In the previous part of this series we talked about installing WordPress and getting all the initial settings setup properly, so now we can finally discuss one of the most enjoyable tasks when it comes to affiliate site launch – selecting a WordPress theme.
First of all, there are two possible paths every affiliate site owner can take: (1) the free path, and (2) the premium path.
Free WordPress Themes
Everyone likes the concept of getting something for free, but when it comes to WordPress themes, sometimes there are hidden traps to be aware of.
For instance, every free theme will force you to link to theme author’s website (usually from the footer), and the anchor texts used are not always the most ethical ones.
Also, the practice of including encrypted code into free themes is not uncommon. Setting all the technical issues aside, such code makes your site vulnerable to different kinds of attacks, and on top of that, the theme breaks down when you try to remove the code.
In the end, there are three methods to use free themes in a way that you don’t have to worry about the common issues:
- Use the default themes in WordPress (e.g. the Twenty Twelve).
- Get a free theme from one of the respected theme stores like ThemeFuse, or WooThemes.
- Get a theme framework (e.g. like Gantry). The downside is that you will have to hire a designer to customize the framework so it includes your branding and conveys the purpose of your new site.
You can get a quality premium theme for $50-$100. It’s a one-time investment. Some benefits of using premium themes:
- You get top-of-the-line source code with no encrypted elements.
- You get built-in SEO features.
- You get automatic updates.
- You get professional support.
- You get an easy-to-use interface for theme customization.
In short, premium themes are simply better than free themes on many levels.
We listed some quality premium themes here at CAP a while ago, feel free to take a look at these articles: new gambling WordPress themes, themes by Flytonic. You can also confidently choose any of the premium themes on offer at ThemeFuse or WooThemes (mentioned above).
Installing a WordPress Theme
In order to install a theme, you have to take care of the following steps:
1. Purchase/download the theme to your computer.
This is usually a .zip file. Extract the archive, and you’ll get a folder containing the theme, with all the subfolders and files in it.
2. Upload via FTP.
The next step is to take this whole folder and upload it to your hosting account via FTP (use an FTP app like FileZilla).
Upload the theme to the “/wp-content/themes” location.
3. Activate the theme.
Log in to your site as the admin, and go to Appearance > Themes.
Your new theme should be on the list in the center section of the page. All you have to do now is click “Activate.”
4. Configure the theme.
Based on the theme you’ve chosen, there might be some initial setting up required. But if that’s the case, your theme provider will let you know about it, and in most cases also deliver some tutorials on how to do it effectively.