Wordpress online training course

Wordpress lesson 4, Themes

Finding and installing a theme

Its time to let your great new Wordpress installatio look great. This isn't allways that easy to do but nothing is achieved by doing nothing. But when its finished in the end im sure you will be proud of your work. In this part i will explain to you what themes are and where you can find them. Next we will install a theme so that when you have choosen a theme you at least have this ready. Thats all we will deal with in this lesson. The most important theme files we will discuss in the next lesson.

For starters

First let us see where you can find your themes. You can adjust your themes in two ways namely through ftp and the admin panel. Ftp can be used to upload a new theme or seperate theme files. Through the admin panel you can adjust files and more important activate your new theme.


Login and open the folder wp-content, here you can find the folder themes. This is where you upload your themes.

Admin panel

You login on your wordpress website and find your themes when you click on "Appearance" followed by "Themes" which will unfold. Here you can activate, preview or remove your theme.

Admin panel 2

When you click on "Appearance" once more and next choose "Editor" you will be brought the file editor. On this page you can alter the files of your theme which i don't recommend to do here since there is no undo function in this theme editor. If you break something here its more difficult to fix. Its better to download the theme files to your harddrive and adjust the files there and when you are finished upload them back again in your theme folder. More about this in the next lesson.

How do i get themes

Alot of websites offer free themes for Wordpress and there are also alot websites that offer paid themes. The prices for a paid theme are between $10 and $100 and if a theme like this isn't good enough for you you can allways choose to make a theme. This is alot more expensive of course but it will guarantee that you are the only one with a website that looks like this.

The difference between a default theme which you pay for and a free theme is in most cases the support you will get with it and the difficulty in which you can change certain things. Most paid themes have a controlpanel with which you can change colors, headers and other things without alot effort. In the end it all depends on your skill and experience if you need this extra support. But first let me show you where you can get some themes :

Free themes

Premium (paid) themes

This list may not be the largest but you will get a good idea what kind of themes that are available.

Choosing a theme

Choosing the right theme can take up alot of your time. But you can make it alot easier for yourself if you have an idea what you want your website to look like. What i like to do is make a sketch either on paper or software like photoshop or fireworks. You dont need to make a complete visual design but you can fix which elements you want in what place.

You can make your layout as detailed as possible but an example like in the image above is more than enough. Whats important is that you choose the elements and based on that you can choose a theme which has most of these elements. Besides this is a combination of your theme and the plugins you are using. This will be explained more in a later lesson.


You now have an idea what you theme needs to look like and hopefully have allready found one that matches your needs. Its time to install your new look. After you have downloaded your theme you need to unzip it first. Login through your ftp software and look for the folder wp-content and the themes folder inside it. Upload all the folders and files of your new theme to this folder.

Next login to your wordpress website ( http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin ) and choose "Apprearance" and next "Themes. If you have done everything correctly you should see your new theme here. Click on the screenshot of the theme you wish to install. When this is done click on "Activate" and your new theme will be installed.

Don't be alarmed if your new theme doesn't look like the preview that you have choosen when you have looked at this theme. Now you need to install the right plugins, adapt logos, the header etc.. Maybe you don't have any content this will also make your new theme look a little bit boring. But dont worry in the next lesson i will explain about the most important theme files and their functions. After that we will make a small start to make your theme look even better.