WordPress Tutorials – Selecting Theme, customizing and adding plugins

Most beginners feel overwhelmed when it comes to selecting a theme for their WordPress site. There are thousands of free and paid options. Each theme looks better than the other. How do you choose the best theme for WordPress? Before going any further, lets look at the factors to consider when chosing a wordpress theme.

These factors include

  • Striving for simplicity
  • Responsive websiteBrowser Compitability
  • Supported Plugins
  • Transalation / Multilingual Ready
  • Page Builder
  • Support Options For When You Need Help
  • SEO Friendliness
  • Rating and Reviews

Lets start off by selecting them for a website

Theme Visual Appearance

The visual appearance of your WordPress site is controlled by a WordPress theme. WordPress themes are professionally designed templates that you can install on your website to change its appearance.

By default, each WordPress site comes with a basic theme. If you visit your website, then it will look something like this:

This is not very appealing for most users. But don’t worry, there are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes that you can install on your site.

Changing Theme In WordPress

You can change your theme from the WordPress admin dashboard. Visit Appearance » Themes page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button.

On the next screen, you will able to search from 4,492 free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort them by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).

I will be using Bento. Bento is a popular multi-purpose free WordPress theme with flexible design options for all kind of websites. If you know the name of the free theme you want to install, then you can look for it by entering its name in the search field. WordPress will show you the theme in search results. You will need to take your mouse over to the theme and then click on the Install button.

Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu. This will launch the theme customizer where you will be able to change your theme settings with live preview of your website.

You don’t need to finalize all theme settings right away. You will be able to customize it much better once you have some content on your website. Let’s see how to add content to your WordPress site.

Adding Content To Your Website

WordPress comes with two default content types called posts and pages. Posts are part of a blog and appear in reverse-chronological order (newer items displayed first). On the other hand, pages are meant to be static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, privacy policy, etc. By default, WordPress shows your blog posts on the front page of your website. You can change that, and make WordPress show any page as the front-page of your website (I will show you how to do that later in this guide). You can create a separate page for your blog or news section. In fact, you can create a website without any blog section at all.

Having said that, let’s add some content to your website. You’ll start by adding a few pages to your WordPress site. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content for these pages at the moment. You can always edit and update them.

Head over to Pages » Add New page in WordPress admin area. This will bring you to the page editor screen, which looks like this:

First you need to provide a title for your page, let’s call this page ‘Home’. After that you can add content in the text editor below. You can add text, links, images, embed videos, audio, etc.

After adding content to your page, you can click on the publish button to make it live on your website. You can repeat the process by adding more pages for different sections of your website. For example, an about page, contact us, and a blog page to display blog posts.

Now let’s add a few blog posts as well.

Head over to Posts » Add New in your WordPress admin area.

What Happens when You Add A New Post?

You will see a screen much like you saw earlier when adding
pages.

You can add a post title and then add content in the visual post
editor. You’ll also notice some extra options like post formats, categories and tags.

You can click on the save button to store your post as a draft or click on the publish button to make it visible on your site.

Customizing And Improving Your Website

Now that you have created some content on your website, you will be able to customize and put it all in a nice presentable shape on your website. Let’s start by setting up a static front Page.

Setting Up A Static Front Page

You need to visit the Settings » Reading page in your WordPress admin area. Under the ‘Front page displays’ option click on the static front page and then select ‘Pages’ you created earlier for your home and blog pages.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page to store your changes. WordPress will now use the page titled ‘Home’ as your site’s front page and ‘Blog’ page to display your blog posts.

Change Site Tittle And Tagline

During the installation you get to choose your site’s title. WordPress automatically adds a tag line to your site title that says ‘Just another WordPress site’. You can change both your site’s title and tagline at any time by visiting Settings » General page.

Your site title will be the name of your website like WPBeginner. The tag line is usually a single line that describes your website. You can also leave the tag line field blank if you want. Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Set Up Commets Settings

WordPress comes with a built-in comment system allowing your users to leave comments on your posts. This is great for user engagement, but it is targeted by spammers as well. To deal with this, you’ll need to enable comment moderation on your website. Visit Settings » Discussions page and scroll down to ‘Before a comment appears’ section. Check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Creating Navigation Menus

Navigation menus allow your users to browse different pages or sections on your website. WordPress comes with a powerful navigation menu system, and your WordPress theme utilizes this system to display menus.

Let’s add a navigation menu to your website.First, you need to visit Appearance » Menus page. Enter a name for your navigation menu and click on the create menu button.

WordPress will now create your navigation menu. But it will be empty at the moment. Next, you need to select the pages you want to display in your menu and then click on add to menu button.

You will notice your selected pages filling the empty area of your navigation menu. You can move them up and down to rearrange their position in the menu.

Now you need to select a display location. These locations are
defined by your WordPress theme. Usually, most WordPress themes have a primary
menu that appears on top.

Finally, click on the save menu button to store your navigation menu. You can now visit your website to see the menu in action.

Installing Plugins

WordPress site. Think contact form, photo galleries, etc.

There are currently more than 49,000 free plugins available for WordPress. There are also paid plugins sold by third-party websites and developers. With this many plugins, how do you find which plugins to install? Here is our list of essential plugins that you should install on your site right away. All of them are free.

Features

Website Optimization

Security

  • Updraft Plus –
    Create automatic scheduled backups of your website
  • Sucuri –
    Website security audit and malware scanner
 
 

Thats it for today. i hope this information was helpful.

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