WordPress for Dummies – Setting Up Your First Website

Wordpress for dummies
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Powering up to 35 percent of the web, WordPress is truly a powerful content management system, complete with tools and plugins for designing any website. It’s the go-to option for bloggers and seasoned web developers as well as big-name brands, such as TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Professional, among others.

Even though WordPress is designed to be user-friendly, it can be complex for the uninitiated. You need to know everything from buying your domain to publishing your first post. With a little research and time, you can learn and understand the whole process.

In this post, we’re going to show you how to get started with WordPress. Hopefully, you’ll learn how to set up your website without any hurdles.

Get a Domain Name

You can easily buy a domain name online, thanks to the hundreds of available domain registrars. Some popular registrars include Namecheap, GoDaddy, Domain.com, and Name.com.

When buying a domain, you have first to check the availability of the name. You want to ensure the name is as simple as possible for SEO purposes. Most importantly, your domain name should represent the theme or focus of your blog or website.

For example, our domain name Precisethemes.com reflects what the website is possibly about. Of course, other components, such as taglines and meta descriptions, provide more information about the site.

Find a Web Host

You need a home for your website, and that means finding a good website host. It should be affordable but provides adequate resources for your site or blog.

Picking a good web hosting provider boils down to three crucial factors: security, speed, and support. Web hosting is usually overlooked, yet it’s one of the key factors of a successful website. So, it’s wise to take the time to review different options, including Dedicated, VPS, Shared, and managed-hosting.

Some reputable web hosting providers include HostGator, Bluehost, SiteGround, GoDaddy, Dreamhost, and Hostinger. Bear in mind that most hosting services also sell domain names. Regardless of your choice, it’s advisable to compare different services before picking one.

Install WordPress

Install WordPress

Once you have purchased your hosting plan, you now need to install the WordPress CMS. There are two ways you can do this:

Download and Install

You can visit WordPress.org/download to download the latest version of WordPress to use on your site. Once you have downloaded the package, you’ll need to unzip it.

You can then upload the file’s content to the root directory of your hosting account using an FTP client, such as FileZilla. You can also install it in its own subdirectory on your website. Then, run the installation script by visiting the URL in a browser. That’s it!

One-Click Install

This is the easiest way of installing WordPress on your new site. You’ll need to access your web host’s control panel to complete this process. Locate WordPress and then click install.

There are also automated tools you can use for installation, including APS, Fantastico, Installatron, and Softaculous.

Get Your Theme

Once you have installed WordPress, you’ll need a theme for your website. It’s basically like your site’s clothing. A theme gives your website the look and feel you want. It plays a role in how visitors and search engines perceive your website.

When searching for a WordPress Theme, you have three options:

  • A free theme
  • A premium theme
  • A custom-made theme

While free themes don’t cost you a dime, they have limited design features and customizability. They’re also rarely updated, and this poses a security risk to your website. There have also been cases of free themes with embedded malicious code. However, there are still good, clean free themes.

The best option is usually to get a premium theme that offers a customizable design, complete with an in-built customizer for managing colors, widgets, typography, and more. Some are usually SEO-ready, allowing you to optimize your blog or site for search engines.

You can also consider getting a custom-made WordPress theme, and this will definitely cost you more. With custom options, you get to give your blog a unique design based on your ideas.

Install Your Theme

WordPress Theme

Installing a WordPress theme is quite easy. You need to log in to the WordPress admin portal and then select Appearance on the left menu. Go to Themes and click Add New to upload your downloaded .zip file.

Once you have uploaded the file, simply select it from the available themes, and click . You’ll then need to click Activate to start using it on your blog or website.

Bear in mind that you can also install your theme using FTP. But you’ll still have to finalize the installation through your WP admin portal.

Customize Your Theme

Before customizing your theme, it’s vital to understand the options that are available to you. For example, if you want a specific functionality, you can simply install a plugin. In some cases, using plugins can provide some of the things you need for your site.

You can also use the Customizer to change the fonts, colors, and layout of your site. Some of the themes come with a page builder, which allows you to customize your blog’s design. For a framework theme, edit the child theme to edit your site.

You can also use the theme editor, but it’s not advisable to do so. This is because any changes you make will be lost when the theme has a new update. Also, editing using the theme editor can lead to a broken site if you don’t know much about PHP and CSS.

So, the easiest way is to use the Customizer. While in the admin screen, click on Appearance and then Customize. You can change the customization options as you wish to get the look you want.

Install Essential Plugins

Once you’re done with editing your theme, you’ll need to install the essential plugins. While using plugins to add functionality eliminates unnecessary theme edits, they actually add to your website’s code volume.

This basically means that your site’s speed may slow due to the increased code volume. Therefore, you only need to limit your plugin installations to those that are really essential. Here are the great options to consider:

  • SEO plugins – Yoast SEO and All-In-One SEO
  • Security plugins – Sucuri and WordFence
  • Backup plugins – Updraftplus, VaultPress, and BackupBuddy
  • Caching plugins – WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache

You can choose one for each category highlighted above. However, you’re not limited to these plugins only. There are so many plugins when you go through the WordPress plugin repository. Bear in mind that these plugins have free and premium versions – you get to choose what you want.

There are also other important plugins you will want to consider, such as:

  • Redirection – When you remove or relocate posts, visitors will always get 404 errors when visiting those pages. You can prevent that by using the Redirection plugin to set up 301 redirections manually.
  • Elementor – If you want to create custom pages, Elementor can help you get original designs.
  • Optimole – This plugin is great for optimizing your images. Optimized visual elements help to improve your site speed.
  • Social Snap – For sharing your posts on social media. When used well, social media can grow your blog traffic.

On average, you should have about 20 to 30 plugins. Some experts recommend staying below 20 plugins to avoid slowing your website. You should only install plugins when it’s absolutely necessary.

Secure Your Website

WordPress and web hosting service providers are doing everything to protect the websites and blogs of their users. But you also have a role to play to bolster your site’s security and keep hackers at bay.

Be sure to use strong passwords and user permissions that are unique to your blog. Avoid using your name, birth year, or simple numbers as passwords.

Install security plugins, such as Sucuri or WordFence. Both of these plugins are great, and they also offer premium plans. They help with scanning for malware, blocking unauthorized login attempts, monitoring your traffic, and more.

You should also enable a web application firewall, though your security plugins usually come with a firewall. A website firewall usually blocks malicious traffic before it reaches your website or blog.

Another key addition is the SSL/HTTPS encryption. This protocol encrypts data between your website and browser to prevent malicious actors from stealing the data.

WordPress for Dummies – Final Thoughts

Starting a WordPress blog or site isn’t a difficult process. Of course, there are a few hurdles if you’re for first-timers. Taking the time to learn and understand the crucial steps could make the experience quite seamless.

WordPress is the most popular CMS due to its user-friendly design, large community, and easy access to plugins, themes, and other tools. Plus, there are great WordPress resource sites that provide guides, tips, and tricks for making the most of the CMS.

Whether you want to start a blog, business website, job board, forum, or an ecommerce site, WordPress makes it easy for you to create your desired site. Just be sure to find the right theme for your website or blog.

How to Edit WordPress Themes without Coding

Your website’s design affects the visitor’s experience. Poor choice of colors and layout can frustrate visitors, forcing them to abandon your site. While some themes come with compelling designs, you might need to edit certain elements to improve the overall design.

But editing a WordPress theme without adequate knowledge of CSS, HTML, and PHP can result in more damage than good. It’s possible to lose your content and settings, which took hours or even days to configure. It can also cost you to fix a broken site.

Fortunately, there’s a way to do it without coding. WordPress plugin repository offers lots of tools and plugins you can use to customize your theme without coding. You can also use the Customizer to improve your theme’s layout and appearance.

Keep on reading to learn more!

The Customizer

The Customizer is a tool provided by WordPress to allow you to make changes easily to your theme without touching the code. Additionally, the tool provides a live preview of your changes before publishing them.

Using the tool, you can change your site’s title and taglines, create custom menus, add widgets, change Homepage settings, and other functions.

There are two ways to access the Customizer:

Option 1: From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance, and then click on Customize. This will open the Customizer interface with a preview of your theme. On the left side of your screen, you’ll see the menu options, which you can change.

Option 2: When viewing your site while logged in, click on Customize at the top of the screen. This is usually in the admin bar. This will also open the Customizer interface.

There is a large proportion of WordPress themes that support the Customizer. So, this won’t be a difficult thing to do if you want to edit your theme. You can use it to:

  • Configure your website identity and design
  • Manage and configure menus
  • Change website colors
  • Change single post settings
  • Modify your background image

Apart from the desktop mode, the Customizer also supports tablet and mobile views. You can switch between the three options to see how your theme looks like on different devices.

NOTE: Alternatively, there are themes known as frameworks, which are designed to be significantly customized and extended. Framework themes come free or paid – it depends on what you want and the features the theme offers.

Frameworks are commonly described as the foundation of WordPress themes. They usually come with the core code, which covers the basic design elements and features. This provides the starting point for designing and creating your theme.

You can add new elements and features as you wish to get the theme you want. Good examples of frameworks, include WPZoom, Beans, and Genesis. Bear in mind that there are also themes that are built upon these frameworks.

Use Plugins

You can also use plugins to edit your theme. There are different plugins and tools that are effective in customizing the appearance of your site. They offer user-friendly interfaces, with drag-and-drop features. Good examples are page builders, and we are going to cover some of them here.

1. YellowPencil

YellowPencil- Edit WordPress themes without coding

YellowPencil is a CSS style editor plugin, which allows you to customize your website in real-time. You can edit colors, fonts, font sizes, positions, and other style properties.

It offers a free version with limited features, or you can opt for the Regular (paid) plan for your website/domain. You can use it to customize any theme and plugin without coding, allowing you to take full control over the design of your site.

2. Beaver Themer for Beaver Builder

Beaver Themer - Edit WordPress

If you have the Beaver Builder, you can take its functionality even further with the Beaver Themer. This add-on lets you bridge the gap between your theme and pages.

You can use the Beaver Themer to build your blog layouts, footers, headers, and more within the builder. The tool offers different features, such as theme templates, theme parts, field connections, and post grids.

However, buying the Beaver Builder and adding the Themer might be somewhat costly for beginners. The standard plan is available at $99 without the Themer. You’ll need the pro license, which is priced at $199, as of November 2020.

The good thing is that you can use it on unlimited sites.

3. Elementor

Elementor - Edit WordPress Themes without Coding

This is one of the most popular WordPress website builders, with a community of over 5 million users. Elementor offers different features, including Editor, Design, Theme Builder, among others.

With the theme builder, you can create your own blog page, header, footer, 404 pages, and blog post. It offers a drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy for you to design your WordPress theme.

The tool lets you improve areas of your site that are mostly used by visitors. It has every widget you’ll need to edit your theme. Elementor offers both free and paid plans.

4. Divi Builder

Divi Builder - Edit WordPress Themes without Coding.

Divi is an all-in-one theme that comes with a website builder. You can choose to use it as your WordPress theme. Or, you can use its website building platform to edit any WordPress theme.

It offers different features, including custom CSS control, drag & drop building, inline text editing among others. You can use the building platform to manage your entire website design thanks to its global styles and elements.

The platform offers modules for everything, such as forms, testimonials, galleries, blogs, sliders, call-to-actions, forms, and more. Divi Builder is somewhat costly. The basic version requires you to part ways with $89 every year.

5. Ultimate Tweaker

Ultimate Tweaker - Edit WordPress Themes without Coding

At a reasonable price of $16 on CodeCanyon, Ultimate Tweaker offers another option for editing your WordPress themes without coding. This tool enables you to make over 200 tweaks.

You can change everything from your login page to your comments section. The drag & drop feature lets you move menu elements to any place you want, while custom icons allow you to upload any image and set your desired colors.

6. Microthemer WordPress CSS Editor

Microthemer - Edit WordPress themes without coding

Microthemer is a powerful visual editor that enables you to customize the CSS styling of your theme. Whether it’s the fonts or the layouts, this tool is great for both coders and non-coders. It also works well with page builders, such as Oxygen, Beaver Builder, and Elementor.

You can customize any CSS styling of your page, including the footers, menus, sidebars, headers, and plugin content. Its intuitive visual editor lets you preview every change in real-time while editing.

With over 100 CSS style options, Microthemer gives you access to box-shadow, rounded corners, gradients, animation, flexbox, and other styles. You can also work with web design essentials, such as background images and typography, to get the look you want for your theme.

You can install the Microthemer Lite, which is free on WordPress.org. Or, you can get the premium version from Themeover.com

7. Headway Themes

Headway Themes - Edit WordPress Themes without Coding

This is a WordPress front-end page builder that allows you to create any layout for your blog or website. Whether you’re a hobbyist, designer, or freelancer, this tool is designed to meet the needs of every user.

Headway’s visual editor lets you make changes to your theme fast while giving you a real-time preview of every change you’re making. You also use the available templates to inspire your design or try something new for your theme.

You can also use it to enable responsive designs, allowing your theme to adapt to smaller devices as needed. Headway Themes is a premium builder with two package options. The basic plan costs $89, and it supports up to three sites.

8. Visual Composer Website Builder

Another great tool is the Visual Composer website builder. This builder is free, but you can always get the premium version if you want more features. However, the free option doesn’t include the Theme Builder – you’ll definitely need a paid plan.

It has a user-friendly drag and drop editor that lets you use blocks, extensions, and elements in your layout. All the templates and elements are mobile ready and responsive, allowing you to make your theme mobile-friendly from the start.

Visual Composer works with any WordPress theme, enabling you to edit the layout of your pages, posts, or even create custom posts. You can edit your theme as often without losing your designed layouts.

Final Thoughts

With WordPress, getting your desired theme design isn’t a difficult thing, even if you don’t have any coding skills. WordPress has a large community of different users, including enthusiasts, programmers, web designers. developers and coders.

So, whatever idea you have, there’s probably a tool or plugin that will help you actualize the idea. Plus, there are forums where you can get help when you get stuck. Most of these tools offer drag & drop features with previews to allow you to edit your theme seamlessly.

You can still get a theme that requires little to no edits after installation. There are lots of great themes with clean and unique designs. Take the time to compare different themes to find one that suits your design and idea. Be sure to consider key factors, such as SEO, mobile-friendliness, compatibility, and support.

WordPress Theme Detectors: 7 Ways to Determine What Theme A Site Is Using

When building your WordPress website, it’s important to make it look aesthetically appealing. After all, it’s natural for visitors to judge you based on the look of your site.

With thousands of free and paid WordPress themes, how do you go about choosing the best one?

The truth is, that can be challenging at times, and most people end up browsing other websites to get ideas and inspiration.

While on your theme-finding mission, you come across this website with a pleasing design. Sadly, there are no references to the theme’s name or developer anywhere on the site. So, you’re left wondering “what theme is that?” and fortunately that’s also where WordPress theme detectors come in handy.

WordPress Theme Detectors: 7 Methods To Figure Out “What Theme Is That?”

Fortunately, there’s always a way of finding out the theme a particular website is using. This includes using a WordPress theme detector, checking the source code, and looking in the stylesheet.

Here is are the specific tools and ways you can use:

Method 1: WPThemeDetector.com

WPThemeDetector, or WPTD, is an online tool you can use to figure out the theme a website is using. You need to copy the URL or domain of the site you found online, paste it to WPTD, and hit the “Enter” button.

WPTD will analyze the website and provide plenty of information about the theme and plugins the site is using. This tool is free and it only takes a few seconds to check a site and provide its information.

Method 2: Gochyu Theme Detector – What Theme Is That?

Gochyu Theme Detector is also another great tool for detecting WP website themes. Simply copy and paste the target website’s URL to the tool and click “Detect” or tap “Enter” on to your keyboard.

It also takes a few seconds to serve the information on the website. Gochyu works effectively for both WordPress.org and WordPress.com websites. It also helps in finding plugins on website.

This WordPress theme detector is also available on Google Web Store as a browser extension.

Method 3: ScanWP.net

Another tool you can use is ScanWP. Just copy and paste the website’s URL to the tool, and click “Detect”. Within seconds, the tool presents plenty of information, including the theme’s name, version, price, screenshot, and tags.

It also provides links where you can buy the theme and the vendor’s name. You’ll also see the different plugins the website is using, and it’s available as a browser extension on Google Web Store.

Method 4: IsItWP.com

IsItWP is also a popular tool for checking the theme and plugins of a WordPress website. Just copy and paste the site’s URL to the tool and click the “Analyze Website” button.

It will show you the theme’s name and whether it exists in their database. If not, you can always search online to determine if it’s available for download or find the vendor.

Method 5: Manually Inspect the Page Source

In some cases, website owners change or remove theme names, and this makes it difficult for a WordPress theme detector to know the theme a site is using. In this case, you can easily find out the theme manually.

Every WP site has a style.css file, which contains the theme’s header. The header usually shows the theme’s name, version, author, URI, and more. It also has the CSS styles that theme uses. Here are the steps you can use (Our target site here is Realwaystoearnmoneyonline.com):

Step 1: Visit the target site and right-click anywhere on the website. A menu should pop up, and then select “View Page Source.” This will open the source code of the page you’re viewing.

Step 2: Find the CSS file and open it. It’s usually a clickable link on most sites. At this point, you can still find the theme. Press “CTRL+F” or “Command+F” and search “themes.” Identify the URL that looks like this:

Http://www.example.come/wp-content/themes/[Theme name appears here]/

The theme’s name usually comes after “/themes/” in the URL. If this doesn’t work for you, you can continue below.

Tap “CTRL+F” or “Command+F” to find stylesheet. It’s usually <style> and <link> tagged.

Step 3: Once you clicked the link, it should open the CSS file in a new window. Look at the top of the file, and you’ll be able to see the theme name, URL, vendor, version, and more in the header block.

In some cases, a webmaster could be using a child theme to customize their sites. If you follow the steps above and you find that a site is using a child theme, locate ‘Template” in the header block.

The “Template’s” parameter is usually the name of the parent theme. You can then search the theme online to find the vendor.

Method 6: Don’t Forget the Footer

In some cases, the website owner might not have removed the theme’s name from the footer. Just visit the homepage of the site, and scroll all the way down.

If you’re lucky, you can find the theme’s name or its vendor near or in the “Powered by….” details.

Method 7: Email the Site Owner

If all the above options fail to work for you, you can easily reach out to the site owner to inquire about the theme they’re using. Most are usually kind enough to respond. The email can be something like:

Hi there, I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been searching for and comparing WordPress themes to find the best option for my new website. I came across your website, and I fell in love with your theme. It’s simple, clean, and beautiful. Would you mind telling me the name of the theme you’re using? I’m looking forward to getting your response. Thanks!

Check the “Contact Us” page of the site for their email. If not available, you can fill the “Contact Us” form and wait for their response.

Bonus Tips: Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

When looking for a theme, there are several things you need to consider. A theme might look good on a site you found online because it’s customized. So, other than just the look, there are plenty of details that make a theme good, including:

1. Navigation

Website navigation is vital as it helps visitors explore your website quickly or locate what they want. The theme must provide a user-friendly navigation or it should allow you to customize it.

Some themes are available in different designs, allowing you to pick one with a navigation menu that suits your preferences. It should also support both header and footer navigations, and possibly offer different styles, such as floating menus.

2. Header

There are themes that don’t support the website’s name and tagline when used together as an image. Some people might want to use the blog’s name and tagline in the header when they don’t have a logo.

Right-click the theme’s header to determine whether the site’s name is part of the image. If the name is part of the image, you’ll need to create yours, too. Be sure to match the size of the existing image to the one you’ll create to ensure a proper fit.

In some cases, you might need to edit the theme’s code to get the size and look you want for your website.

3. Customizer

Ensure the theme you want offers a customizer. This feature is important because it allows you to design the theme to suit your preferences. Unless you’re buying a custom theme, the themes available online can be purchased by anyone.

This means your site is likely to look like several other websites online. A sense of originality and uniqueness is vital to your brand’s image. So, using a customizer lets you change the theme’s layout, color scheme, and much more.

4. Widget Support

The truth is, not many themes will come with all the features you want. Luckily, there are WordPress widgets that allow you to extend the functionality of your theme. For that reason, a theme must be widget-ready.

Be sure to get a theme that offers widget support, especially when you want to place ads on your site or add content to your footer or sidebars. Some themes will show you how to do this. In most cases, visit the WordPress Administration Screen, then go to Theme Customizer or Appearance > Widgets.

5. Color Scheme

While it’s possible to change the color scheme of a theme, you might want to retain the one the theme has. If this is the case for you, be sure to ensure the color scheme suits your design preferences.

Some themes also require a background image. You’ll need to get or create one that suits the theme’s color. Otherwise, if you want to make color changes, you’ll need some basic knowledge of CSS and HTML or get someone to do it for you.

In most cases, you’ll need to change the color scheme to suit your brand’s color if you’re a business.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right WordPress themes for your new website is important. Bear in mind that your website represents your brand online, so its design and appearance speak volumes about you. You need a theme that offers seamless designs and intuitive features.

The thousands of options available makes it daunting, especially for beginners, to find a perfect theme. The good thing is that you can borrow ideas from other WordPress sites.

If one has a theme that’s eye-catching, you can always found out what theme the site is using. The 7 popular WordPress theme detectors and methods we described here can help do just that.

Even after finding the theme online, take the time to go through its documentation to know its features and other design elements. Even if it doesn’t meet your requirements fully, you can always customize it. Otherwise, we hope this post helps you find the ideal theme for your website or blog.