Themes and design for new blog:

theme

Theme is basically design and functionality of our website. It governs a lot of features and updates. Broadly there are two types of themes: free and premium. Premium themes have more attractive and intuitive appearance. Also their functionality includes more features.

For wordpress bloggers, following is some basic information on themes which I explored:

Appearance > Customize: To change the customizing as per your need. (Not there in all themes)

Appearance > Header: To change the header image

Different themes have different options.

Theme > Theme options > See docs— to study about how the theme works in detail. Usually not there in free themes.

The widgets which appear on blogs are governed from: Appearance > Widgets

One of a good site to download free theme is wpexplorer.com

 

Basic things to watch in theme:

WordPress compatible (Theme should be compatible with wordpress)

Mobile compatible (If you access your blog from mobile, no distortions happen)

Plugins compatibility (You should check what all plugins would be compatible to your theme)

Layout (2 columns, 3 columns or other)

Review (Usually you can find the ratings and reviews of all wordpress themes)

 

Process to use theme:

First download the theme.

Now go to install theme > Upload > Choose file > Install now > Activate

 

Layout:

The layout, designing and structure which you see in blogs is usually governed from menu.

Dashboard > Appearance > Menu > Create Menu > Manage Location > Select Main menu

All the hierarchies can be governed from menus and submenus.

 

Premium themes:

Usually for more intuitive and attractive appeal, premium themes are being purchased. They can cost roughly from 30 USD to 100 USD and even more.

To buy premium themes, visit: Themeforest.net

Usually, you can have a live preview. Then purchase the theme. After payment, you will receive an email which will have link to enable you to download that theme. Then download the theme. Double click (To unzip) on your downloaded zip file. It will have help file also. Make sure that while uploading, you do not upload this help file. Only upload wp.zipfile. Then theme > Install > themes > Upload > Choose file > Install > Activate.

Few of the good premium themes which I came across include The thinker, New road, Marlene and Lifestyle Pro. You can also find videos of all these themes on youtube to get more idea on how catchy they look and what could be advantages to have them.

Another good theme provider is Mojothemes.

 

Use premium theme for advanced usages, high level fame and e-commerce purposes.

This blog has normal free theme of 2016(Twenty Sixteen). For normal blogs and small audiences without any payment transactions, free theme is good enough.

 

Practice gives you a lot more help. The more you explore customize in appearance of your theme, the more you would be able to use wordpress platform to your advantage. There are lots of thing which you can do. Just get your hands dirty and start exploring the features one by one.

 

 

Starting a blog for beginner bloggers:

blog_2

I believe that anyone who writes is a writer. You do not need fancy training or amazing life experiences to write. We can write about normal stuff, work life and our daily experiences as well.

Blogging is an amazing tool to communicate your ideas. Not to mention that well built blog can earn you some quick cash as well.

In this article we shall explore the basic of blogging at the beginner level. There are many platforms for blogging but I prefer the wordpress platform. There is an entire free version wordpress.com and there is wordpress.org where you get your own domain name and require to pay for your hosting services. I prefer the wordpress.org as it has more freedom. More importantly you own your content in wordpress.org. You can use advertisements to your benefits as well. Also I believe that if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, you need to buy your own domain name.

 

Step 1: Identify your field of writing:

Select your line of writing. Eg. Cooking, travelling, writing, sports, politics, etc.

It is advisable to start writing in a niche and then write in general after you have picked up some audience and clientele. You can start off as a generalist writer as well like a writer’s blog or as an abstract topics writer.

The line of writing should be such where you can comfortably write and advise.

 

Step 2: Do your homework prior launching the blog:

I got motivated to write blogs after watching the series: “How to make a living blogging interview” and “blogpreneur”.

Both of these series can be found on youtube. In each episode, a celebrity blogger is interviewed and they share their tips of blogging. More importantly they prove that blogging in itself can be seen as a profession. They serve as a great motivation.

I recommend watching the episodes of both these series prior working on your blog.

Also if you are not from a technical background, you can watch a video on setting up basic website or a blog on youtube. Believe me; it does not require much technical knowledge in modern times to build a website. Any common person with basic internet knowledge can develop it.

 

Step 3: Buy a domain name:

Domain name should be preferably small and related to your field of writing.

I have bought mine domain name from Godaddy.com. It cost me less than 10$ to buy a domain name for 1 year. We spend that much amount daily on random items. I am sure we can manage this much cost to own our own domain name which is as much cool as it sounds. For starting, I recommend to buy domain for 1 year and see how it’s going. You can always renew your domain name.

 

Step 4: Buying hosting services:

You need to buy hosting for your domain.

I recommend hostgator.com for that. Their live chat feature is very nice and they will answer any query that you have with extreme simplicity.

If you want to use multiple domain in single hosting, use “Baby plan”.

Once you sign up the plan, you will receive mail from them. Copy the name servers in the mail and paste them in place of server in your domain’s name in Go daddy. It cost me 70$ to buy the baby plan for a year’s hosting services. Note that I can add multiple domains under single hosting.

 

Step 5: Launch wordpress:

Thankfully, wordpress is free of charge. Go to control panel of your hostgator id. In control panel, navigate to software/services > Quick install > Install wordpress for free. Select your domain name, admin e-mail and blog title. You can then launch wordpress and start writing blog posts.

In the next article, we would be discussing the layouts and page developing in the newly created blog along with its menu structure.

 

So with about 80$, few hours of homework and a couple of hours of setting up domain, hosting and wordpress, we are ready to write an article.

For the record, this is my first article on blog and if I can write articles, so can you.