because they give you control of the layout and how your blog looks.

I messed around with customizing other peoples’ themes and it was time consuming and difficult. Then I played around with building my own from scratch. Again, it was time consuming and difficult. Last year, when I started getting more into creating blogs, I took a look at each of the three listed below. ¬†They allowed me to customize the blog with very little effort. I bought Headway Developers package so that I can use it on all my websites and blogs. The screenshot to the right is of the Headway Visual Editor for this blog. I can just resize the columns by dragging and dropping. I can move the menus easily. I can change the colors and fonts easily.

Thesis Theme* – ($87 as of 02/2012) This theme allows you to change layouts without coding. The Design Options allows you to point and click and make many changes to the design. It’s a little easier than Headway, but not quite as powerful. Check out both and figure out which one is for you.

Headway Theme* – ($68 as of 02/2012) I use Headway Theme to visually layout my blogs. I’ve used it on a dozen websites and really like it. Headway allows you to visually arrange how the website will look based on a grid layout. If you want a different sized sidebar, just click and drag. But it is more complicated than Thesis, and that’s the reason I chose it for my blogs.

Builder Theme* – ($80 as of 2/2012) I have not used this particular theme, but it is similar to Thesis or Headway in that you can build your own theme. All 3 of these allow you to customize your theme easily, rather than depend on someone else’s theme.

As I mentioned above, I am using the Headway Theme for all of my websites. It is really easy to use, and very powerful. I can change columns, headers, footers, navigation, all with a click of the mouse. It also allows me to use different layouts per page, and I have also customized the CSS on a page by page basis. There are so many things that Headway can do.

Starting Your Own Blog Resources:

Here are a few pages of how to start your own blog. I originally had this in 3 parts, but decided it would be better broken down to more specific steps. I’ve also added a few other resources pages, such as camera and lighting pages, as well as general technology pages. These pages are most of the general steps in starting your own blog.

WordPress Pages
WP Part 1 РDomain Names WP Part 2 РHosting WP Part 3 РWordPress (installation)
WP Part 4 – Configure WP WP Part 5 – Themes WP Part 6 – Plugins
WP Part 7 – Widgets WP Part 8 – Pages and Menus WP Part 9 – Posts and Categories

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