Let Me Share The Steps I Follow When I Create A New WordPress Website

Last Update: April 19, 2020

I am about to create a few tutorials / courses that will explain how to configure some many themes provided here for WA members.

Before I begin, I wanted to share a few things that I do, when I create a new website, so that members here can better understand a few things before they attempt to change a theme on their own websites.

First, one should consider that the theme screenshots that are showcased in the Appearance area of the WordPress dashboard; demonstrates how a website CAN appear, once the theme is properly configured and also, once there is adequate content added.

Some themes home pages show multiple categories as well, so if you are creating a site that does not have multiple categories, and a lot of content, then you're not going to get the same look as is showcased in the screenshots.

A Few Guidelines To Follow

If your site has little to no content, then it's best for you to stick with a very simplistic theme. I personally stuck with the Hiero theme for years, but here lately I have found a particular liking to the GeneratePress theme, which is the most recommended theme for beginners to use.

My first course will be showing how to make the free version of the generate press theme, look attractive and professional, where one does not really have to do much more than use it as it is.

I always use one of those 2 themes when I start a new website, and I generally leave my site with the chosen theme until I have added at minimum, 25 articles in 5 separate categories.

Once I have added this much content, then I know that I have added enough so that I can use pretty much any theme of my choosing, and have it come out looking as professional as the one shown in the "screenshot" of the theme.

Now I know it takes a while to get that much content, but the great thing is that patience will pay off in the end once you are ready to change the design of your website, to something that is more appealing for your niche.

I will say this, the Generate Press theme is really a great solution for practically any niche, which is why I suspect it's the most recommended theme here.

The Hiero theme is more suited for gaming, tattoos, computers, technology etc. type niches, but not really something I would recommend for dieting, beauty, weight lose etc.

Why Change Your Design?

Most members here may find that they will never have any desire to change their website theme, and this is OK too.

Yet some may feel as I do, I want my websites to look professional, busy, and active. I love for my main page to have many images in a wide array of styles as possible.

I especially love having a "news type" feel to some of my sites, yet some of my sites I do try to tone it down a bit so that visitors can be better "focused" on what I write about.

For example: I have 2 websites that I have invested a lot of time and money in, that look like large corporations operate them, yet it's just little ol me. They were costly due to the themes and plugins I am using on them, but they serve the purposes that I want them to serve.

In all of my years, these 2 sites are the most professional sites I have ever created, yet I only created them this year with 2 set goals in mind.

Not many members here would want to (or need to) go through the trouble or expense of creating sites like these, I just wanted to share the information to explain that one CAN eventually work their way towards something as grand as this if they desire. It's taken me since 2016 to get this far, so patience is a requirement.

I also have a few websites that are more along the lines of "small business" where they appear to be run by a tiny office of maybe 5 to 6 people.

Of these websites, one of them makes me a very nice income (it follows the OEC training here 100%).

Another I do expect to sell for 6 figures in 2022, it also follows the OEC training 100% but it also has a 2 game servers that goes with it, so it doesn't really count as a typical website.

I can say that the training that I have received here at Wealthy Affiliate with the OEC training, has proven this one to probably be my greatest masterpiece that I have ever created in the 20+ years I have worked online.

Simply because I could never have made my game servers as popular as they are now, if I had not gotten the traffic I needed by following Kyle's method of using "low hanging fruit" keywords.

All of my other websites are personal blogs, where site visitors understand that they are operated by a single individual.

I wanted to explain about the types of websites I currently operate, so that I could help others understand that if they want to make a VERY nice income by following the WA training, they can do this, if they keep creating the content. The more content you create, the more success you will have.

Ready For A New Theme? The Choice Can Be A Tough One

I know that the OEC training covers many things about operating a WordPress blog, and there are numerous tutorials and courses offered here that have been created by other members.

I do not share much in the way of training when it is in regard to some topics, because there are others here that have already provided fabulous courses and tutorials, so I see no need to add more to the mix.

Over the past few weeks I have been participating in live chat quite a bit, and have noticed that there are a lot of members who desire to make changes to their themes, yet whom do not know how to do certain things with the themes they have chosen.

Consider This

If one considers the fact that there are over 3,000 themes to choose from, then it can be a bit overwhelming when one is desiring to create a certain look for their website.

Of those 3,000 themes, there are literally tens of thousands of design elements that a theme developer (the person who created the theme) can implement in their theme.

This in itself, makes for a jigsaw puzzle of a very complex nature, that many people can't grasp well enough to know how to make the theme look as great as the screenshot shows it can look.

Most professional developers provide very wonderful tutorials that give very clear step-by-step instructions, yet many do not. So how can a person achieve the look, if the developer does not provide adequate help files?

Theme developers also provide very limited support for the free themes, because they have to focus on many other aspects of their business which makes providing free support near impossible.

Many times in live chat, I have seen members say they were having troubles with their site, yet they either ignore me or do not fully comprehend why "What theme are you using?" is generally the first question I ask.

I ask this question because a seemingly complex problem usually has a very simple fix, if I know what theme they are using.

I try to help as best as I can, yet some can't seem to comprehend that it's not as easy as "Do this to get that" solution.

The solution can usually only be determined after someone experiences the same problem, using the same theme, that is for the same widget, that may be conflicting with any of the gazillion plugins made available.

That is why I intend to create the courses soon, not only to help others, but to also showcase the basic concepts of configuring themes, so once members understand the basics, they will then be able to follow the same steps to configure ANY theme of their choice.

And hopefully, the courses will also show members who are having trouble, that the question of "Which theme are you using" is a very important question if they expect a solution.

In Conclusion

The general thing to know is this, if your website does not have at least 25 articles and 5 categories, then there are many themes that I would not recommend you use. Keep your current theme simplistic, work on adding more content, then change the site design if you so wish.

But if your site does have a lot of content, and if you are ready for a new-look, then please follow me, because I'll be adding some great courses starting this week!

And if you are one of those who regularly finds yourself struggling with your theme, please visit the URL below, and let me know which theme you are needing help with:

Which WordPress Themes Would You Like To See An Editing Tutorial On?

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Recent messages
ShellBee2020 Premium
Wow, Maria, it's like you read my mind!!! I've been messing around with my website for a good week now, thinking that I definitely need some additional training on how to customise it to my liking! I'll post my requirements in your other blog post. Looking forward to the training - thanks, Maria!
MariaDale Premium
You are welcome Michelle, the GeneratePress tutorial is completed now, I hope you enjoy it!
crytonewbies Premium
Thank you Maria, thank you for sharing such a great information which i am actually in need of answer. I am a beginner and trying to build my very 1st website however i have no idea which theme to choose. I am not sure what theme that i had chosen and not sure whether is it the right choice. I am still trying to figure out how to add the categories. Please provide me with your feedback if possible.
Many thanks in advance.

MariaDale Premium
Hi Melanie, for now, you should use GeneratePress, it's great for new sites that have little content.

As you progress in the training, Kyle explains all the other things you'll need to know, including adding categories.

There's no rush, the courses and training I intend to add will take some time to get to them all, so by time you complete your training, you will better be able to determine which theme you wish to use for your site.
BrendaMZ Premium
Interesting, you mentioned liking Generate Press. I did buy the premium version a year ago and still didn’t like how it looked. I looked elsewhere. I still do not understand how to work GP. Some use elementor with it and I do not understand how to do that. Instead I found a theme that’s done for me ready just fill it with content, no mess, no frills, and no in-depth training needed. SEO fast. Simple theme called Schema.
MariaDale Premium
If you are referring to Schema from MyThemeShop, yes, that is a great theme, and they are great developers.
BrendaMZ Premium
Yes I am referring to that. Glad you are familiar with that theme.
RYAJeremy Premium
Great work Maria. I really struggled with my website building which held me up a lot when I started. Now my site looks horrible. I tried to do a theme update the other day and completely stuffed it up.

With the awesome power of WA, I was able to contact site support and reinstall the site from a back up the day before.
Next time I will set the site up in the background, test it first then replace it.
MariaDale Premium
I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you Jeremy, if you will shoot me a PM about the theme you were trying, I can help you with that.
RYAJeremy Premium
Thank you Maria. That's OK I just need to figure out how to get send in blue on the Blossom health coach theme now as I think your course on that was the best.

I think it might be as simple as swapping the Blossom Themes newsletter plugin for the send in blue one?
MariaDale Premium
I'm actually on that this morning, it's going to have to be added to the theme in a set way so that it can be used as a form, I have not forgotten that, just still trying to get it done so I can send you the solution :)
persue2 Premium
Hi Maria,

I have just started your training using the Blossom theme, but after reading above, I am wondering if that's the right one for me to begin start with.
I chose the Health/weight loss niche going towards living a healthy lifestyle.
What theme do you think would be best for me?

I have ideas for content but right now doing more in the Affiliate marketing side. But, what I don't like about the affiliate side is that if someone buys from my link - I don't get their email addresses. I need to set up a lead page, so once they give their email, they are directed straight to the affiliate program.

Sorry, I have lots of things/thoughts going around in my head and don't know where to start.

HELP -please.

Stay safe,
MariaDale Premium
Sue, the Health Blossom theme is perfect for that niche, but there are many others that are better suited also.

The people who create the Blossom themes are very good with their designs and coding style, if you search simply for the word Blossom you will see a bunch of beautiful themes they have completed that are perfect for your niche.

If you select one of those, I will add a course for it to my list. I tend to favor some developers over others, because they make it super easy to customize their themes, and the code is clean.