How to Create a Blog

How to Create a Blog – Customizing a Theme:

One of the great things about blogging is having access to themes that have been pre-designed especially for the platform you are using. This means they will work – both functionally and aesthetically.

A theme is like the clothes your blog wears. You can change theme the way you change clothes – the body of your blog (its content and the software engine running it) remain in place, it’s just the look that changes.

In WordPress, your options are
1)    To search for and install a new theme from the WordPress library. Remember you can search for free themes only if you don’t want to pay for a premium theme.
2)    To search for and install a paid (premium) theme. For a fee, you’re usually allowed a greater degree of customization. If you buy from one of the larger theme developers you will usually also get free updates, access to support and/or a user help forum.
3)    Stay with your existing theme, if you’re basically happy with it, but customize it more to your requirements.

WordPress is open source software, which means it can be altered by anyone. It’s a case of ‘buyer beware’ – many themes and plugins are developed by independent third party developers, and you don’t always know the caliber of their work. Installing a theme has its risks – you need to install any updates as they occur, otherwise the theme may stop working properly. If you’ve made bespoke customizations to a theme, or paid someone to do so, bear in mind that whenever you install updates (to WordPress, or to the theme itself), your customizations may well be overwritten or altered, so always check after running an update.

On the positive side, you don’t need to know a huge amount about code in order to tweak how your blog looks. Some themes come with two or three color scheme options, and you can usually upload your own logo or header image.

These tips came from the Advanced Blogging Workshop. Learn more about the class by clicking here!

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