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Lesson 5 – Part 3 – Activating & Switching Between Themes

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Activating and Switching Between WordPress Themes

Welcome back to the third part of lesson 5 of the Start Building Your website Here Tutorial series. In this part of the lesson we’re going to activate the Suffusion theme that we downloaded and uploaded to our WordPress site.  So we need to go to our site, which in my case is We are going to go down here and log in. As you can see my user name and password has been entered so I’m just going to go ahead and hit log in.

Activate WordPress Themes

Here we are back to our WordPress Dashboard.  If we go over here to “Appearance” and select “Themes”, you can see the current theme that we have installed is Twenty-ten. Twenty-ten is one of the default themes that come pre-installed with WordPress. Under Available themes, we have two other themes which are; Twenty-eleven, is a more recent default theme and then Suffusion – the new theme that we just uploaded. Just below Suffusion you’re going to select “Activate”.  Now that it’s activated, you see the big box “Don’t Panic” – this is the Suffusion theme’s options menu. You can return to it anytime you like by selecting the Suffusion options under Appearance menu here. So this bar across the top is the menu for the Suffusion options. Right now we are on the Introduction page.

So from this menu, we are going to select “Theme Skinning” and from here you can set most of the graphical elements of the theme. If we go back over to the front side of our website, you can see that the appearance of our site has entirely changed. This is what the Suffusion theme looks like before we make any changes to it. Let’s go back over to the dashboard. Before we installed and activated Suffusion you didn’t see this theme options and that’s because they are only available when Suffusion is activated. Let me just go and show you that. I’ll go back to “Appearance” and then “Themes” and then I will reactivate Twenty-ten. Once Twenty-ten is activated, the Suffusion options goes away. And if we activate Suffusion, then the Suffusion options are back. Let’s go back over to the “Theme Skinning” page. If you  scroll down, you’ll see that the “Grey Shade 1 on a light theme” is the style that is activated. However there are 17 different schemes to choose from and I am going to select “Royal Blue on a light theme” and hit “save/reset”. This can be a little confusing because you are offered the chance to save your changes or various versions of resetting and deleting previously selected options. For the time being we’ll select “Save Page”.

So if we go back over to our site and hit refresh, you can see that right now it has switched to the color combination that I selected. So let’s take a look at other potential options here. Under “Header Layout Style” we are going to select “Header is outside the main wrapper. Its background and content are aligned with the main wrapper”. But in order for this change to take effect you first have to select “Custom styles”. This tells the theme that you want to overwrite the settings of the color scheme that you’ve chosen. We’ll go ahead and hit save. Let’s go back to the front side of our site, hit refresh and now as you can see, the header has changed.

Let’s go back to the dashboard and back to the “Theme Skinning” options. We’re going to select the body fonts from here. Right now you can see that Arial is the font that is selected so let’s go ahead and try “Impact”. Again you have to select custom styles for your changes to take effect and then hit save.  Save page body fonts. Let’s go back to our site, hit refresh and now you can see that the fonts have changed. So Suffusion has hundreds of options here that can be changed and modified. So many that it can be a little confusing. It may even have the most customization options of any free theme available. However, Suffusion is not the theme we will be using throughout the remainder of this course. So to end this lesson, we’re gonna go back to” Appearance” and “Themes” and we are going to reactivate the Twenty-ten theme.

And that’s the end of part 3. In the next part of the lesson, we will purchase, download and install the “Thesis theme”. Thesis is the fastest, most powerful theme framework available. It’s easily customized and is robust enough to be suitable for a business website.

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1 Comment… add one
1 comment… add one
  • Sandra Paolini January 12, 2013, 1:00 pm

    Just finished the first five lessons…. excellent; easy to follow, helpful and even fun. Although I remain confused, I have to admit, it’s much less so. Thanks.

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