To do this all you’ll need is a killer wordpress theme, some plugins, some widgets, and you’ll be well on your way.
To begin, log in to your dashboard, and from the menu on the left, click “Appearance/Themes.” You’ll have two themes already installed: Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven. Both come pre-installed with WordPress, but there are thousands more to choose from.
At the top of the page, click “Install Themes.” Here you can search the WordPress theme directory by color, layout, or other options, or look for featured or recently updated themes. Each theme has a thumbnail and a description so you can browse for something that appeals to you. Click the “preview” link below any theme to open a larger image, or click “install” to install the theme on your site.
These themes are free themes, and although a lot of them look nice and will do the job, if you’re truly going to be a online professional, you really need to use a professional (or premium theme).
When it comes to premium themes, there are so many it would make your head spin, but not all themes are created equally. In the theme world, only a handful of themes are the crème de la crème. And one of those is the Thesis theme.
Thesis is like the godfather of wordpress themes. Easy to use, easy to customize, and complete with a community and library of support tools, Thesis is built on a powerhouse platform that will shave off a ton of work when it comes to winning on the web.
If you can’t tell…I love it. I use it. You should to, and you can get here if it interests you.
Once you’ve installed the theme you like, click the “manage themes” tab at the top, and you’ll see it listed among your available themes. Click “activate” to make it live on your site.
Depending on the theme you chose, you may also be able to add a custom header and widgets. Check for a link to theme options to see what choices you have.
Most themes have either one or two sidebars that run along either side, or the left side of your site. You can use this space to add links for articles on your site, advertise, promote, and most importantly – capture email addresses.
To control the content that goes in these sidebars you need to access your widgets.
In the left menu, click “Appearance/Widgets.” You should see some named sidebar areas on the right of the screen, and available widgets in the center. Changing what appears in your sidebar is simply a matter of dragging your chosen widget into the sidebar.
For example, you might want to display links to all your pages, so drag the widget called “Pages” into your sidebar. Or maybe you want visitors to be able to search your site. If so, drag the widget called “Search” into the side bar. You can also drag widgets within the sidebar to rearrange their order.
Besides the standard widgets that come with WordPress, there are some that serve special two of these – social media icons and mailing list sign-up forms – we will cover next.
Look good. Be smart. Get Thesis. (Affiliate Link)