First look at Themes: Changing themes
WordPress Themes define the look and layout of a website. They control how posts are displayed and where they are displayed. This can be something as simple as changing the colors, to something a little more complex like adding or re-arranging columns, or displaying the content in a magazine-style layout. Some themes go to such extremes that simple blogs are turned into something completely unrecognizable but often very cool.
Some things to keep in mind about themes:
- Themes aren't created by WordPress, but by enthusiasts or businesses
- Some themes can be downloaded free of charge, others must be paid for
- Themes can turn a simple blog into anything from a profession news site, to a community site, to a shopping cart
- Some themes have customizable sections where site owners can place "widgets" or dynamic content
In the Dashboard, near the bottom of the "Right Now - At a Glance" box, it will tell you what the name of your theme is and how many widgets are in use. It also provides you with a "Change Theme" button.
To go into the Theme area you could click this button or you could scroll down to and click "Appearance" in the Dashboard's controls. Do this now.
The Manage Themes page is split into two sections, "Current Theme" which shows you which theme you currently have activated, and "Available Themes" which show those available and already installed. From WordPress version 3.0 the page is also split into two tabs "Manage Theme" and "Install Themes", the later replacing a simple button which took you to the same place.
In WordPress 2.9.2 there are two very simplistic themes installed by default. In WordPress 3.0 there is only one theme installed by default.
In WordPress 2.9.2 the activated current theme should be WordPress Default 1.6, while in "Available" there should be WordPress Classic 1.5. In WordPress 3.0+ we have just Twenty Ten.
Whether you have just one or if you have more themes installed, you will see that each theme helpfully displays a small screenshot image of itself, but how do you see how your content will look in that theme?
Each of the "Available Themes" have three options: Activate, Preview and Delete. Click "Preview".
A new window will open up and show you how it would look if you were to activate it, which you can then either choose to do, or close the window and look at another.
If you only have one theme installed, and that theme is currently in use, you won't yet be able to do the above, so let's move on an install a new theme so you can!