Create and Get Started Blogging Online: Part 9 – Theme Customization

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Thanks for joining me on my “Blogging Series” and today, we’ll be looking at theme customization. You have several options when setting up your theme, but it’s important to choose one that has the highest conversions. You want to make sure you choose a theme that represents your brand, and that people feel comfortable navigating through. WordPress offers thousands of free and premium themes to choose from so it’s important you go through to find one you’re happy with. Let’s go through some of the theme selection fundamentals.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Let’s jump right in. And remember, the easiest way to start a blog is with our free WordPress installation service.

Searching For Themes

WordPress themes are kept within the left column in the “Appearance” menu. You can then go to Theme>Add New. Here, you will find thousands of free themes available to you. You can go through each one, finding one that fits your brand. Remember, the rule of thumb is to find a theme that is easy to customize and navigate. Next,

If you guys want premium themes, you have thousands of options. You can start by going to Themeforest.net and skimming through the different templates. These are more advanced WordPress themes, and offer a greater selection. With the premium themes, you might get a drag & drop interface, additional plug-ins, etc.

The Layout

When choosing your WordPress template, it’s important to understand how your layout will affect your conversion rate. For example, many people have said they prefer a website with a right sidebar, however, others prefer no side bar at all. You have to think about how one will perform compared to the other. Research has shown that the right-sidebar layout has the highest ROI so I would encourage all of you to focus your attention on this layout. Next,

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If you feel you want to try different layout, that’s fine, but make sure you have an analytical tool installed to ensure you can test which one is performing the best.

Theme Colors

When choosing theme colors, I like to go with those that reflect my logo. However, remember, WordPress templates can completely be customized so you can change colors at a later time. I encourage all of you to know what design and colors you are looking for before choosing because many of you don’t have .CSS experience so will want a theme that does reflect your current color scheme.

Customizing Your Theme

WordPress allows you to customize your theme in “2” ways.

First, you can customize using your .CSS files, which are located within Appearance>Editor. At this point, you are looking for the Style.css file and can go through, making unique changes. You need experience if you are going to make changes to the .CSS file because errors can destroy your entire template. I recommend that you create a backup before you start messing around with your .CSS file. Next,

Many of the advance themes come customized with a customizer that makes it easy for you to select colors, etc. These themes are newer and mobile optimized so very easy to tweak. You have to go into Appearance>Theme Options, then start adjusting what you need from various options you have available. I am using various themes that allow me to easily fix:

  • Color
  • Menu
  • Layout
  • Add banners
  • Font type
  • Font size
  • and much more

Again, if you run into a problem, doing a quick search within Google will provide walkthroughs on how you can customize your theme using the .CSS file available.

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One important thing to keep in mind when customizing your website is that you have to ensure your menu is in the right place. This is an important design element because the menu will reflect how many people visit your website while navigating through. I believe by having the menu in the right place, you’ll encourage people to go through and read other content or pages. The menu can be adjusted by going to Appearance>Menu.

There are many resources on how to set your menu the right way.

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