filed in blog clutter on Aug.02, 2008
In the simplest sense a Theme is also a plug-in for your Blog. Themes belong in the “wp-contents/themes/theme_name” Folder.
- Be careful about themes “wrapped” in two folders after you unzip them, they won´t work
- A theme without css is broken – throw it out!
- A theme that needs to change file folder permissions is a security flaw – throw it out!
- Always leave the Default Themes alone you might need them if your theme breaks your blog.
- Always read the Read Me and Installation docs before activating a theme…
- It shouldn´t be necessary to deactivate plug ins and widgets, but remember changing a theme with 2 sidebars to a theme with one sidebar WILL mean that widgets will not be visible if they were in sidebar 2
- First consideration: Layout, how many columns do i need? how many sidebars would i like. This depends on your content. Clutterlovers is looking for a 3 or 4 column theme = minimum 2 sidebars
- Second Consideration: Design, Fluid or Fixed width? In a perfect world everyone would have at least 22″ 16:10 monitors and be using FF3 (like me), in the real world the “standard” is still 1024x768px. Not adjusting your “BlogTheme” to work at these minimum requirements can result in ugly and unusable mess. Test your theme carefully in the “Big Browsers” at different screen widths and be aware of what your users will be seeing.
- Third Consideration: Style, Text, formats, fonts, images, lists, structure. How does the theme use css to “Format” your posts? How does the navigation live up to your blog? Generally speaking how much will you have to change the Theme to fit your blog?
- Fourth Consideration: Look and Feel, graphics, images, icons, patterns. Does the theme suit your style/subject/audience? If not then you will need to have rudimentary skills in Image handling and Web Design to make basic changes – swaps for the Themes image source files.
- Final Consideration: Do I really want to do so much work on my blog?
- If the answer is “No! – I have better things to do in my spare time than crawl under my blog and start tinkering with it” – then find a simple theme and stick to it. (authors note: I will probably expand on this subject!)
- If your answer is “Yes – I am not bad at stuff like this and I love a couple of Read Me´s before I go to sleep” then read further.
Go download some themes…
I get mine exclusively from wordpress servers at these locations:
- wordpress.org this is the default in Dashboard:Design:Themes->Footer “Get More Themes”
- wordpress.com also a default themepool from the wordpress.com online dashboard
- The Best ThemePool for wordpress can be found at wordpress.net here you can refine browsing and searching to fit your specific needs…
- A German version of the wordpress.net themepool can be found at wordpress-deutschland.org
when searching/browsing themes its a good idea too check features and requirements, as well as comments and feedback ratings – and don´t forget the age of the theme, older themes may not work with the newest wp version. I usually download and test from the wordpress pool and then check the authors page for updates/support for the theme before starting on any customization.
Once you have downloaded a theme:
- Unzip the Package on your Hard Drive
- RtRM – Read the Read Me
- Upload to your blog (/yourblog.yourdomain.yourtld/wp-content/themes/”theme_name”/
- Go to Dashboard:design:Themes: you should see your theme(s)
- Preview (in wp2.6)
- Setup widgets – blog a new post about it …and there you go!
next post: got yourself a new theme. start preparing it, ourselves and our tools for Customization.
wanna know more about the author... countzeero - the self proclaimed EvilGenius™ behind OWN INDUSTRIES. Pixel Penetration and Code Cruelty are but two of his deadly skills. In his free time he likes to run too many blogs and twitter incessantly...