I have been working with my daughter Amanda on her Global Girl Blog site and thought I would demonstrate how you can start with one of the thousands of ready made WordPress themes and then customize their look and feel for your own purposes. Some of the changes involve replacing the graphics with new images and some changes require edits to the CSS Style sheets.
For the Global Girl Blog site we started with a theme called Urban Elements by Press 75. Go to their site and check out a demo of the original theme. Some WordPress themes are free and some called premium themes are available for usually $20.00 to $79.00. In this case Urban Elements was a premium theme and there was a charge of $75.00 to download it.
I chose Urban Elements, despite its grunge look, since it has a cartoon like feel to the post box and I liked the little tabs with the post dates on them . This theme also has a stationary background which was important since I wanted to put the global girl avatar on the background and have it stay put even when the post box scrolls down.
After downloading the theme to the “Theme” file in the “Content” folder in Amanda’s site, we went to work customizing it. First, we got changed out the gray grunge background image. I had previously made a text based logo and added that to the appropriate sized header. If you want to use fonts other than the handful of font families that are browser safe you will need to make them into graphics and then add them to the site.
I uploaded the new header and a new background the same size as the one it replaced, that included Amanda’ global girl avatar and voila, an almost new site. But then more tweaks. I then changed the social network icons, the color of the comment box graphics and the text colors of the headings and links. The third site below, Mirar Salon shows how more tweaks were been done that made it more distinct from the parent theme. Both of these sites took less than a day to make the changes you see below.