How to Change your Site’s Visual Template

Once you start really getting your site’s content under control and presenting clearly, you may want to take a second look at the visual template you selected when you signed up. Heck, you may just decide a few months down the line that you want to freshen things up with a whole new look. Luckily, changing visual templates – WordPress calls them ‘Themes’ – is really easy.

In your site’s admin screen, roll your mouse over the left-hand ‘Appearance’ navigation link, and take a look at the submenu links that fly out. We’re interested in the ‘Themes’ sublink right now; click on it. You should be looking at a bunch of screen thumbnails of the visual themes currently available for your site (and you can have a more thorough look at each of them on our Visual Templates listing); when you’ve picked one for your site, simply click the ‘Activate’ link in that theme’s description to give your site that theme’s appearance. It’s that easy! (And that easy to change themes when you decide you’re ready for a different look again.)

Some themes provide just one menu placeholder – an area of their layout that can hold a navigational menu – some provide two or more such menu placeholders (for example, a primary menu right under the masthead, and an auxiliary small-type menu at upper right of the screen). And different themes provide different areas for you to deploy Widgets – powerful little content aggregators to add summary details, sometimes in a sidebar, or under a page’s main content.

Because of these variations from theme, you may need to assign menus and widgets afresh each time you choose a new visual theme for your site; take a few notes about where your widgets and menus appear in your current theme before you switch to a new theme, so you can add them back in after the changeover.

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