When you browse a WordPress theme, you need to visualize your future website. That’s why picking a theme/template is the toughest part of setting up any WordPress site. Seriously. There are a large number of free and paid WordPress themes out there so selecting one from so many themes can be extremely difficult.
The problem with free WordPress themes is that its developers may not update their themes regularly. And when the codes of your themes are not up-to-date, it becomes vulnerable to attacks in the future.
The same applies when you buy a paid WordPress theme from an independent theme developer (or freelancer). You may get the theme you really like at first, but eventually, the theme will become outdated.
I personally recommend buying WordPress themes from a premium WordPress theme marketplace because they make sure that their WordPress themes are up-to-date. And that’s why they release new updates regularly and even add additional features when WordPress updates its core software.
First things first.
There’s every chance that you will come across few terms like WordPress Framework, Child Theme (also known as Skin), and WordPress Hooks to name a few. So let us just explore those terms before getting started.
WordPress, Themes, Framework, Child Theme
WordPress is like the engine of your car, WordPress Framework is like the frame and body of your car, and a Child Theme is like the paint job done on your car.
A decade back there was no such thing called WordPress Framework or Child Theme because then it was all about WordPress plus a Theme. That is, we install WordPress on our web server and install a theme of your choice. That’s it.
In the past few years, WordPress has evolved and became more popular with a developer base like never before. So, it led to the rise of WordPress Frameworks.
That is, WordPress theme makers started building a foundation (known as a framework) for their themes. And it means all the themes developed by a theme maker has the same core features (in terms of design, security, SEO. etc.).
It also enables developers to easily create a child theme (or a skin) for a specific framework without having to code from scratch.
WordPress Hooks lets you change the default functions or add your own functions without changing the core WordPress files. You can go here to learn more about it (if you’re not a coder then I hope it won’t make you sick).
StudioPress themes are powered by Genesis Framework and it’s an industry standard WordPress framework trusted by hundreds of professional bloggers.
So here are the reasons I love StudioPress + Genesis Framework + Genesis Child Themes:
- Genesis themes are fast, mobile-friendly, and search friendly.
- Genesis Framework follows best coding practices and it basically means that you don’t have to worry about its code quality.
- There are no renewal costs for Genesis Framework (or for its child themes).
- When you buy a Genesis child theme from StudioPress, you can use it on unlimited websites, and you get lifetime updates and support. Most premium WordPress theme marketplaces charge you on an annual basis and they even charge you an additional fee for the developer version.
- There’s no developer version for StudioPress themes and you can install their themes on any number of websites (once you purchase it).
- The Genesis Framework is updated regularly and you can upgrade your WordPress site with just one-click (from the WordPress Dashboard).
- Genesis offers hooks and filters so you can add your own codes without touching the PHP files of the original theme.
- StudioPress offers a Pro Plus All-Theme Package and it gives you unlimited access to all of their (current as well as future) WordPress themes, plus support and updates.
- Genesis Framework is compatible with most WordPress plugins.
- Genesis developers are everywhere.
- Genesis Framework is so popular that its tutorials are also easily available.
That said, there is no need to go for a StudioPress theme or another premium WordPress theme unless you have a budget and you’re not in a hurry to build a professional blog. You can always build that perfect blog step by step. Almost all the bloggers were once a beginner and chances are they started with a free WordPress theme (myself included).
There are hundreds of free WordPress themes in the official WordPress theme repository and it’s more than just enough to get started. You can always upgrade later!
I’m installing Digital Pro by StudioPress (for this tutorial) but feel free to browse the StudioPress theme marketplace to find something else or try 25 Hand-picked Genesis Child Theme Marketplaces (to find a Genesis child theme from a third-party WordPress theme marketplace).
If you are looking for something else or let’s say you want to try a variety of themes then I would suggest you try different free WordPress themes. Or you can purchase Elegant Themes so that you can download 80+ premium themes for just $89/year. They also have a lifetime access package that costs a one-time $249.
On the flipside, if you like StudioPress then you can consider purchasing Pro Plus All-Theme Package when you’re good to go with it. It costs a one-time $499.95 but you can get it for $350 (or 30% off) or less when they run promotions (it happens every few months and I purchased it for only $260.25).
So let’s get started!
1. WordPress Login
Go to Admin URL (http://example.com/wp-admin/) and log in to your WordPress Dashboard using your Admin Username and Admin Password (created during the installation process).
2. WordPress Dashboard
That’s your WordPress Dashboard and it’s from here that you manage your WordPress site. Whether you want to install a WordPress theme, or install a plugin, or add content, or add another user, or change a setting — the Dashboard is the place to be in.
3. Default WordPress Site
That’s the default WordPress site. In other words, when you install WordPress for the first time, your website looks exactly like that.
4. Buy Premium WordPress Theme (Optional)
I’m going to assume that you need a premium WordPress blog and hence I recommend a premium WordPress theme. StudioPress.com (as I have already mentioned) is my favorite WordPress Theme Marketplace so I have selected Digital Pro Theme + Genesis Framework on StudioPress.com. The pricing is definitely on the higher side as it costs $99.95.
However, it’s worth the price as you get unlimited updates and support. Most of the other premium WordPress theme marketplaces charge a recurring fee and it basically means that you have to pay a fee annually to get future updates and support (say after one year).
When you purchase a WordPress theme (from any website), you will be able to download a .zip file and that will be your installation file. If you are buying a StudioPress theme, then you will have to download and install the Genesis Framework (or the parent theme) as well as the child theme (that is, two .zip files).
Just in case,
Genesis Framework is a super-theme and is the basic design, security, and SEO foundation of your WordPress site. On the flipside, a Genesis Child Theme sits on top of that framework and it handles all the design and layout aspects of your WordPress site.
5. Add New WordPress Theme
Go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes to manage your WordPress themes. It shows the active as well as the inactive themes. You can Activate or Live Preview any of the available themes or install a new one (by either uploading it from your computer or by choosing one from the free WordPress theme directory).
I’m going to assume that you have purchased Digital Pro Theme + Genesis Framework from StudioPress.com so you will have two.ZIP files (one for installing the Genesis Framework and one for installing the Genesis Child Theme) on your computer.
6. Upload New WordPress Theme
Click “Add New Theme” and then the “Upload Theme” button to upload the WordPress theme .zip files that you have downloaded from StudioPress.com.
7. Upload Genesis Framework
Upload and install the Genesis Framework at first.
8. Installing Genesis Framework
Do not activate the Genesis Framework. Instead, go back to WordPress Dashboard > Themes.
9. Upload Genesis Child Theme
Now upload and install “Digital Pro” (or the Genesis Child Theme that you have purchased).
10. Installing Genesis Child Theme
11. Genesis Theme Settings
When you activate ANY Genesis theme, you will see a new Genesis menu on the left sidebar. And it shows the submenus Theme Settings, SEO Settings, and Import/Export menu. Just in case, here is a screenshot of the full Genesis Theme Settings but you don’t have add/change anything unless you already know what you are doing.
12. Original Theme Demo (On StudioPress.com)
And that’s a glance of the Digital Pro demo site that I want to create.
13. Preview (Before Importing Demo Content)
And that’s the preview of the WordPress site that I have created (before importing the demo content or adding any content by myself).
Import StudioPress Theme Demo Content
I’m pretty sure that you buy a WordPress theme only because you loved its demo site. In other words, when you buy a WordPress theme you expect your website to look like its demo site, right?
Well, it’s not that easy. When you install a WordPress theme for the first time, it looks ugly (as shown above) because it doesn’t have any content or images or menus or anything else.
You have to install the plugin WordPress Importer to import the demo content. Go to WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Import, click “Install Now” (to import WordPress files).
14. Run WordPress Importer
When you have successfully installed the WordPress Importer plugin, go to WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Import and click “Run Importer”. It lets you import your theme demo content (or the content you have manually exported from another WordPress site).
15. Import Theme Demo Content
Just in case, the Digital Pro theme demo content is located in the “xml” folder of the unzipped child theme file.
Choose the file digital-pro.xml (to import content + images) and click the “Upload file and import” button.
16. WordPress Importer
You can assign a new author or choose an existing author for the demo content. And check the box next to “Download and import file attachments”.
17. Imported Demo Content
Just in case, you can ignore simple errors as long as the content is imported successfully.