Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 4, Episode 3 - Edit Your Theme (Template)

January 6th, 2008 · No Comments · Category: Blogging · Design and Development · Our Love Affair w/ WP · WordPress

We love WordPressIn Part 4, Episode 2 of Our Love Affair With WordPress, we chose the Harmony WordPress theme as our template for Perfect Fit, our fictional bra-fitting business. Again, bearing in mind that Perfect Fit is an unusual business, the theme layout is standard but we want to add a little something extra to make it special. In Episode 1 you learned what steps to take to create your ideal blog or website. At this stage, we’ve already decided on the tone or mood of the website, the layout and navigation. And now we have a theme on which to recreate our ideal structure and navigation before setting the mood. The next step now is editing your theme so that the layout is exactly what you planned before dressing it up in something sexy.

The Harmony theme is almost the ideal layout for Perfect Fit. Only a few things need to be moved around or added:

  • Change the background image
  • Add a logo to the top left
  • Delete the “Meta” section in the sidebar
  • “Categories” should be changed to “Getting Your Perfect Bra-Fitting” with a list of links to articles about bra-fitting
  • Delete the “Archives” section
  • Change “Page 1″ and “Page 2″ at the top right header to “Home”, “Contact Us” and add “About Perfect Fit”
  • Delete the current text in the footer and add Perfect Fit copyright info and links to the main pages of the site
  • The main body will have about 3 of the most recent articles
  • Add intro paragraph just under the header and before the first article
  • Add subscription for RSS and newsletter

Perfect Fit Home PageCheck out the final look after all these elements have been changed by clicking on the image to your left. Clicking on the image will take you to an enlarged view. Compare this new design for Perfect Fit with the original Harmony WordPress theme. Perfect Fit’s blog could be left as is. All that needs to be done for your attractive basic blog is to add content such as articles and the required text for the about and contact pages. Our Perfect Fit blog could use a few enhancements for optimal user experience and site updating and maintaining. We’ll add some later in Episode 4.

Also, keep in mind that you may want the archives, page template, 404 error page, and single post to look a little different than the home page if it suits your needs. For example, say when a visitor follows the link to the archives page (”all articles” or “more articles” link) and clicks on the link for all pages in December or under a certain category, you want that archives page to state at the top “All articles in [enter month and year here]” or “Articles about [enter category here]“.

That’s just one of many options. It’s also quite common and I would say recommended so that your site visitors always know where they are. It’s especially good to write a unique 404 error page so that when your visitor stumbles on a page that doesn’t exist, she’s redirected to a useful 404 page that tells her where she can possibly go on your site to find the info she was looking for. If your sidebar doesn’t have a search bar, add one on this page. Check out Smashing Magazine’s article and images on attractive and useful 404 error page designs.

In our next episode, Episode 4 - Enhancing Your WordPress Website or Blog, we’ll discuss what fun, resourceful and dynamic elements that can be added to your WordPress blog or blog-powered website. Stay tuned!

Credits: Bra illustrations borrowed for the purpose of this tutorial only from artfulblogger. Thanks artfulblogger!

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