You have your WordPress site set up with the most basic theme and you’re all set to go but confused as to how to go about making the website awesome? Just follow the simple steps given below and in no time your website will be ready to rock the interwebs. These are easy to do steps that you can go step by step with the liberty of your options in some of the steps. This guide is essentially for beginners but if you’re an intermediate user who is looking to revamp their website you are also welcome to go back to the basics.
WORDPRESS THEME CUSTOMIZER
The built-in Customizer (WP Dashboard > Appearance > Customize) is one of the most powerful tools to personalize WordPress for developers and users alike.
Give identity to your new blog, it will make your blog look good when you open your site on any browser. I suggest you give your logo as “site identity”.
Appearance> Customize> Site Identity>
Fill the title and tagline, next upload the site icon with the pixel of 16*16.
Now you can customize the main locations. Choose your menu names which will suit for your niche and user-friendly. Here you can locate all the menu section as your wish on both main menu and footer menu.
Appearance> Customize> Menus>
In Menu customization, you can choose the menus as your wish, there are many options like categories, Pages, customize links, etc,. Customizing the main menu will affect on the main page.
Footer menu is mainly about blog identity. Here you can place the menu like a disclaimer, terms and conditions, contact, etc,. Customizing the footer menu will affect on the bottom of the main page.
Customizing widgets will make your blog user-friendly. Users can easily access or navigate your blog. Using widgets you can decorate the sidebars as your need.
Appearance> Customize> Widgets>
Static Front Page
Here you can select the templates you need to display for front page and posts page. I recommend using the static page for front page displays.
Appearance> Customize>Static Front Page >
USE DEFAULT WORDPRESS OPTIONS
WordPress settings have default options for setup your blog better.
You can change the titles, Subtitles, Permalinks, Homepage Setup, Comment Options, Image Sizes and More under Admin> Settings. Using the options in the Admin Pannel will reduce the amount of theme-editing you have to do, and make it easier to change later.
If you are working on the purchased theme then you will get the theme panel options, here you can make your theme however you need.
AVOID EDITING INSTALLED THEMES DIRECTLY
Editing a parent theme, especially a Pre-bought one, can lead to disaster when the theme later updates. An update will replace all the files in a theme folder and overwrite any changes you have made. Avoid this by creating a child theme and editing there instead.
USE WIDGETS TO ADD SIDEBAR AND FOOTER CONTENT
Rather than writing content into the sidebars and footers directly use widgets (WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets)to save the content to the database, and sidebars to the group and display the widgets in the theme. Register new sidebars in functions.PHP, call them in your template and add widgets via the admin panel.
TEST YOUR THEME ON ALL DEVICE SIZES
With mobile compatibility being additional necessary than ever, testing your website across totally different device sizes is crucial. The WP customizer will check your theme across 3 major viewports- Mobile, tablet and Desktop- which is able to provide you with a decent overview, however, nothing beats testing on the particular devices themselves.
CHOOSE RELIABLE PLUGINS
When you need a plugin and you’re trying to choose which, take into account the star rating, Feedback and when it was last updated. These can give you a good idea of the quality, how well the plugin has supported and how likely it is to be continued.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ARCHIVE PAGES
The menu settings include the option to add links to archives in the menu, making to certain categories, tags and even post formats quick and easy. Simply use the dropdowns on the left-hand side to select the grouping you want to add.
USES FOR FEATURED IMAGES
You can use featured images for more than just thumbnails. For instance, you can use them in a post list, title gallery or carousel, a header image for the post, a background image for the header or even for the whole page- you don’t have to just use it in the content.
This should essentially get you booted up and your website as well and hopefully by now you have a great looking website ready and roaring to go. If you have any further doubts about any part of the setup or even anything else apart from this for setting up on the website, leave your comments below and we shall try to answer all of them.