June 21, 2010
WordPress themes are also known as layouts or templates. These are files that create the look and feel of your blog content. WordPress themes can be very simple, like the one that comes standard with every install, to the complex. Bloggers can choose from free and paid versions of templates. When choosing a template, you should choose one that will give you a lot of ability to easily customize the template to fit your branding needs. This article discusses 2 templates (or themes) that have a lot of customization features which are relatively easy to a create unique brand.
All WordPress templates allow you to customize them by going into the Edit page of the Appearance tab. If you are not comfortable with PHP and HTML code, then you may have some trouble in customizing your appearance. One benefit of the themes mentioned in this article is they are customizable through a special theme options page, which means you can get your WordPress site up and running much more quickly.
1) Atahualpa Theme
This theme is a free theme that was created by ‘Bytes for All’ and can be found at http://bytesforall.com/ where you can ask questions and get community support for this theme. Once this theme is installed, you can customize the theme in the Appearance >> Atahualpa Theme Options page. Once here, you will find a host of options to highly customize your theme. Webmasters can configure special CSS styles for things such as the header, the layout, and page features such as headings, links and menu bars. Users can easily upload header graphics that can rotate through the header graphic. Other options that can be customized include the number of columns you want on your blog (technically you can have from 1 to 5 columns), which side you want you sidebars to be on, or what you want your widget boxes to look like. The look and feel is highly customizable and is a great start to quickly getting a professional look to your blog.
2) News Magazine Theme
The free News Magazine theme was created by http://antisocialmediallc.com. This theme gives you several easily customizable options that can be set in the Appearance >> News Magazine Theme 640 Options page. The News Magazine theme doesn’t have quite as many options to set up as the Atahualpa theme, but you can add code for site tracking (can be done through the use of plugins), ad rotating and just adding text or java script code to parts of your template.
One nice feature of this template is that you can easily take featured categories and spotlight them on your blog through simple drop-down selections. One very nice feature is that you can control the excerpt length of your blog postings on the index page. On 99.9% of the WordPress blogs out there, the home (or index) page prints the entire text of the blog post. A better format for visitors is to have a post excerpt and they can click a link to read the entire blog. Currently there is no function in WordPress that allows you to display excerpts of your blog postings. This blog theme allows you to display excerpts with their ‘Blog Mode Excerpt Length’ setting.
These two WordPress themes are varied enough to get you started and well on your way with your first (or second) WordPress blog. The ease of these customizable settings should greatly reduce your setup time while creating a fairly well customized blog. To make the most advantage of setting up your blog for more traffic and more automation, taking a WordPress training class will speed up creating a decent blog following.
New to blogging and want to get the most out of your WordPress blog? B. Hopkins, an expert in the Internet industry for over 10 years, and has been working with blog technology for the last 6 years is offering WordPress training classes for beginners and intermediate level bloggers.