This site is to share my experiences creating and managing WordPress websites — what worked and what didn’t for me. I’ve created many of them, but I’m not an expert. Since creating this site I have learned a lot, which I will share with you when I have the time. If anyone else has suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
The number of steps I listed on this site when I created it seems formidable. I’ve move the list of steps to a different page. I have gone through them many times now. Too many times. I have done this entirely for my own use, but I’m sure some will do it as a profitable service. Since creating this website itself, I have found a new way to simplify the process, described on that page.
When I talk about designing a WordPress Website, I am inflating my role. I am just not an artistic person. Almost anyone could do better. What I recommend is follow the steps listed, which will give you a functioning website, then get creative.
The greatest scope for creativity is the header image. Above you will see four of mine, crunched together. Even if you were to visits the sites they were meant for, you wouldn’t see them. I am always changing things.
Another place for creativity is the widget area. In the Twenty Ten them I use, there is a broad sitebar which you can fill with whatever you want. It will appear on every page of your site. That’s what header images are supposed to be for, but I found they took up too much space on the front page. So instead I suppressed the headers and put a reduced version of the most recent one as ordinary image on the front page.
There are many choices. To see the differences, choose Twenty Ten as a theme, preview it, then try Twenty Seventeen. They are altogether different. I hate Twenty Seventeen because it hides my text under too big an image. Maybe that could be adjusted, but it didn’t seem worth the trouble.
But please do experiment with a lot of different themes. Once your WordPress site is installed and you have access to the administration dashboard, look at Appearance, then pick the Themes option. As you will see, it is only one of several, but certainly the most important. There are hundreds, some free, some premium. Lots of good free ones.
If you are genuinely artistic, I am sure you will create a great site, but I recommend going through the steps I listed to produce a simple site first. To see an example with a header image, look at my Books site. To see an example with just a front-page image, see my Engineered Social Environments site.
On both you will see my standard sidebar to the right of the text. Whatever else you do, look at the collection of widgets which can be used to create yours. Widgets are also under the Appearance settings on the dashboard.
If you take (or ignore) any of my advice, I’d love to hear from you, either with a comment on this page or via the Contact page.