Installing a new WordPress theme is both easy and challenging, as I was reminded over the weekend when what I’d thought of as a quick job, installing the new Vertigo Blue 3 Column theme, consumed a large part of Saturday for me.

It’s easy, once you have the hang of it, because you just have to:

  • download the zipped file from its home site
  • unzip the file (I use Stuffit Expander)
  • upload the whole folder using FTP
  • go into the control panel of your WP site, find the new theme under Presentation, click on it and Bob’s your uncle

It’s challenging if you have already spent time configuring whatever was there before and have to re-configure for the new theme. It is almost certainly not challenging, or not very, for people who know more than I do about manipulating widgets. But for me, making sure everything is working as I want it to in the sidebars, footer and header is a non-intuitive time-consuming and task.

So I like to use themes that, as well as being functional in the way I want and creatively designed in a style that I see as congruent with my business image, do not tax my very limited knowledge of coding too much.

Narrows the range!

And I like to use themes where there is some indication that the person who created the particular theme is willing to provide some support in language sufficiently non-technical for me to be able to apply the advice.

Even narrower.

So I was really pleased when, some time ago, I discovered some great themes by Brian Gardner.

I really liked Brian’s Vertigo series, but could not at first work out how to change the header from the default mode to having my own words on it. I’ve found out the hard way that WordPress theme designers handle this aspect of the design differently.

Brian’s support forum gave me the solution, with a thread “How to change the “Vertigo” title. Some basic work with PaintShop Pro and I was there: not prizewinning stuff, but it works.

I’ve had some very positive feedback on the new layout, from a few people.

Given the time involved for me in these changeover exercises, I don’t have any intention of changing themes again on this site in the near future. I’m also thinking about using one of the Vertigo themes on my Thinking Home Business site (there’s your blue Vertigo as here, red, and your basic black, as well as having 2 column options).

Brian Gardner also does customized themes. And if you are looking for a newspaper/magazine sort of layout for your website/blog, check out his very economically priced Revolution theme, which looks to me like it makes excellent use of the broader range of WordPress’ content management capability.

If you have any suggestions as to how the site can be improved, they will be welcome. Can’t promise to make changes that tax too much my limited technical knowhow!

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).