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Customising your WordPress Site

For more information on what WordPress is and how to get the most from it visit http://codex.wordpress.org/FAQ_New_To_WordPress choose a section you are interested in and start reading or dive right in…

Choosing your Colour Palette

There are some great online tools for coming up with a fresh and attractive colour palette.

Color Scheme Designer

Adobe Kuler

Colour Lovers

Color Hunter

Color Explorer

Optimising Your WordPress Database

Keeping your database optimsed will assist in keeping your site working optimally and making sure it loads as quickly as possible.


Logging into WordPress

Begin by logging into you sites WordPress Administration Panel, type the following URL into your browsers address bar http://yourdomain.co.za/wp-admin

You will be prompted for a Username and Password, enter your details and click Log In

In WordPress, you can write either pages or posts.

What are Pages?

Pages are for information that is static, always needed, even though it may need updating from time to time and are not listed by date. Pages can also be displayed as static links on your homepage and/or sidebar to keep information easy to find.
Do not use tags or categories. An ‘About’ page is the classic example.  The URL for a page looks like this: https://www.handshake.co.za/about/

Creating a new page

Click > Pages > Add New

Type in your page title at  the top e.g. “Directions” – pages usually have shorter titles to fit in your menu structure

WordPress will automatically create a slug/permalink for your new page, you can “Edit” it to shorten it and make it more search engine friendly.

What are Posts?

Posts are great for information that is date specific and degrades with time, are listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one. News and stories tend to fall in this category because as time goes by they become less and less relevant.

Posts can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings.

Creating a new post

Click > Posts > Add New

Type in your post title at  the top e.g. “Customising your WordPress Site” – posts usually have longer, more descriptive titles

WordPress will automatically create a slug/permalink for your new post, you can “Edit” it to shorten it and make it more search engine friendly. e.g. customising-wordpress

7 things to pay attention to when choosing a theme

  1. Absolutely must be Search Engine-friendly! Free themes vary widely. Not familiar with CSS and/or HTML, unfortunately it will be difficult for you to evaluate the SEO capabilities of a theme.
  2. Best if the code is valid! Valid code give’s you the best chance of giving your visitors a trouble-free visit and keep your site looking good across all browsers. This will be stated normally at the base of the homepage.
  3. Choose a theme from a reputable source! The WordPress Theme Directory is the official site for WordPress Themes which have been checked and inspected, and are free for downloading. They have also been rated, choose from the higher rated, no less than 3 stars, and make sure the rating comes from at least 5 users.
  4. Current and preferably an advanced version number! This means that the theme has been under long-term design and updates and will most likely continue that way. Technologies change and your theme needs to be kept current. Look for a Last Updated no of days less than 100.
  5. Choose a theme that match’s your colour scheme & logo! This will simplify getting your site up and running as soon as possible and minimise the amount of work needed on it.
  6. Room to grow! Better themes will usually not limit your growth by making sure they support all features and WordPress standards.
  7. Looks hot! Good looking is a bonus. Your website absolutely has to have a personality otherwise people’s relationships with it will be brief. If it also happens to look stunning that’s just a bonus.

Adding a new wordpress theme

Tip: It is easier to find the theme of your dreams if you have content in your blog, so that you can see how it displays with each theme.

1. Click > Appearance > Add New Themes

First look under Recently Updated, Featured, then Newest

Didn’t find something you liked, you can narrow your search by clicking Search and then the fields your require, e.g. Light, Two Columns, Fixed Width, then click Find Themes

Click Preview to take a closer look, click [X] Close in the top left corner when done.

Like the Theme but not sure, click Install > Install Now,  and then see what it looks like with your content by clicking Preview (if it won’t install you don’t have your sites FTP details setup)

You can find out more on the themes by clicking Details and then placing your cursor over the rating, will show you how many people the rating comes from.

2. or goto the WordPress Theme Directory when you find a theme, make a note of the name and then goto 1. and type the name and click Search.

3. Search for WordPress Templates in google and then try see if they are listed in 1.

Adding Your Images

Save your images from decent photo editing software like Photoshop, click File > Save for Web and shrink the file until you are happy with the size and quality.

For PNG files you cn always try minimise their size by compressing them using PunyPNG, an online tool found here – http://www.gracepointafterfive.com/punypng/


Google Web Fonts API – http://www.google.com/webfonts

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