So at this point, you have purchased and set up a hosting account with bluehost.com, purchased and connected a domain name to your hosting account, and installed WordPress. If you just landed on this article and haven’t accomplished these things, go to my first article 6 FAST STEPS TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE! steps 1, 2 & 3 to get started!
When you installed WordPress it came with a few of its own themes, including their latest theme called “Twenty Fifteen.” To see what’s there and to get started finding your own theme, log into the admin area (WordPress Dashboard) of your website. Remember (and hopefully you’ve written this down) you log in at: yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Step 4: Install a Theme
- In the Dashboard, mouse over the menu item “Appearance” in the left column to get the sub menu to pop up.
Click the first sub menu item “Themes.”
- You will see the first theme listed is the currently active theme, Twenty Fifteen. You should see one or two other WordPress themes such as Twenty Fourteen and maybe Twenty Twelve (although I think that one’s off their list now). It is also possible that the WordPress installer from Bluehost installed a few free themes as well. If not don’t worry. We’re going to look through a whole list of themes.
So to look at more FREE themes, go to the top of the page.
Click “Add New.”
- Several theme options will pop up. Click through the filters: Featured, Popular, Latest and Feature Filter.
One thing you absolutely want to make sure of is that the theme must be Responsive. This means that it will adjust itself depending on the device being used. If you choose a theme that is not responsive, not only will it not work well for your mobile viewers, but Google will down rank it.
The Feature Filter allows you to select specific features you want in your theme, so you can select “Responsive” in there, as well as colors, features and subject. I would only care about Responsive and maybe color.
If you select one or more of these Feature Filters, click “Apply Filter” to view all the themes with those features.
- Mouse over a theme that you like and notice the options that appear.
Click on the “Details and Preview” to get a better look.
- As you look at the preview, notice in the upper left corner you can either choose to Install it or click the X to close the preview and keep browsing. You can install several themes to your site! Then you can activate each one to see if you like it. If not, just activate another! Pretty cool, huh?
Now these are FREE themes which is nice, but they don’t really have support and their features are minimal.
Premium Themes – alternative to Free Themes
There are themes which are referred to as “Premium” themes. Of course, that means you have to buy them, but they have so much more functionality and support. These premium themes can be found from different online sources such as Themeforest, Studio Press, Elegant Themes and many more. The prices average about $59. Premium themes require some extra steps, including a lot of shopping because you have to make sure the theme is rated well; that the developer is highly regarded; and you need to browse through the entire preview of the theme to make sure it’s just what you want. You may or may not be able to get your money back if you decide you don’t like it. That could be dicey though.
For the sake of just getting your site up and running, I would go with one of the free themes to start until you get a feel for WordPress. You can always change the theme at any time.
So select one of the FREE themes in the WordPress list by clicking “Install.”
- After the theme is installed, you get three options: Live Preview, Activate, Return to Theme Installer. Remember you can install several themes and flip through them by activating one and then another and then another until you decide on the one you like.
Once you decide on the one you want, click Activate.
Guess what? That’s it! It already looks cool, right? Next we’ll make pages and then tell the world!