If you are landing on this page for the first time, you may be interested to know that this is part of a four-part series I created called How To Start A WordPress Blog: A Step By Step Beginners Guide. This post is part two in the series, and all of the steps can be found below:
2. How To Install A Responsive WordPress Theme (you are here)
If you are returning from step one and are ready to choose and install a responsive theme on your new WordPress site, let’s get started!Now Reading! How To Install A Free Responsive #WordPress Theme Click To Tweet
ACTION STEP: Login To WordPress
As I stated before, once you have completed the WordPress installation from within HostGator, you will no longer be required to log into HostGator to access your WordPress dashboard. From here on out we will be using the WordPress Admin login to access our WordPress site, using the information (user name and password) sent to your email from WordPress. Your new access area should look something like this:
Once you are logged in, you are presented with your new WordPress dashboard! This is where the magic happens, but for now we need to get a theme installed for our site.
ACTION STEP: How To Choose A Free Responsive WordPress Theme
There are literally thousands of different WordPress themes to choose from, but with the steady increase in mobile traffic, we need to make sure our new theme looks good not only on a PC or a laptop..but on smartphones and tablets as well. Themes that are designed to display properly..regardless of device..are known as being “responsive”.
Fortunately, there is a way to filter through all of the free WordPress themes and ensure that the themes we are considering are responsive designs. Here’s how to do it:
1. From your WordPress Dashboard, scroll down the menu in the left side bar and hover over “appearance”.
2. A sub menu will pop out. From the sub menu, choose “Themes”.
3. From the themes area, choose “add new” from the top menu. Note: The screenshot may differ slightly from yours as I am running the Thesis premium WordPress theme.
Once you choose the “add new” option, WordPress will load up all of the available themes for you to choose from. Again, we want to choose a responsive theme, so we are going to use the filter feature to view only responsive themes.
4. From within the themes area, click on the features filter gear icon. This will bring up a list of filters we can use to narrow down our search for the perfect theme. There are many different filters to choose from, but for now we are only interested in responsive designs.
5. From the list of filters, locate “responsive layout” and place a check mark in the box. Choose “apply filters” from the top menu area and WordPress will automatically update theme results based on your responsive design choice.
The updated list of themes to choose from are now all considered to be responsive, so we can go through and choose a design that best fits what we want our site to look like.
ACTION STEP: How To Install A Responsive WordPress Theme
You should now be presented with a number of different responsive themes to choose from. Scroll through the options and find one that you like. PRO TIP: When you hover your mouse over one of the templates, a number of options will appear. A box in the center that says “details and preview” and two buttons on the lower portion of the template. One button will say “install” and the other button will say “preview”, as shown in the lower right hand corner of the image above.
1. When you have a theme picked that you like, hover over it and choose the “preview” option.
2. This will open the theme in a new, split panel window. This gives you a better idea of what the theme will look like once installed, and gives you information about the theme. Don’t worry about the existing images or text displayed on the theme. They are only for demonstration and can be fully customized by you once installed. It is only a preview and is a great way to get a feel for what it will look like installed.
3. When you find a design you like, click on the Install button located on the top left portion of the preview screen.
WordPress will now automatically install your new responsive theme! Congratulations..you are now ready to customize your new site and make it your own unique spot on the web!
Ready to write your first blog post?
Let’s do it!