Don’t get stuck in default

Fairy Blog Mother: blogging help

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When WordPress is first uploaded, either by WordPress for the .com version, or by you for a .org blog, you will be issued with the default theme.

This is generally the Twenty Ten theme, which actually is a very good basic theme to start with, as it has many adaptable features to make it look better.

TwentyTen themeIt has a nice big banner, to which you can easily upload one with your corporate design, with a navigation bar under it, a single sidebar on the right with plenty of widgets to occupy it, and plenty of space for your posts.

But the trouble is, being the default theme, leaving it unaltered does shout out that you don’t know what you’re doing with your blog.

And since blog design is important if you want to give a good impression to your readers, and especially as it’s very easy to change your theme, it’s not a good thing to leave it in the same state as when it was created.

Here’s a blog I recently had fun changing its theme:

Design Differential blog

As it is a WordPress.com blog, I didn’t have to do much to the theme, just to add in the banner and put some widgets into the sidebar and footer space.

WordPress.com has over 120 themes available to download, and if you host your own blog with WordPress.org then there’s literally thousands! Most of them are free and very easy to upload and activate, and if you are blessed with knowing HTML and PHP, then the world is your oyster!

For WordPress.com users, just go to ‘Appearance’ in the left sidebar, and click on ‘Themes’, and wade through the examples until you find one you like. Selecting is made simpler by using the filter system. There is also a mechanism for previewing what your blog would look like before you ‘activate’ your chosen theme.

Then once in place you check what options are available to you under ‘Appearance’, such as the ‘Header’ and ‘Background’ links, and experiment to create your desired effect.

Populate your sidebars with appropriate widgets, upload a picture of yourself and add it to the ‘Gravatar’ widget to show off the blog’s author, and then get blogging!

And if you want to have me change your blog’s theme and enhance it with some well placed widgets, then you only have to ask (click on my logo to send me an email).

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.

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