Step 4: Customizing Your Site
WordPress needs to be installed on your website. If you haven’t completed the WordPress installation yet, please go back to Step 2 where you learn about the installation process.
Now that you have learned the basics of setting up and managing your website, we are going to look at a few more details that can be managed to customize it. I like WordPress because it is such a powerful tool, which allows you to develop your website in any format that you can dream of.
Right now, you probably think that your website is pretty boring, right? Don’t worry, now you are going to learn how to change the layout and site design, and you will also see a bunch of other awesome tips and tricks that can be used to customize your website.
Adjusting the Design of Your Website
Each person has a unique preference when it comes to the way their website should look. One of the benefits of WordPress is that you have the ability to change the complete design and layout with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
In WordPress, these various layouts are called “Themes”. You can manage you theme by visiting the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress admin menu. A smaller screen will pop up, and you should click the plus sign option to “Add New Theme.”
After clicking the plus sign, find a screen where you can search WordPress themes. Try using the “Feature Filter” to search by layout, color, keyword, or anything else that you might be looking for.
If you don’t know the right place to begin, then you can browse through the “Featured” link located near the top of the page where you will see many of the popular themes that are available for your website.
It is exciting to see the hundreds of free themes that you can choose from for your website. But, it can be overwhelming, so don’t get too hung-up by spending too much time trying to find the perfect theme. It’s easy to change it later, so pick one that you like to get your website started as soon as possible. Then add the other customizations at a later point.
Once you have selected the theme that you want to use, click the “Install” button right below your preferred theme. Next, you will find that you are taken to a theme installation screen, and you need to click the link that says “Activate” in order to make your theme display on your website.
You can see your new theme in action right away, just go to the domain and see the changes!
Changing themes is an effective way to handle the big changes on your site, but there are other smaller customizations that can also be used. Install the theme first, and then make adjustments to the widgets.
These “widgets” are used to control the sidebar area, and some themes allow you to use widgets to change other areas of your website as well.
To manage the widgets, scroll over “Appearance” in the WordPress admin panel, and choose “Widgets”. On the widget page, it is easy to drag-and-drop the features to add or remove them from your site.
As with everything else in WordPress, it is very easy to make changes as you go along. If you don’t like something, then just change it back! So, try playing around with the various widgets that are available, so that you can see the different configuration options for your site.
Building Subpages for Your Website
In addition to your homepage, you will want to build subpages with more information. These subpages can offer a variety of purposes, such as showcasing additional products or adding more informational content on your website.
It is easy to add a subpage, because it’s almost exactly like the process we followed to setup the homepage earlier in this tutorial series.
Click on “Pages” in the WordPress admin panel, you can click the image to view a larger version so that you can easily locate the section you are looking for.
When you are viewing “All Pages,” you will be able to see the homepage that was already created. You can start writing a brand new page for your website by clicking the “Add New” button that is located in 2 places: in the navigation menu and near the top next to the word “Pages.”
Next you will see the page creator screen. Start by entering in the title of your page, and then add the content in the larger box below.
You can use the “Add Media” button to add images to the page. Simply click “Select Files” and it will walk you through the process to upload photos that are saved on your computer. The next screen will let you make adjustments to size of the picture as well as the alignment. Once you are done with these adjustments, click “Insert into page” and the picture will be added to your page.
Enter in all of the information that you would like on the page, and don’t forget to click the “Publish” button located on the right side of the screen.
When you were looking at the pages, you probably noticed a link for “posts” as well. These posts are usually used if you want to add a blog on your website, which can be beneficial to update your visitors regularly about changes or current news. The blog is a great place for this information if it doesn’t fit into the main areas of your website.
The admin panel makes it easy to create posts, because they are setup and managed in the same way as the pages. You don’t have to create any posts if you don’t want a blog. But, it is a good idea to navigate into the posts section so that you can delete the sample post created by WordPress entitled “Hello World!”
What’s the next step?
Now that you have completed this step, you should have an attractive and functional website. As always, you can manage or change the features and content whenever you would like. Don’t stress about making everything look perfect right away!
Since your site is now created, let’s talk about strategies that can be used to get visitors (and customers) to come to your website!Next Step