Corporate blogs are a vital piece in a Content Marketing strategy. Each blog post boosts your brand’s visibility and the chances to attract new visitors that can be converted into clients afterward. However, to do that, it needs to be connected with your business’ identity, which requires knowing how to install WordPress themes.
WordPress is the leading content management system (called CMS), and it’s highly recommended to use it when creating a blog. If you have any doubts about installing WordPress themes and customizing them to fit your brand persona and visual identity, keep reading this post to the end.
- What are WordPress themes?
- What is the difference between free and premium themes?
- How to install WordPress themes?
- What risks are involved in choosing premium themes?
- Are there any tips on customizing a WordPress theme?
What are WordPress themes?
After installing WordPress in your hosting service and doing a basic setup, the next step is to choose the template you are going to use, one that gives your pages a face and a voice.
While traditional websites are done by coding their looks from the ground up — which usually requires a web developer working with you —, WordPress has a much simpler solution.
WordPress themes are pre-built, ready-to-use, customizable layouts that automatically change the entire look of a blog when installed. The customization itself is not necessarily done by coding, but with a simple and intuitive WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get).
Even if your priority is on learning about the core of your business and the market you are in, choosing and installing the perfect WordPress theme is an effortless work that will boost your chances of converting clients.
What is the difference between free and premium themes?
WordPress offers two tiers of templates — free and premium. Free themes will probably be the first ones to show up on your searches and can be very useful if you intend to build more static and simpler pages. On the other hand, if your goal is to create a fully-featured website or blog, the best solution is to count on a premium layout.
Those have in common 3 main benefits — more features, more customization options, and direct contact with a support team.
That means the specialized tools and functionalities you will need for your blog will only be found when you go premium.
Let’s give you an example — a travel agency needs some specific set of features that can improve the user experience: great image handling showing off interesting places to go, price comparison tools, a trustworthy checkout system. You probably will find all of that in a template made just for that segment.
Another one: a restaurant that can provide a deeper look on the menu and a reservation system. There are great premium themes tailored to be used in that context.
Those templates are usually really easy and fast to set up and run on your blog. But, if you face any struggles or have questions, you can count on direct support from the theme provider. Thus, you’re not acquiring just a theme but a solution to help your blog to be successful.
Most premium WordPress themes can be bought on sites like Theme Forest, which provide options for a huge variety of business’ segments starting from $50.
How to install WordPress themes?
There are two ways to install a theme on WordPress and start using it for your company’s blog/website. We show both of them below.
1. Installing from WordPress itself
WordPress has a built-in feature to search for themes and install them instantaneously. If the CMS is already installed, you just need to take the following steps:
- On the WordPress dashboard, go to the left-side menu and click on “Appearance”.
- From the new options that pop-up, choose “Themes”.
- WordPress will then show all available themes, most of them free. To see even more options, click on “Add New”.
- On the next page, you can search for keywords and use filters to find the best option for you. You can even use the “Preview” button to see how a theme could look on your blog. When you find the right one, just go ahead and click on “Activate”.
2. Installing from a zip file
WordPress built-in search has a lot of options, but there is so much more out there that you will probably find a more suitable theme for your blog on another site.
When doing that, you will download a zip file containing everything the system needs to include the template in your blog. You just need to take these steps:
- Use the same left-side menu to click on “Appearance”.
- Then click on “Themes”.
- Next, you should click on the “Add New” button.
- After that, you will find a new option called “Upload Theme”.
- From there, you will click on another button called “Choose file”, which prompts you to pick the zip file you downloaded to your computer.
- After uploading it, you finish the process just by clicking “Install Now”.
That is the way most of the premium themes are installed, as the best and more specialized of them are bought on sites like Theme Forest and sent to you via email.
What risks are involved in choosing premium themes?
When choosing a premium theme, there is an important point to be noted — always choose to buy original templates from their official providers.
It is not rare to see even big companies buying cheaper from unknown sources or downloading paid solutions from sites that provide them illegally for free.
That is a very dangerous practice. First of all, because piracy is a crime. But more than that, these versions usually come with hidden malware and other kinds of malicious codes that can hinder performance or even create breaches for data compromising.
If that happens to your blog, you can’t count on anyone to help you. Pirated templates don’t provide the same support you’d get from trustworthy sources.
Are there any tips on customizing a WordPress theme?
Yes! To end our guide, we want to give you some simple and effective tips so you can make the visuals on your blog/website match your brand persona and create identification with your audience.
1. Use the “Customize” option
On the WordPress dashboard, from the same “Appearance” menu option you used to install a theme, there is a “Customize” button that leads you to the fully-featured editor the system provides to tweak visuals and User Experience.
There you can position the company’s logo, create new menus and their contents, add widgets that expand functionalities, set up how posts are viewed and structured, etc.
Usually, those options are limited to free themes. The premium templates are way more robust, giving you the power to change almost everything on how your site looks.
2. Pay attention to your visual identity
If your brand is known by the colors white and blue, why would your blog be red and yellow? Most themes, even the free ones, allow you to change colors, fonts, and other elements to make your pages aligned with the business identity.
3. Use plugins and widgets
WordPress plugins are modular pieces of code that give a site or blog specific features for a variety of cases.
For example, if you want to have share buttons for social media or contact forms to generate leads on your pages, those can be added as plugins.
There are other important ones to look for, like SEO analyzers (to boost organic traffic) and KPI monitoring. Just be careful not to install too many of them, as they can tank your site’s performance for users.
Widgets, on the other hand — which you can configure inside the “Appearance” menu —, allow you to customize the sidebars, header, and footer of a page.
Do you know the options you see on the side of the content that invite the reader to download an ebook or get in touch with a consultant? You can have that on your site using Widgets.
After installing the perfect WordPress theme for your business as we showed you and following those 3 tips, your blog will soon be the digital face of your brand.
But what if you already have a WordPress blog and want to optimize its performance for attracting and converting more leads? What if you don’t have one but don’t want to do it all by yourself?