How to Change Themes in WordPress

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Making your entire website look completely different has never been easier. Unless, of course, you have hire me to do so for you. Here is the 1-2-3 look at changing themes in your WordPress website. This applies to either WordPress.com or WordPress.org (self-hosted) sites and uses the Themes link inside of the Administrator’s Control Panel (Admin Panel).

Log in to your WordPress Admin Panel (it will be found at http://yourwebsite.tld/wp-login.php or straight to http://yourwebsite.tld/wp-admin/) [Figure A]

Figure A - WordPress Login

Once logged in to your Admin Panel look in the left tool bar for “Appearance”. If it does not look like the image [Figure B] click on the word “Appearance” to activate the script to open the submenu. Then click on the word “Themes” in the submenu. [Figure B]

Figure B - Themes Access

When the screen loads you will see two tabs. One says “Manage Themes” and the other “Install Themes”. Click on “Install Themes” [Figure C]. Now you can search by typing in key words, the author’s name or tags the author used when uploading to the Themes directory. You can also use the check boxes to make selections. The more terms and boxes you choose the less likely you are to get a result. When the search engine sees check boxes it looks for a theme that matches all of the check boxes you have ticked. Check one color, a theme layout preference and click submit.

Figure C - Select a Theme

For the purpose of this tutorial I selected “Blue” and “Right Sidebar” from the check boxes and you can see part of the results which were returned to me [Figure D].

Figure D - Theme Search Results

I like the one called “Pool”. Before installing it I can see a “Preview” by clicking the word “Preview”. This will open a preview so you can see what it would look like full screen. After that simply click on the word “Install”. The newest versions of WordPress (we are at 3.0.5 right now) will present you another option to “Install Now” or “Cancel”. Hopefully you do not need an explanation of those. Keep in mind you are only installing at this point and you will still need to activate the new theme in a coming step. Click “Install Now” and the theme will install into your WordPress theme directory [Figure E].

Figure E - New Theme Installed

Now that your new them is installed you can choose to Preview, Activate or Return to Theme Installer. You would return to the installer if you wanted to download another theme. You may download as many as you like without worrying about them interfering with one another. Only the active theme interacts with the WordPress core. When you click on the “Activate” link the theme will be activated and visitors will see your WordPress installation with the new theme installed and all of your content in place. The Admin Panel will tell you the new theme has been activated, show you the thumbnail and the description [Figure F]. Below that you will see all of the available themes on your installation.

Figure F - Newly installed theme

Now you can view your WordPress site with the new theme installed but you may have a couple more steps. Your sidebar may need to be reset to the way you like it. Chances are if you did not know how to install a theme you did not know how to organize your sidebar using the widgets panel so the default setting may be just fine for you. If not, search for a “How to Organize the Sidebar Widgets in WordPress”.

What is WordPress?

This is a question most WordPress developers, hosts and pundits usually skip past. When moving WP into a new market, like real estate agents and small business people, it is a question which must me answered and really should be presented with “Why You Need A WordPress Site”.

WordPress is, for all practical purposes, a web based application which allows anyone who can type and send an email with an attachment to run a robust website.

You were expecting a more detailed answer? How about a video instead …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7YyRspWfW4

WordPress for Real Estate

Don’t get ripped off. Don’t pay hundreds of dollars for what is only worth maybe $300 at max.

First question from most people’s mouth: do you have any sites you can show me?

WooThemes - WordPress themes for everyoneHere’s the thing – it’s WordPress. The theme is the site. ¬†You pick your look. Click on the link to the right and choose from hundreds of looks. (Don’t let the word “membership” confuse you. Call me if it does 877-700-0536) Or you can give me $1500-$2000 and I will choose for you. (That’s a joke that many people fall for – by getting burned paying for someone to install one of these themes for that price.)

ANYBODY CAN INSTALL A THEME. If you are paying someone to install a theme it should not be more than about $35. Even to customize a theme’s looks you should not pay more than about $150 including the creation of a custom header/banner image for most cases.

I DON’T GET IT. The other people are charging $750 – $2500 and you expect me to believe you will do the same thing for less than $300?

Yes. They don’t “design” those WordPress sites. They use a theme, create a custom header, install a few plugins then call me when they can’t get it to work right. Furthermore the chances they actually know PHP, MySQL, AJAX and JSON enough to truly customize a theme is highly unlikely.

If you use a Woo theme purchased through me and web hosting purchased through me you never even write me a check – at all. I will setup your WordPress, install all the applications you need for SEO and social engagement to get you started, install your choice of themes and spend an hour showing you how to use it.