Getting a new theme up and running is one of the most exciting things you’ll do with your website. You have a fresh new look that reflects your style to show off that goes hand-in-hand with the message you’re putting out into the world.
Krista here! I can still feel the excitement from each time I switched my theme on past blogs. It’s easy for a not-so-perfect choice to get old fast. After spending time searching for the perfect theme, there’s not much better than making everything look just right and releasing it into the world.
When you do get a new theme up and running, you want to make sure that you’re making the most of it. Not only do you want to get your money’s worth, but you want to use the theme to create a website that really supports your blog or business. Today we’ll go over four simple ways to make the most of a new WordPress theme.
[Tweet “When you get a new theme, you want to make sure that you’re making the most of it”]
1. Add your branding
You always want to start by getting the theme customized with your branding. This will make the site look and feel like your own and your audience will know they landed in the right place, even if the look isn’t quite the same as what they remembered.
The main things to consider here are your:
- fonts, and
Any well-made theme will allow you to update those settings to fit your needs. If the theme description doesn’t say anything, be sure to reach out to the theme creator before buying.
As an example, our themes all have a spot for you to upload a logo and favicon as well as an area to update your fonts and colors!
2. Take advantage of the theme settings
After you’ve got your branding ready to go is the perfect time to take a look at the different settings that are available with your theme. Most themes will have options available by going to Appearance > Customize. Genesis themes also have some more general options available by going to Genesis > Theme Settings.
You can expect the options available in the Customize section to be theme-specific, meaning they’re created specifically for the features of that theme.
For example, our Mary Ellen theme has an area to set social media links, an area to update settings for the header call-to-action, and a spot to customize the text, images, and links used on the homepage!
3. Use available widget areas according to your goals
After you’ve taken advantage of the theme settings is a great time to move to the available widget areas. Widget areas are the perfect way to make a theme fit your unique goals.
[Tweet “Widget areas are the perfect way to make a theme fit your unique goals”]
If there’s a sidebar widget area, that’s a great place to build audience trust by adding a headshot and bio, build your social following by including social media links, and more.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with the widget areas available for your theme. For example, our Kate theme features a header widget area, in which our demo shows featured posts. If instead of reading blog posts you want your audience to opt-in to your email list, you could replace those featured posts with an email opt-in without having to worry about any sort of custom coding.
4. Find plugins to help with your specific goals
The last thing you want to do to make the most of a new WordPress theme is find a couple of plugins that will help the theme support your goals even more effectively. These don’t have to be anything major or difficult to set up, but consider your goals and think about whether there’s anything that the theme doesn’t include that could help you out.
For example, if you’re looking to increase page views, you may download Better Click-To-Tweet so you can use click-to-tweets in your blog posts. Or if you want to get more shares on social media, you might purchase and download Social Warfare to add more robust sharing features than what your theme offers.
Your theme should work for you
The goal of getting a new theme up and running shouldn’t just be to make things look better. That’s definitely a plus, but you always want to strive to have a theme that supports your goals as best as they possibly can.
If you’re looking to choose a new WordPress theme that supports your business, join our free 3-day mini-series where we’ll help you do just that!