When you decide to start a blog, there are a lot of little decisions to make; one of those is which WordPress theme you will use. I know it can be confusing when you're just starting out, so below, I've put together the ultimate guide to finding and installing your blog's WordPress theme!
What Is a WordPress Theme?
In blogging terms, a theme is a website template; it's what controls your website's design. A WordPress theme, then, is a website template that's made for WordPress websites. Instead of hiring a developer to build your website, WordPress themes allow you to “build” a website at the click of a button.
How Do I Find Out What Theme a Website Is Using?
If there's a website out there whose design you really like, it can be helpful to find out what theme they're using. To do this, visit Scan WP and enter the website's URL.
Best WordPress Theme Marketplaces
A WordPress theme marketplaces has hundreds or thousands of WordPress themes that you can search for. Below are some popular WordPress theme marketplaces.
Envato is a popular theme marketplace with over 47,000 WordPress themes and website templates for you to choose from. I've bought many WordPress themes from Envato.
WordPress.com Theme Directory (Free and Paid)
WordPress.com has a directory of both free and paid themes. If you're just starting out and want to save money, you can download a free theme. But I will warn you that free themes are pretty limited. If you're serious about blogging, I'd recommend springing for a paid theme.
Home to what they claim is “the most popular WordPress theme in the world,” Elegant Themes is the creator of the Divi theme, a popular drag-and-drop visual website builder that's made for the non-techie blogger. I was very close to installing the Divi theme on my last blog but decided not to because visual builders tend to leave behind “bloated code” if you ever switch to a different theme. For beginners, though, Divi is a great option!
My Favorite Places to Buy WordPress Themes for Blogs
WooThemes (Now WooCommerce Themes)
I bought my very first WordPress theme from WooThemes back in 2012 when I started my first blog. However, these days, they sell WordPress themes for ecommerce sites (online stores). If you plan on selling products on your blog, this could be a good solution. But if you only want to write blog posts, then these themes are too advanced.
I've bought so may themes from SoloPine! Their WordPress themes are elegant and minimalistic. Their support team is pretty good too.
Bluchic is another favorite WordPress themes designer. They specialize in feminine, easy-to-customize themes for bloggers.
Launch + Sell
Though I've never bought a theme from Launch + Sell, I love their WordPress themes and almost bought the Hearten one. I think it's a great website design for a blog! They specialize in making feminine WordPress themes.
Meks is my most recent WordPress theme designer discovery. I've bought their GridLove and Trawell themes and loved them both. Their support team is responsive and helpful. And the best part? They let you try any of their themes for FREE before you commit to buying it.
My Favorite WordPress Themes for Blogs
I use GridLove on one of my blogs, and I think it's a great option for lifestyle blogs or any blogs that have multiple categories. It's kind of like a magazine theme, where you can highlight multiple categories on the homepage.
Redwood is another WordPress theme that I used to have on one of my blogs. I love the clean lines and the “hipster” feel. I think it'd be a great WordPress theme for a lifestyle or travel blog.
SoloPine made Sprout and Spoon specifically for food bloggers! It has features that are unique to your niche, such as recipe cards inside blog posts.
Victoria is the WordPress theme I'm using on this blog. It's a great theme for bloggers who plan on selling online courses or services because it has features for highlighting those sales pages. I also like the big call-to-action button on the top because it can help you drive traffic to sign up for your email list.
How to Install a WordPress Theme
Installing a WordPress theme is simple! Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Download your WordPress theme file.
Whether you bought your theme from Themeforest or SoloPine or somewhere else, you need to make sure you download the files. There should be a .zip file in the folder you download.
Step 2: Log into WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes.
Step 3: Click “Add New”
Step 4: Click “Upload Theme”
Step 5: Click “Choose File” and select the .ZIP file
Again, make sure you upload the .zip file (do NOT unzip the file).
Step 6: Activate your theme and customize it.
Once your theme is installed, be sure to click “Activate.” Once you do that, you can customize the theme within your WordPress dashboard.
What To Do If You Have Trouble Installing and/or Customizing Your WordPress Theme
The number one reason most beginner bloggers give up on their blogs is that they get so overwhelmed with the technical side of things. I do NOT want that to happen to you!
If you get confused on how to set up your blog or how to customize your WordPress theme, I highly recommend contacting iMark Interactive for assistance. Their prices are very fair, and I've had a great experience working with them for the past three years.