Choose your Theme
Now, the real fun starts! How do you want your website to look? By default, WordPress comes with 3 themes already installed – Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, and Twenty Fourteen. These themes are fine to get you started, but you should really take advantage of a Premium Theme’s flexibility, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and added security.
There are hundreds of great websites with thousands of wonderful themes on the market; however, we are extremely biased and choose to only build on the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. What is Genesis and where can I get it?
Genesis is a Parent Theme that acts as a wrapper for WordPress. Just like any building is built on a strong foundation, all of our websites are built on the Genesis foundation. The bigger and more detailed a building is, the deeper and stronger the foundation has to be.
Genesis is the Foundation of any Smart WordPress Design.
Go to StudioPress.com to purchase and download the Genesis Framework. Genesis must be installed prior to installing any of the StudioPress child themes. There is a One-time Purchase Fee, so you only need to buy it once. The next step is to purchase a Child Theme to customize the look and feel of your website.
Don’t be alarmed if you see child themes bundled with the Genesis Framework. If you’ve already purchased Genesis, then just buy the child theme alone. I always choose a child theme for how it functions and the features it has rather than how it looks.
What If you need to build a website with the following features?
- Members Only Section
- Events Calendar
- Social Media Integration
- Mobile Responsive
Then choose a child theme that contains as many of those features as possible — regardless of how it looks. It is much easier to re-style a website with CSS than to add functionality through plugins or custom PHP scripts. Never choose a template based on color. Color is the easiest thing to change! In short, choose a template for what it can do, not for how it looks.
Color is the easiest thing to change!
After you decide on the must-have features you just can’t do without, choose the child theme that will work best for your project. QCDesígn was built on the Education Pro Theme, which was originally designed to be used by a college or university.
Your institution has a great deal of information to convey in a short period of time. Text, audio, video, curricula, and more…
We chose a child theme that would help our users find information very quickly. Eventually, we want to have individual user accounts with access to premium content – like a college or university. Education Pro seemed like the perfect theme for us! So far so good.
Helpful Hint: Be sure to download A Beginner’s Guide to the Genesis Framework. According to StudioPress, this guide is “…a living document, so be sure to check back often for updates and improvements as Genesis itself evolves with the future web.”
To be continued…
Next week we’ll learn how to install the Genesis Framework, and install and customize your child theme.