WordPress has got to be the easiest way for beginners to be introduced to website building and start their own website. It requires no html (computer programming) and offers various ‘accessories’ in the shape of ‘plugins’ to achieve a seamless, professional website, one that can barely be distinguished from a professional one built using html. The other dream of a feature is that wordpress supports woo commerce – essentially the selling of products on your website.
Before you can start building your website, you need a domain name and a host (somewhere for your website to live). There are tons of webhosts to choose from, but my recommendation if you are a compete beginner, or even an expert, is to go and try Wealthy Affiliate – they offer hosting, tutorials, community blogs, training, live chat, support 24/7 for anything from uploading issues to adding analytic code to your settings and if you choose to use them, you can buy your domain name through them too and avoid any of the set up issues with other hosters. They will install wordpress for you onto your site and it is then ready for you to work on.
No. 1 Tips For A Beginner WordPress Theme
- Go For A Free Theme – There are thousands to choose from, there will be one that will suit what you need right now. Don’t spend on a specific theme on the outset. Some are tricky and will only cause headaches that you really don’t need. You can change your theme later on if you find its not suitable for your needs.
- Avoid outdated themes, these are likely to be ones that will no longer be updated with contemporary features.
- Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re lightweight – embrace the saving and go for it !
- They are robust even if they are free. You may find some described as ‘lite’ – means there is a premium version around which will have more features. Upgrade when you are ready, or if you need the features,
- Theme providers can be trusted…. look at how often their themes are being used, see how many downloads there has been of your chosen theme.
- Some themes lend themselves to certain businesses.
Themes For WordPress Beginners
All the themes discussed here are free themes and well within the scope of a beginner to use on their websites. Remember that when you first set up your site it wont look like any of the demonstrations you have seen regarding that theme until you start adding material to the site and then you will see the design coming out.
Activello is designed by Colorlib ( a WordPress theme specific online resource) and is a clean, multipurpose, fully responsive and mobile friendly theme, with great graphics and design. It boasts custom widgets ( sections of the theme that you can choose what to put and where), full screen slider (a widget that will allow you to add several images that it will automatically scroll through) It is optimised for woocommerce (selling products). It is SEO friendly (search engine optimised – in other words great for Google!) and with a schema compatible structure – another big + for Google. It has a good reputation for loading quickly.
Activello offers a shop platform in with the theme.
Various customised widgets, so you design your images/text how you want, giving you complete customisation.
Shapely is another free theme designed by Colorlib. It offers power and versatility, with outstanding functionality and it boasts unmatched customisation options with several homepage widgets – love homepage widgets – you can design your homepage to your own exacting standards with a portfolio, testimonials, parallax solutions ( sliders behind sliders), product service information and call to actions.
Portfolio sections that show off your imagery perfectly.
Love these parallax sections, you can add in any information that you want your reader to pick up on without being intrusive to their enjoyment of the website. I have one on my homepage that scrolls behind the information I am wanting to be read, but just reminds the reader which website they are on.
Blueberry is a Theme Forest theme. If you register with Theme Forest at Envato Market, they have several themes that then become free to use. This is one that becomes free.
Multiple design options, different header and footer layouts, homepage structure, and templates for pages. It offers 5 different blog layouts, custom widgets and full colour options. This theme will look slick and great, regardless of the screen size.
Crisp, fresh looking theme, great for foodie websites to holidays.
Amazing layout options giving a professional theme to a beginner website.
Love this section….. adding tag words and latest posts to your side bar, giving more options and professionalism to your website.
Ocean WP is a fully responsive theme, so works well on desktop, mobile and tablet. It is brisk and clean, easy to use, straightforward. They have tons of demos to choose from, and by downloading the free demo you have the template to build your own website.
They offer great page load times, has SEO built in so no need for an extra plugin. Ecommerce is also built in with state of the art features. Ecommerce in the shape of woo commerce powers 30% of all online stores so a great asset if you are thinking you will be selling your products online. The theme offers extended power in that you can achieve a full screen (rather than the narrower screen of most themes), it adds a cookie notice that fulfils the GDPR requirements, you can also white label the theme, so take off the OceanWP label and put your own brand on it, no one will know what theme you are using.
There are other features that are offered in an extension bundle, but this is costly at $159 for a lifetime use. I would only recommend this if you are certain further down the line that you are sticking with this theme. Knowing what I was like, I would not recommend this, I have changed my theme quite a few times until I found this one.
MH Magazine Lite
This is my theme of choice for starting out. You can get some great homepage features, making your website look professional from the outset. In the lite version, it uses fewer widgets on the homepage, and you have to remember to set the homepage to static to make them all work successfully.
If you decide you love it as much as I did, you can upgrade for $32 for the full version which gives you much more scope for customisation. I set up a soap website using the pro version.
It is one of the most popular responsive themes.
Depending on the widgets you choose to use, you can change the whole look of your website completely.
It can have the feel of a magazine with different sections/collumns, or use full width widgets to give more flow.
The theme offers a fast, secure SEO friendly platform with flexible custom widgets. There is also documentation available at MH Theme to help you achieve a particular look. You can customise the backgrounds and colours, giving a full width appearance.
How To Find Free WordPress Themes
Well the easiest way is to go to Google and search, but this will bring up a plethora of results and how do you know if they’re legitimate or not and what has been said is accurate? There are many theme developers online – Event Market that brings ThemeForest material, Colorlib, MH Themes, WordPress.org – all these are trustworthy and will not break your site.
You can also go over to WealthyAffiliate who will offer hosting and support, but alongside loading up wordpress ready for you to use, they have the facility to search for themes there, and all the themes they bring up are free. They do not offer any that you have to pay for, so you will see themes from all sorts of developers all in one place. Some my say ‘Lite’ and you will know from that there is a premium version with more features.
If you choose a theme and decide that you don’t like it, within the customisation section of WordPress, you can change the theme but not only that you can get it to give you a preview of what it will look like with the information our website at that time, great idea ! See what it looks like and if you don’t like it, don’t change it!
Ask any questions about free wordpress themes, I will be glad to offer my support and guidance!