Having done a first WordPress installation for the experience and understanding how it works, it’s time to create a site for ourself, a landing page or a calling card site for our domain.
Once you have decided where in your domain is shall live, repeat the steps from the activity linked above to create a new empty WordPress site. Use the link via My Apps in cpanel to access the admin interface or WordPress Dashboard.
You know you are logged in as an admin user of your site when you see the black menu bar at the top of your screen, it will be there too when you visit your site.
Get to know how to navigate between the Dashboard view and the Site view (and back, the animation below is for a different site, but it works this way on all WordPress sites).
The themes we are going to be trying are not available (yet) in the standard place you add themes to your site, you will learn to directly install a theme.
Pick which of these themes you want to experiment with first (you can later switch to another one).
- WP Big Picture: demo site • download from here
- WP Dimension: demo site • download from here
- WP Highlights: demo site • download from here
All of these themes are available on Github, to get a copy from the links above, look for the green Clone or Download button, and choose the option for
.zip to save a compressed version of the theme on your computer. In the WordPress Dashboard go to Appearance -> Themes, then click the Add New button.
On the next screen, click Upload Theme, and locate the .zip file you downloaded from the steps above, and click Install Now. When the process is completed, you will see a conformation message “Theme installed successfully.” and a link you can click to Activate it.
You gave just installed a new theme. But there will not be too much to see, as your site will have no content, plus each theme has a few more steps for choosing images, and perhaps adding some new plugins.
See if you can find out where to install plugins (it works like adding themes, in the Dashboard go to Plugins -> Add New, enter name or keyword to find the one you want, click Install then Activate).
A useful feature in WordPress that many people miss is a great system of contextual help; if you are on the Plugins screen of your dashboard, click the help tab in the upper right to get some assistance.
Each of these themes comes with detailed and illustrated instructions; see:
- WP Dimension Theme start with Customizing with the Customizer
- WP Big Picture Theme- start with Customizing with the Customizer
- WP Highlights Theme- start with Customizing with the Customizer
Your goal for this activity is to get a site working, change its visual settings, insert your own images, add the menu for social media links, and create the content areas (even if they are placeholders for now).
And if these themes are not your cup of tea, you might find more possibilities in the landing page themes available to install directly from WordPress.
Example for "Building a WordPress Calling Card Site":