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How to select, install and customize a WordPress theme

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Advices on how to find a suitable WordPress theme, explanation of the automatic and manual installation, the WordPress file system, theme customizations and how to set up a child theme.

Talk at the WordPress Vienna Meetup on 7 June 2017.

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How to select, install and customize a WordPress theme

  1. 1. WordPress Vienna Meetup 7.6.2017 How to select, install and customize a WordPress theme
  2. 2. Agenda § Personal introduction § How to find a suitable theme § Automatic vs. manual theme installation § The WordPress file system § Theme customisation § Child theme setup § Questions? Feel free to ask any time!
  3. 3. kreativhuhn § Webagentur aus Gols §  Spezialisiert auf Online-Marketing, Websites & E-Commerce §  Google Partner § Stefanie Drucker §  Digitale Medientechnikerin §  Zertifizierte Expertin für Online-Marketing §  Websites seit Ende der 90er §  „Online Marketing Native“ §  Eigene Webagentur seit 2011 § Einzelunternehmen + SpezialistInnen-Netzwerk §  SpezialistInnen-Netzwerk: Zusammenarbeit mit ExpertInnen individuell bei Bedarf §  z.B. für Content, andere CMS-Systeme wie TYPO3, Grafikdesign und manchmal auch WordPress-Entwicklung
  4. 4. REFRACTORY SYSTEMS AND SOLUTIONS Kunden Shabby ist chic Fräulein Annabell Burgenland Pflege Kranken Kinder Mobile
  5. 5. How to find a suitable WordPress theme § Considerations: §  What is the purpose of your website? Small website, large website, blog, one-page website, e-commerce, ... §  Do you have any special or business-specific requirements? E.g. page builder, Bootstrap, real estate, restaurant... §  Price: Do you have budget for buying a theme? § Mandatory requirements: §  Stable (no beta, no v1.0, good ratings, many users) §  Up-to-date (last update should be within the last few months) §  Compatibility with current WordPress release (v4.7.5 at the moment) §  Compatibility with common plugins/plugins you need (e.g. WPML, WooCommerce) §  Theme support §  Responsive Design
  6. 6. Where to search for themes § WordPress Theme Directory https://wordpress.org/themes/ or in your backend à Appearance à Themes à Add New §  Basic filter possibilities §  Look at compatibility, ratings, active installs and support forums § Theme marketplaces e.g. https://themeforest.net/ §  Many filter criterias and detailled information about the themes – use it! §  Big Community + forums § Google J §  There are sooo many different theme stores and blog articles out there. §  Also use Google to find out more about a theme you have found!
  7. 7. Free WordPress themes § WordPress‘ default theme: Twenty Seventeen §  OK for playing around when learning WordPress §  OK for small websites and blogs without ambitions J §  Very simple design §  Only very basic customisation possibilities § Search wordpress.org – often there is a free and a premium version of the same theme with extended features if you buy a licence
  8. 8. Some premium theme recommendations Some of the best and most popular multi-purpose themes § Great compatibility, many users and regular updates, good support § Good visual page builders § Enfold by kriesi http://www.kriesi.at/ and on themeforrest (made in Austria) § Divi by elegant themes https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/ § X Theme by themeco https://theme.co/x/ ...and many more – tell me what you are using!
  9. 9. Multi-purpose themes § Pros: §  Many, many features and possibilities §  Common multi-purpose themes are permanently updated and supported §  Good backend usability thanks to drag & drop editors / visual page builders §  Very helpful if you develop or manage many websites – use one theme for all §  Great for everyone who is no programmer because of many settings for customisation § Cons: §  Feature overload – usually you never need all the functionality and it makes §  Eventually lower performance on slow webservers because of unnecessary code
  10. 10. Theme installation 1. Upload and unzip the theme directory to your webhost § Search for a free theme in the WordPress theme directory à Appearance à Themes à Add New à Install § Upload any theme‘s zip file through the backend à Appearance à Themes à Add New à Upload Theme § Upload any unzipped theme via FTP to /wp-content/themes/ 2. Activate the theme in the backend à Appearance à Themes 3. Customise the theme for your needs
  11. 11. The WordPress file system
  12. 12. Theme files § Found in /wp-content/themes/ directory § Every theme that is installed on your WordPress has it‘s own directory here. § Never change files of the original theme to keep it upgrade safe! § If you want to change your theme, make your own child theme
  13. 13. Theme customisation § Basic customisation with WordPress default backend features à Appearance à Customise § Additional admin pages for customisation may come with your theme §  Common multi-purpose themes come with plenty settings to adapt design and behaviour of your website. §  Great for non-programmers: You don‘t need to know how to code and usually get good support in theme forums. § Go into code! ...but use your own child theme!!!
  14. 14. Child theme setup § Make a new theme directory e.g. /wp-content/themes/mychildtheme § Make a new file inside this directory and name it style.css § This file has to start with the following code:
  15. 15. Child theme setup § Important are: §  Giving your child theme a name §  Naming the original theme name as template §  Referring to the original theme‘s style.css § Basically that‘s it! Now you can activate your own child theme on the backend and make any theme customisations or extensions inside the child theme folder §  Add custom css code to the style.css §  Extend functionality by adding your own functions.php file §  Override template php files of the original theme by copying them here and change anything you want or add own template files.
  16. 16. Recommendations § Use the resources on wordpress.org to learn more about file structure and how to make your own template files § Template file hierarchy: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/basics/template-hierarchy/ § Use forums and Google search § Don‘t be afraid, try everything out, make your own theme! ...but don‘t do that on your live website, make a copy of it for testing and development § Make backups!!!
  17. 17. J Thanks!

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