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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 How to Build a Website Tutorial Series. In this part of the lesson, we are going to activate the Suffusion Theme that we downloaded and uploaded to our WordPress site.

So we need to go to the back end of our site. We will enter our username and password and hit login. Ok, 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 the Twenty eleven theme. Twenty eleven is one of the default themes that come pre-installed with WordPress.

Below, under “Available Themes” we have 2 other themes, Twenty ten is an earlier default theme and then Suffusion, the new theme that we just uploaded. Below Suffusion select “Activate”. So now it’s activated and 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 “Suffusion Options” under the Appearance menu.

This bar across the top is the menu for the Suffusion Options. Right now we are on the “Introduction” page, from that menu select “Theme Skinning”. 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 to the dashboard. Before we installed and activated Suffusion you didn’t see these theme options. That’s because they are only available when Suffusion is activated. Let me just go and show you that. I’ll go back over to Appearance and Themes. I’ll activate the twenty eleven theme, once twenty eleven is activated the Suffusion Options go away. If we activate Suffusion the Suffusion Options are back. So let’s go back 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 re-setting and deleting previously selected options. For the time being we’ll select “Save Page”.

If we go back over to our site and refresh, you can see that now it has switched to the color combination that I selected. Let’s take a look at a couple of other potential options here. (click header customization)

Under “Header Layout Style” select “Header is outside the main wrapper, its background and contents are aligned with the main wrapper”. In order for this change to take effect you first have to select “custom styles” in the first section. This tells the theme that you want to override the settings of the color scheme that you’ve chosen. Select save.

Go back to the front side of the site and look at how it has changed. Now let’s go back to the Suffusion options again and select “Typography” and in the “Body Fonts” tab under Font face. Right now Arial is selected. Lets select “Impact”. Again you also have to select “Custom Styles” and then save the change. Go back to the front side of the site and you can see how the fonts have changed.

Suffusion has hundreds of options that can be changed and modified. So many, it can be a little bit 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 reactivate the Twenty Eleven 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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