Are you planing to create a new website, e-shop or start to write your own blog on a WordPress based site? Do you have a feeling that all these free and basic WordPress themes don’t look very modern and attractive? You have probably seen many stunning websites with loads of dynamic content and you feel like that’s what you want. Then it’s time to purchase a WordPress Theme from sites like Themeforest or Template Monster.
Some of you might not be very familiar with WordPress. So what is the WordPress?
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it is a software you can use to create a website. WordPress is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (CMS) today.
- WordPress.com, also known as hosted WordPress, is a blogging and website service owned by a company called Automattic. WordPress.com uses the WordPress software. When you sign up for an account, you get free hosting. You can upgrade your account to get premium (i.e. paid) features like a domain name, no ads, and support.
- WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress, is where you can download the WordPress software so you can set up a website yourself. The software is essentially just a bunch of files, so you’ll need to buy web hosting and a domain name, and take care of things like security, themes and plugins yourself.
According to statistics, 28% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online like Bloomberg, Sony Music, MTV News, Microsoft News Center etc. So we can say you’re making a good choice when choosing WordPress.
To start creating a WordPress website, you will need:
- Website hosting – this is an online storage space for all your website files and access to your website. Website files are stored (or hosted) on special computers that are called servers.
- A domain name – the name of your website, like mywebsite.com. Your web hosting company will provide this as well.
- A WordPress theme – You can find thousands of themes at themeforest.net or templatemonster.com. These are all premium themes. But you can also choose from over a thousand free themes from the WordPress Theme Directory.
WordPress theme is a collection of files that provide all of the front end styling of your WordPress site. It changes the design of your website, often including its layout. Once you install a new theme to your WordPress website, it will change the look of your site on the front-end, i.e. what a person sees when they browse to your site on the web.
Now that you learned what WordPress and WordPress theme is, you can start to install it. The installation is very easy and you don’t need to be tech wiz. Let us walk you through all the steps.
As we mentioned before, you need an online storage space for your website. You will get this from a web hosting company. Just search google for “web hosting”. There’s lots of hosting providers, but here are a few that are most recommended for WordPress:
It’s up to you which web host and hosting plan you choose. Basic web hosting starts from as low as £0.99 a month (excl. VAT). Your hosting provider should give you the option to purchase a domain name. You can get .co.uk domain for free for the first year from 1&1 Hosting (£6.99 a year excl. VAT thereafter)
Once you’ve registered and created your account, you’ll be taken to your web host’s dashboard where you can update your personal details, set up your website’s email and finally install WordPress.
Just google “install wordpress xxx” (replace xxx with your host provider name). You will find a step by step guide on how to do install WordPress.
If you are not sure what to do, ask someone with experience to do this part for you. Your web host might be offering installation via Softaculous. Softaculous offers an easy and automated way to install WordPress for you. Once you set up you WordPress website, you can start to install the Theme.
Once you set up you WordPress website, you can start installing the theme. If you go to your website (for example mywebsite.com), you will see a default theme with some demo content, which was automatically activated. It should look something like this:
First log in to your website by going to www.mywebsite.com/wp-admin.php (replace mywebsite.com with your website’s address).
Enter your administrator’s login details (username and password) that you chose when you were installing WordPress to you site. Press “Log in” and you will get to your dashboard, which looks like this:
To install your theme, click “Appearance” in the sidebar and then click “Themes”.
On the screen that loads, click “Add New”. A new screen will load. Click “Upload Theme”.
The WordPress Theme that you downloaded from ThemeForest or Template Monster comes as a ZIP file. DO NOT UNZIP this file because WordPress only accepts ZIP files!
Click “Choose file” and navigate to where your theme is saved on your computer. Then click “Open”.
WordPress will install your theme. When the page reloads, you’ll be presented with three options: “Live Preview”, “Activate”, or “Return to Themes page”.
Click “Activate” to finish installing the theme.
The page will reload and you’ll either see a welcome page for your new theme or be taken back to the Themes screen where your newly activated theme will be displayed.
You can start customizing your theme now!
The theme you bought should include all the documentation and a guide on how to customize it. If you need further help, get in touch with the author of the theme. ThemeForest Themes come with 6 months free support, Template Monster provides life time tech support for all their products.