Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting and installing third-party themes, part of WordPress 4 Essential Training.
- Earlier in this chapter, I showed you how to install new themes from the WordPress Theme Directory. I also mentioned that can get themes from other sources. So before we wrap up this chapter, let me briefly address how to get and install third-party themes. If you want secure and well-tested themes for your WordPress site, using a theme from the WordPress Theme Directory is always a safe way to go. These themes have been rigorously tested to meet WordPress and web standards and they're designed to be shared freely.
Unfortunately, they are also often rather dull and don't really fit with all the various needs of a website owner. This is where the wild, wild west of commercial themes comes in, and I do mean wild wild west. Around WordPress has grown a massive third-party industry of theme and plugin developers who want you to pay for and use their custom themes, and some of these developers are highly skilled and provide great themes that work really well.
Others, let's say their solutions are suboptimal. So how do you know what solution to go with? To be honest, it's a tough question to answer without getting in trouble. Theme foundries have perfected the art of making themes that look fantastic in their demos, and they spend an enormous amount of money on online advertising. Chances are, if you find an article about the best business theme or best photography themes, the writer is being paid handsomely for advertising the themes on the list.
So what do you do if you want a shiny new advanced theme for your site but you're not ready to invest in a professional designer or developer yet. The best answer I can give you is to do your research. First, figure out exactly what you want. Most of the third-party themes provided by theme foundries try to do everything for everyone and the result is a lot of clutter and very little substance. Instead, narrow down your specific search criteria and find themes that meet those criteria or are specifically targeted toward your specific needs.
Second, ask around. If you reach out on LinkedIn groups, on Twitter, or on Facebook, you'll find people with experience who will tell you whether a theme is worth its salt. Third, test before you buy. Most theme foundries offer freemium versions of their themes that you can test to see if you like them. These themes will give you a good idea of how the customization options work and will help you decide whether this theme is a good theme and a theme foundry you want to go with.
Fourth, and finally, if you're building a site for a business and you want a custom look and feel, consider hiring a professional. Just like with most industries, one size fits all solutions rarely work well, and especially not in the long-term. A website is an investment in time and money, and if you're building a website to support a business, I'm pretty sure your time is better spent running your business than learning to become a web designer, unless that's what you want to do, in which case we have plenty more to talk about.
Note: This course covers an older version of WordPress, which features the Classic Editor. Watch this course only if you are using the Classic Editor plugin or using WordPress 4.9 or earlier. Otherwise, watch WordPress 5 Essential Training, which covers the new Block Editor experience.
- Creating posts and pages
- Formatting text
- Publishing and scheduling posts
- Adding images, audio, and video
- Bulk editing posts and pages
- Customizing themes and menus
- Using widgets
- Extending WordPress with plugins
- Editing users profiles
- Configuring settings
- Getting new readers
- Keeping WordPress up to date and secure
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know WordPress
What is WordPress?3m 30s
2. Getting Started
3. Creating Posts
4. Adding Images and Media
5. Creating Pages
6. Managing Content
7. Changing the Appearance of Your Site
8. Extending WordPress with Plugins
9. Users and User Profiles
10. Configuring Settings
11. Getting, and Interacting with, Readers
12. WordPress: Behind the Curtain
13. Maintenance and Security
Keeping up to date6m 59s
14. Diving Further into the World of WordPress
Going further with WordPress2m 29s
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