From Spaces to WordPress step by step. Choosing a theme.
October 4, 2010 4 Comments
3. Choosing a new Theme.
As soon as your new blog on WordPress has been set up, you will be assigned the Twenty Ten default theme. This theme is pretty versatile. You can choose to use your own header and select your own background, either a base colour or alternatively a background picture. So Twenty Ten allows you to personalise it and make it look pretty unique and different to other blogs on WordPress that use this same theme. Twenty Ten already gives some different choices of header pictures for you to choose from. However, if this default theme is not to your taste, then its fairly easy to choose another one instead. Maybe you intend to use your new WordPress blog as a photo display blog and would prefer a darker background or a wider area in which to show off your pristine photos? Whatever your personal tastes and requirements, there is sure to be at least one theme on WordPress that will fulfil your needs.
1. From your new WordPress blog, select your Dashboard from the WordPress Bar that runs along the top of your blog by clicking on My Blog and then selecting Dashboard from the drop down list.
2. We will be working our way through the many different areas and options available in our dashboard in later posts, but for now note the Right Now area at the top left hand side of your Dashboard window. In that box, you will see your current theme Twenty Ten with 6 Widgets. Click on the Change Theme button.
You will now be in the Manage Themes page. At the top is your current theme with all the options and features that the theme contains. In the case of Twenty Ten, this includes such features as Widgets, Menus, Extras, Background, Header, Typekit Fonts and Edit CSS. It also shows the tags for that particular theme that you can use to search for when choosing a theme to use for your new blog. Under your current theme you can see small pictures and titles of the other available themes on WordPress.com. There are a total of ninety seven different themes available.
3. Next you need to decide which features are important to you. This will largely depend on how you intend to use your blog and what its content is likely to be. For example if you have been using Spaces to show off all of your photo collection, then it might be a good idea to choose a darker theme where your photos are displayed at their best and which allows for full width posts so that your photos can be displayed in as large a format as possible.
However, if your intention is to write lot’s of text posts with maybe the occasional picture as illustrations then choosing an easy to read theme with dark text on a light background may be more suitable. Is it important that you can add your own personal touches such as your own background and header? Well, your search criteria can ‘home in’ on those features that you prefer. For this how-to, we’ll search for those themes that are more suitable for a photo type blog.
4. At the side of the Search bar in the Browse Themes area, you will see the words Feature Filters. Click on it. Now you can see all the filters that you can apply in order to help you focus on a theme that has all those criteria and features that are important to you. For our photo type blog, let’s apply the features Black and One Column (so that its as wide as possible, we can always add some Widgets to the bottom area of our blog if we wish to include some.
5. So next click in the following filters Black and One Column. Next click on Apply Filters at the bottom of the Theme filters window. If there is a theme available that fully fits your Feature filters choice it will then be shown. In our case, we are shown three different themes that meet our needs. Chaos Theory, DePo Masthead and Modularity Lite. So let’s take a look at these three themes shall we?
6. Click on Preview from under the title of the theme Chaos Theory. Well, its certainly black but the area where we intend to show off our photos isn’t really all that wide. So click on the small cross a the top left hand side of the Preview window and then Preview the next theme.
7. DePo doesn’t quite fit the bill either so let’s preview the last theme, Modularity Lite. Ahh, that’s more to our liking,, its nice and wide so that it will display all of our photos in a nice big size, its black and we can also alter the background and the header as well. So click on Activate ‘Modularity Lite’ from the top right hand side of the Preview window.
You will now be returned to your Dashboard with all the Extras and Options for your new chosen theme available to you under the Appearance heading in the left hand sidebar. In my next how-to, we’ll take a look at the Dashboard for our new WordPress blog and adjust our settings on there including giving ourselves an Avatar that will be used all over the WordPress.com site, and here’s our new theme in all its glory!