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Lesson 5 – Part 1 – An Introduction to Free WordPress Themes

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Introduction to Free WordPress Themes

Hi and welcome to Lesson 5 of the Start Building Your Website Here Tutorial Series. My name is Melissa and I’ll be your instructor for part of the series. The goal of this tutorial series is to show how you, with basic Word processing and desktop publishing skills, can develop, manage and maintain your own business web presence.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to install WordPress Themes. This lesson assumes that you’ve already completed lessons 1-4 and in particular, successful completion of this lesson requires a hosting account with HostGator and a WordPress installation on that account. Ok, let’s go ahead and get started. In the first part of this lesson, we’ll look at free themes that are available for download at wordpress.org.So let’s go ahead and go to wordpress.org

Here we are at the WordPress home page.  This is the center of the self hosted WordPress universe.  It’s worth exploring what this site has to offer because there are lots of resources here to help you build and maintain your site. We’ll find themes to download under “extend”, and then “themes”. You can see that there are 1,443 themes here at wordpress.org and more than 38 million downloads and counting . If you go down here and look at some of their featured theme, if you select “Coraline” for example, and click preview, it’ll show you a preview of this theme as it might look in your website.

The preview shows you what the various elements of this theme will look like.  For example it shows you the various heading styles and colors, the paragraph text and the link color. It also shows you what the list elements look like and the various form elements look like. If you look at “Licorice”, select preview and look at all of the different skins that might be available here. You can see the different widgets, it can pick up certain types of data out of your website and display them.

The preview also shows you how an image might be displayed in a website, different fonts and colors. The heading image and so on and so forth. So I recommend that you take a look at some of the themes that they have available here because there really are a lot of them. Perhaps the best way for you to sort through the thousand themes, is to use “Checkout a new filter and tag interface” link. Select that. And now you can filter your options by choosing in the selection under tag filter.

For example select blue, two-columns, fixed width and click “find themes” button. Now you will see a bunch of themes come up which can potentially meet your criteria. For example, select “Worth a Thousand Words” See what it looks like, what its elements are, what happens if you hover over navigation etc. If you’re not satisfied, then you can certainly scroll down and look at the other themes that fit the general categories or you can choose to mix and match the other categories and filter the themes again until you find a suitable theme.

So these are the free themes that are available for download in WordPress. In the next part of the lesson, we’ll select a specific theme, download and install it on our website.

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