Choosing the right WordPress theme is not difficult if you have a plan and know where and how to install it.
How churches could (and should) use technology and the Internet
- Outreach: Much of the Internet is social and that means communication with other people.
- Information: People live on the Internet and turn to it for information (even about your church).
Before you start browsing for a new WordPress theme
- Once you start browsing theme collections, it’s easy to get distracted and forget some of the practical things. Create a plan first.
- Break down the layout of a theme in your mind into separate parts: header, navigation, body, sidebar, and footer:
- Header: Logo, graphic, banner space, social networking icons, etc.
- Navigation: Drop-down menu, number of menu items, etc.
- Body: Layout of homepage, layout of posts/pages, text size, font, author box, date of post, etc.
- Sidebar: Width, specialized widgets, multiple sidebars, left or right sidebar, etc.
- Footer: Menus, widgets, copyright information, etc.
- Choose a color scheme. It might be helpful to have a logo designed beforehand.
- How much are you willing to spend?
- Go ahead and write copy for some of your basic pages you intend to have on the website (ex. the “About” page).
Websites to browse and purchase a premium WordPress theme
- http://themeforest.net - More than 2,000 themes from $20 to $60 each
- http://www.elegantthemes.com - $39 membership with access to 76 themes
- http://www.woothemes.com - Website currently unavailable
- http://www.mojo-themes.com/ - 365 themes from $30 to $37 each
- yourdomain.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wp-app-store-themes – 164 themes (must have WP App Store plugin installed)
- http://standardtheme.com - A very popular and customizable theme used by sites like MichaelHyatt.com for $49
- http://headwaythemes.com - Create your own theme with simple drag-and-drop functionality for $87
- http://www.studiopress.com - This is a slightly more advanced option which uses the Genesis framework for $79
Pay close attention to your plan when browsing themes
- The demos you see may not accurately reflect what those themes would look like on your website.
- Carefully read the details of each theme.
How to install a premium WordPress theme
- If you purchase your theme through the WP App Store, installation is as simple as a click of the mouse.
- When downloading a theme from another website, the theme will come in a zipped folder.
- Unzip (extract) that folder and find another zipped folder within it named the same as the theme.
- Visit your WordPress Dashboard –> Appearance –> Themes.
- Click the Install Themes tab and Upload.
- Choose the zipped theme folder, upload, and activate.
- Find your theme’s options either under Appearance in the Dashboard menu or under it’s own tab.
Take your time and populate the site with content
- Go through all your theme’s settings.
- Upload your logo, favicon, slider images, and other options the theme provides.
- Add widgets to your sidebar(s).
- Publish your static pages, add post categories, and set up your menus.
- Tweak and adjust as you become more familiar and add more content.