WordPress continues to be a very popular content management system for self-hosting websites. The first version came out in 2003, and it is currently home to 35% of existing sites. Install the WordPress theme and translates to 62% of the market share of content management systems, and the numbers are still growing. What makes it especially outstanding is that it powers all kinds of websites, including personal blogs, to larger corporate sites.
It is a free platform and has tons of unique features that make it user-friendly. Most importantly, you do not have to have the technical know-how to use it. Beginners to expert level users find the coding language easy enough to apply when setting up their website.
What Are The Advantages Of WordPress?
Some of the advantages of WordPress include:
- High level of flexibility and adaptability for your changing needs.
- It has user-friendly easy to follow in intuitive steps.
- You get multiple themes whether you’re using it for your portfolio, blogs, SEO, marketing among others.
- You get numerous plugins for better functionality.
- It is excellent for search engine optimization thus increasing your rankings on the search engines.
- You get to optimize your website for mobile.
- The inbuilt blog feature makes it easy to generate and to publish content.
- You get excellent community support.
How Can You Setup A WordPress Platform?
As we have already hinted above, setting up a WordPress platform is not difficult. You also have several methods you can use, and within a short time, you will be the proud owner of a WordPress website.
We will look at different things you need to do when setting up a WordPress website, and the best methods to use in our article below.
Finding Your WordPress Theme?
You must find the right theme when setting up your website. The WordPress repository as free themes and plugins that will help with the functionality of your site. You have the option of over 7400 themes available to you.
You also have the option of free and paid themes in the marketplace if you want more variety. Such markets include StudioPress, CSS Igniter, MOJO, and Themeforest, among others. The amount of variety is staggering so you need to have the following in mind when choosing:
(A) Paid Vs. Free WordPress Themes
Your budget and the features you need will determine which one you choose. With the free option, you can change your themes anytime you want because you incur no cost. If you take those in the WordPress repository, you are sure of products that have undergone strict reviews before release into the market. You also have the benefit of themes that will be compatible with almost any plugin.
However, free themes have certain disadvantages that you need to be aware of. They have certain limitations which may impact on how unique your website will eventually be. You must also be careful about those that are outside of the WordPress repository because they may expose your sites to specific vulnerabilities.
Paid themes give you many benefits, including technical support, frequent updates, and the ability to customize as per your requirements. You must, however, set aside some money to purchase them; some have yearly costs while others have a one-off payment.
(B) Consider your Niche
Your niche will determine what kind of theme you opt for. Consider what you want to use the website for, what type of content you want to generate, and your target audience.
(C) Consider Where You Get Your Themes From
The WordPress repository is your best bet for getting themes. If you opt for the marketplace, do your due diligence and establish the reputation of the author. Also, look at factors such as how frequently they send out updates, what other customers have to say about them, and how many people use them.
(D) Simple Responsive Designs
WordPress has very many themes, and it is easy to get caught up in the hype. Look for those that will give you tons of functionality without impacting the overall speed of your website. Only download what you need and delete anything that is not adding value. Ensure the website is responsive and easy to navigate. The experience of mobile devices should be the same as on a desktop device.
(E) Technical Support
You may experience downtime, and if you cannot find technical support in good time, it can be very frustrating. You will find tons of information on the kind of support by taking the time to read customer reviews on how the developers deal with the issues.
(F) What Kind Of Features Do You Get?
Look at the kind of features you get with the different themes. Such include SEO, social media sharing, cross-browser compatibility, WordPress plugin compatibility, eCommerce support, page builders, and language capabilities, among others. You must, however, be careful about those who promise the perfect solution for your website.
Multi-purpose themes may, for example, give you many customization options that you will not even end up using. You end up with heavy code that may impact on the overall performance of your website. Your rankings in the search engines will suffer because platforms such as Google pay attention to site speed and functionality. The use you intend for your website will determine the features you need to watch out for.
How to Install a WordPress Theme With These Three Methods
There are three ways you can install your WordPress theme. What makes it easy is that the steps are intuitive, and you do not need any coding knowledge to follow them. It, therefore, makes it easy for beginners to installing themes without spending money hiring experts to do it for them.
Before you change the theme, it is important that you backup your data, files, and plugins in case anything happens. You should also have a good idea about precisely what it is you’re looking for in the new theme and why you need to change it. You can install the WordPress theme in three ways namely:
1. Directly from the WordPress dashboard
2. By uploading a zip file
3. Through the use of an FTP client.
Let us look at each of the steps in a little more detail below.
1. Installing Your Free WordPress Theme
You will find free WordPress themes in the WordPress repository. Follow these steps to install your new theme:
Log in to your WordPress website > dashboard > appearance > Themes > Add New
You can choose the theme depending on featured, latest, favorites, or popular. The feature filter allows you to specify further, depending on your needs.
If you already know the WordPress theme you want to use, simply input the name in the search bar and follow the prompts.
Preview how your website will look once you install the theme. Click on the Details and Preview button, and if you’re happy with it, click on the Install or Activate (if using themes from the repository) button.
2. Installing A Premium WordPress Theme
Installing a premium WordPress theme is not difficult and simply requires that you follow the prompts. You will need to download the theme from the marketplace and save it onto your computer. Now follow the steps below:
Log into your WordPress > dashboard > appearance > theme > add new > upload theme > browse > install now > Live preview > activate
Note that you may not always succeed when you try to install your theme in this way. It could be due to:
(A) The .zip file does not have a direct theme folder. You can resolve this by using WinRAR or any other tool to extract the .zip folder. Ensure that the file contains style.css otherwise, you will get an error message.
(B) Your file is too large – if your file is too large and exceeds the maximum allocated upload size, you will not be able to install the theme successfully. You may need to go for a smaller size final or use the PHP.ini setting to resize the one you already have. Unfortunately, many web host providers give only 2 MB, which can severely limit the type of themes you can upload.
(C) You are using a pre-existing site that is running on another WordPress theme. Each theme has a complex structure that has distinct layers and features which may not necessarily adjust with the new theme you are trying to install.
3. Installing A WordPress Theme Using File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
The file transfer protocol (FTP) enables the transfer of computer files between a server and a client on a computer network. You have the option of several FTP clients and can easily download them onto your computer. Using an FTP maybe a bit challenging, especially if you are a beginner but, we will break it down for you as below.
(A) Install An Ftp Client
Download an FTP client on your computer. Some popular FTP clients include FileZilla, which is excellent for PC and Fetch, which works well with Mac. You will need the software to access your file so that you can upload them on to your website directory. Do the process correctly to avoid any issues going forward.
(B) Create An FTP Account In Your Web Hosting
You need to create an FTP account on a web hosting site. The process is different for each web hosting company, so ensure you understand the requirements for yours. Ensure you get a strong password and username. The company will typically give you a hostname, Secure FTP (sFTP), and Port Number.
(C) Test Your Connection
Once you install and setup an FTP account, you will need to test the connection. Access your FTP client and input the necessary information such as password, username, hostname, and Port.
(D) Download And Unzip Your Theme
If you do not already have your theme downloaded on your computer, now is the time to do it.
(E) Upload The Theme Via FTP
Follow the steps below.
FTP client > WordPress install> wp-content folder > themes. Upload the WHOLE unzipped folder (It is critical that you upload the whole folder and not individual contents).
The speed of the upload will depend on how fast your internet is. Be patient because it may take some time.
Once the file uploads successfully, activate it by clicking on the Activate button.
Example using FileZilla FTP:
Get your FTP or sFTP credentials so that FileZilla can connect to your site services. Your web hosting company will provide you with this information. You will also need a password, username, and port number.
Filezilla > input necessary information > Quickconnect
(F) Upload WordPress themes
FileZilla (right-hand panel) >Themes (to show any themes you have on the website) >Search for a zip file (on the left side panel) >right-click on your choice> upload
Be patient when uploading because it may take some time. Once the process is through, you will find the uploaded file on the right-side panel. Now continue with the steps below:
Log onto WordPress> Appearance > themes. Now follow the normal steps to upload, preview, and install your new theme.
(G) Word of Caution
Consider the number of plugins and themes you install so that you do not impact on the overall performance of your website. Some of them also have a cost factor that could make the overall running of your website more expensive. If there are plugins or themes you are no longer using, you need to delete them.
Installing the right WordPress theme is critical for the proper functioning of your website. You must, therefore, take the time to choose those that will give you functionality and tons of benefits. There are very many options available, whether on the WordPress repository or in the marketplace. You also have the option of free or paid themes, and we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages above.
When you want to Install a WordPress Theme, do your research, read customer reviews, and then narrow down on the themes you need. When you make your choice, use the methods we have highlighted above to install your themes. The process is simple and does not require you to spend any money hiring an expert to do it for you.