Chapter 2: Personalising Your Blog
From the dashboard you can change the appearance of your blog, make and edit new blog posts, add and alter pages, change settings, install new plugins etc.
The first change that you'll want to make is to change the theme because the standard WordPress one is quite frankly pretty boring.
On the left hand menu bar, click on "Appearance"
On the page that opens up click on the Install Themes tab at the top and then click on Upload on the menu that appears underneath.
Simply click on Choose File and select a theme from your computer that you want to use.
Unless you've used WordPress before you might not already have a theme that you want to use.
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes available on the internet - some are free and some are paid - but whatever you're looking for you should be able to find a theme that fits what you're looking for.
It's a good idea to choose a theme that fits in with the niche you're entering. For example if you're starting a gardening blog you could perhaps find a blog theme with outdoor or nature related graphics.
Where can I find WordPress themes?
There are tons of different places that you can find and download WordPress themes. Here are some potential places to look...
http://www.wordpress.org/extended/themes http://www.woothemes.com http://www.themeforest.net
If you're struggling to find anything you like then just do a quick Google search for 'Wordpress themes' and you'll find hundreds of other sites offering them.
Sometimes it can be worth paying to get a good theme that does exactly what you want, but don't rule out free ones either because there are a lot of good ones out there.
It's also worth personalising your blog with a custom header. You can either pay a designer to do one for you or you can design one yourself using something like Photoshop or GIMP (free alternative)
Just upload it into the appropriate place, which is usually wp_content/themes/theme folder/images
The header is usually called something like header.png, but this will differ from theme to theme. Just make sure that your new header image is exactly the same size as the one you are replacing otherwise the image will appear distorted on your blog. The default size is 760 x 200 pixels but again this will vary from theme to theme, so make sure you check.
If you're considering using stock images (ie. using pre-made
images rather than custom made ones) it's important that you have the correct rights to use the images on your blog.
The good news is that there are plenty of sites which offer stock images and graphics, for example http:// www.freeimages.co.uk or http:// www.freegraphicsworld.com