Your WordPress site is all set up, you may have written a few posts, maybe "About Me" and "Contact Me" pages ... but there's still something missing.  This is when you start wondering how to install a WordPress theme that's more in line with your message.

There's the default theme, the black  on white background, the wall of text ... and all the other things that seemed so exciting and new ... but now just seem, well, boring.

You need a makeover.

More...

How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme for Your Site

What's your blog about?  Cooking? Yoga? Crafts?  Your philosophy of life?  The theme you choose should reflect your subject, not only in how and where the images you choose fit on your theme, but also in its responsiveness, the way you want your posts to display on the homepage and various other details that only you know about.

You can preview WordPress themes on your site once you have installed them, but also bear in mind that keeping a bunch of themes on your site even if you're not using them can slow down your page load speed dramatically.  Look out for a tutorial on how to delete unwanted themes at some point in the future.

Let's get to the point of this tutorial now.

How to Install a WordPress Theme - or Change the One You Have

Before you begin, you will need:

  • check
    ​A WordPress site. 
  • check
    ​Admin privileges
Choose Your Theme

You're going to change the appearance of your site, so logically enough, that's the option to choose from the left hand side menu.

install wordpress theme appearance image

From the pop out menu, choose "Themes".  Then click the "Add New" button. 

At this point, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of free themes to choose from.  You'll need to reduce the choices somewhat.  This is what the "feature filter" is for - click that.

feature filter install wordpress theme image

You'll be presented with a number of tick boxes designed to weed out everything except the most relevant themes to choose from.  I've ticked a few boxes in this image to give you the idea.

install wordpress theme feature filter image

When you're done choosing, click the "apply filters" button.

That reduces the choices somewhat.  You can try all of them out on your site using the preview button that appears as you run your mouse over each of them.

install wordpress theme preview image

When you've chosen, click the "install" button - et voila! - you have a new look for your WordPress site.

What Next?

Your lovely new theme is now up and running.  But there's still something not quite there yet.

It's nice to have the default images on your theme - after all, that may well be why you chose it!  But do you really want your site to look like other people's sites?

Of course not.

Colour Palette

Some websites are incredibly restful and easy on the eye.  Do you know why?  Colour palette is a major part of it.

Your colour palette draws everything together, gives a branding to each page and reassures your visitors they're still with you, even when they end up on, for example, a landing page for a product.  Choose your colour palette wisely - one major colour for headings and backgrounds, with 3-4 complementary or contrasting colours for buttons, icons etc to provide interest.  You can see how I've worked with it here: fionamccallion.co.uk/blog/

I'm not very arty, but that will give you ideas on how to work with it.

You can change the default colour palette through the customize menu, which pops out when you click "appearance" as described above.  

Fonts

And while you're in the customize menu, have a look at the fonts available to you.  Do you want a serif font, or non serif? Do you have a particular mood in mind for your fonts? Or are you happy with what you're given?

​Takeaway

Images, colour palette and fonts are the foundation to building a blog you're proud of, that makes your heart sing ... and that give your visitors a subconscious impression of who you are and whether you're a good fit. 

Hope this tutorial was helpful.  Comment below with your thoughts.

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