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WordPress: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 5. Choosing and Polishing Your Theme

Using the skills you picked up in the previous chapters, you can create a WordPress site and stuff it full of posts. However, your site will still come up short in the looks department. That’s because every new WordPress site starts out looking a little drab, and pretty much the same as everyone else’s freshly created WordPress site. If that sounds colossally boring to you, keep reading, because this chapter shows how to inject some serious style into your site.

The key to a good-looking WordPress site is the theme you use. Essentially, a theme is a set of files that control how WordPress arranges and styles your content, transforming it from raw text in a database into beautiful web pages. You can think of a theme as a visual blueprint for your content. Themes tell WordPress how to lay out the components of your site, what colors and fonts to use, and how to integrate pictures and other graphical details.

Every WordPress site starts out with a standard theme. Right now, yours uses the straightforward Twenty Twelve theme (assuming you followed the instructions on One More Task: Choosing a Starter Theme). In this chapter, you’ll learn how to enhance the Twenty Twelve theme or pick a stylish new one from the hundreds that WordPress offers. You’ll also see how to choose sidebar widgets and arrange them on your site. Master these skills, and you can transform your site from standard-issue plainness to eye-popping pizzazz.

How Themes Work

One ...

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