Setting Up Your WordPress Theme
Today we are continuing our series, Web Wednesdays. In today’s video we are going to be focusing on setting up your WordPress Theme. So this begs the question, what is a WordPress theme?
If this is your first time setting up WordPress, then it is important to understand what a theme is and what it does. The best way to think about it is an anatomical reference. Your blog is the “skin” to your website. It’s what people are going to see the moment they visit your page. Your functionality and content could be incredible, but without the right theme, people will quickly be turned off by your website… and most likely they will leave before they ever get the chance to look under the hood.
While your visitors will see your theme, the theme does also affect the functionality. Each theme comes with settings and/or customization options for things such as your header, sliders, menus, footer, widgets, & more. It is absolutely pivotal that you get to know all of the settings within your header. When I add a new theme to a website I’m working on, the first thing I do is go look at the settings. If the theme does not have settings I like then I will change the theme. There is nothing worse than working with a theme that does not have a lot of customization.
For instance, some themes only allow you to have a text based logo. Just imagine how frustrating it would be to make a beautiful website only to find that it won’t allow you to put your beautifully designed logo at the top of your page. Sure, you could add it within the content… but that is not the best way to brand your business.
Choosing Your WordPress Theme
There are so many different ways to find a WordPress theme. The first question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you would like to spend money on a theme. If you are comfortable paying for a theme, then I suggest strolling over to the Envato Market and searching their Themeforest themes. Most of the themes there run anywhere from $29 to $59. They are fairly priced and these are full themes that will also come with support. Personally, I love Themeforest themes.
If you are looking for a free theme, then you will be able to search within the WordPress platform. It’s easy to search within WordPress for a great theme. The issue with the free themes, is that most likely the themes you find are going to be “Lite” versions of premium themes. The goal of the Lite themes is to give you an idea of what the full version or premium version can offer you above and beyond what you get with the Lite theme. It’s basically a way for these themes to advertise their full version… which of course will come with a cost. Some of the free WordPress themes will offer everything you need, but more times than not you will end up frustrated.
Thanks for reading & don’t forget to check out our tutorial video, “Setting Up Your WordPress Theme.”
How to Save YouTube Videos with ClipGrab
If you have ever wanted to be able to grab a video off of YouTube for you own purposes, then you are in luck because I’m going to show you how to save YouTube Videos with ClipGrab. It’s a common problem for a lot of video editors. You are working on an incredible project, but you are missing a sound effect. All that your project needs is a clear and crisp sound effect of a rainstorm. However, you don’t have a library to go to to find the sound effect. So to try to find a sound effect that will work, you head on over to Google and start searching for “Rain Storm Sound Effect”.
You start scrolling down the page and find several sites with the sound effect. You go to each of them only to find out that they will be glad to give you any sound effect you want; for a monthly fee. Or maybe they offer you the clip at a fixed cost per clip. Either way, you don’t want to pay for a 20 second clip so you decide to keep searching. This time, you search for “Free Rain Storm Sound Effect Clip.” This search leads you to more websites that supposedly have the clip. You click on one of the sites listed only to discover that it is a danger site full of spyware. Sites like this will allow you to download the clip… if you also download a spyware toolbar for your browser!
Then like a beacon of light, you realize that at the very top of the Google search results were two videos of perfect rain storm clips. The issue is, how do you take a YouTube video off of YouTube and on to your desktop?
ClipGrab Makes Saving YouTube Videos Easy
This is where ClipGrab comes in. It is a super easy and simple software that allows you to pull videos directly from YouTube with ease. Head on over to ClipGrab.org in order to download the program. A great feature of this program is that it allows you to use it whether you use a PC or a Mac. Many programs are made specifically for one or the other, but fortunately ClipGrab works for both. When you navigate to the website, ClipGrab will automatically select the version you need for your computer. Download the program and then go through the installation steps.
With this program, learning how to save YouTube videos with ClipGrab is a breeze. In order to grab the rain storm sound effect, all you need to do is navigate to the video you are trying to get in your web browser. Once you are there, copy the URL address for the video. Head on over to your ClipGrab software and paste the URL address in the empty field space in the program. Click “Grab this clip!” It will take a short period of time to process the video. Then just choose the file name and location of where you want the file saved to. Once you have done that, then your video will be saved and you can insert it into your video editing program. You are good to go at this point!
Thanks for reading and good luck!
Getting Started With WordPress Dashboard
This week, we are continuing with our web series about how to build a website from start to finish. We have already purchased a domain name, set up our hosting, installed WordPress, and now we are getting started with WordPress Dashboard. The first thing you must do before investigating the dashboard, is to login to your site. To do this, type /wp-admin after your domain name. It would look like this: http://www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin. One quirky aspect of the WordPress admin URL is that the “wp-admin” must be typed in lower case letter only. If you were to type “WP-Admin” then you will not be able to get to your admin. To my knowledge, this is literally the only URL address I have ever encountered where the case of the letter matters.
Once you have pulled up your admin login screen, type in your username and password. My email address never seems to work for any sites I have created with WordPress (between 75-100). You will need to use your username here. If you forget your username or password, click Lost Password. You will be prompted to type in the email address associated with your username and WordPress will email you a reset link. Be careful about this though, because my Password Reset link usually gets sent to my spam instead of my main email inbox. Once you have logged into your account, you can now explore the dashboard.
Making Sense of WordPress
If you have never created a website before, WordPress can be quite intimidating at first. However, the platform is very easy to use with a little practice. One of the most frustrating things that WordPress does in my opinion, is allowing spam on their dashboard. Let me explain. If you go through any hosting service to install your WordPress, the hosting company has agreements in place with companies that integrate themes, widgets, & plugins. These agreements allow them to automatically install plugins & widgets onto your WordPress page.
To an experienced designer, this is not a huge problem because a good designer knows that these plugins are unnecessary. To the novice website builder, these extra plugins make the dashboard confusing. Two of the most common companies I’ve seen are JetPack and MojoMarketplace. To me personally, I have never found any use for either of these.
Plugins can create problems for your website. Certain plugins may cause certain parts of your theme to malfunction. Above all, having several plugins on your website will kill the speed of it. My philosophy is the less plugins, the better. Now of course, plugins are not the devil (even though Bobby Boucher’s mom may disagree!). Plugins are a necessary part of website building. They offer functionality that you will find solve a lot of problems. However, you only need to add plugins that you actually need. For this reason, my preference is to deactivate and delete every single plugin that comes preloaded within my WordPress site. When you delete all of those plugins, you will be amazed at just how much that simple action cleans up and simplifies your WordPress Dashboard.
Our tutorial video “Getting Started with WordPress Dashboard” shows you much more about the WordPress Dashboard.
How to Install WordPress
During our Web Wednesday series, we have been showing you how to create a website from start to finish. We have walked you through choosing a domain name, choosing a hosting package, & setting your nameservers. Now it is time to move on to the next step and we are going to show you how to install WordPress to your website.
How to Create a Whiteboard Explainer Video in Minutes
We are going to show you how to create a whiteboard explainer video in minutes. There are many reasons to consider adding an advertising video to your website or social media account. People love videos. They consume them at such an astounding rate that YouTube has now passed Facebook in popularity (in terms of number of monthly visitors). While your marketing video most likely won’t go viral due to its lack of cute babies or frisky felines, it can mean a lot to your business and customers.
How to Set Up Hosting and Nameservers
For our Web Wednesday video series, we are showing you how to build a website from start to finish. In last week’s video we showed you how to choose your hosting package. We recommend using Hostgator as it has a simple to use cPanel that makes setting up a website there very smooth. Once we have chosen our hosting package, now we must learn how to set up hosting and nameservers for our website. It may be a little intimidating at first for those new to website building, but it is actually quite easy.
The first thing that users will notice when they sign into their Hostgator account, is the interface of the cPanel. The cPanel is the admin by which you can tweak anything having to do with the backend of your website. This includes the File Manager, Redirects, mx Records, & more. A large portion of available sections on the cPanel are virtually useless. If you do not know yet, every site you visit that sells hosting, domains, or online marketing solutions, unashamedly try to push every product under the sun. So pay attention in our “How to Set Up Hosting and Nameservers” tutorial video above and we will reveal to you which icons you actually need to pay attention to.
Setting Your Nameservers
Since GoDaddy (or whatever domain service you own) controls your URL address, you must make GoDaddy communicate with your new hosting company. When someone visits your website, GoDaddy must be able to send visitors directly to where your website is hosted at. To do this, you must be able to let GoDaddy know where to send the visitors to. You do this through setting what are called nameservers.
If you navigate to the right side of your cPanel and scroll down the page, there is a section that contains your account information. Within that information, your nameservers are listed. They will generally be something like ns32.hostgator.com & ns33.hostgator.com. Your nameservers will always be sequential in number. This makes setting them through GoDaddy fairly easy.
Once you have located your nameservers on Hostgator, highlight and copy the first one by hitting cmd + C for Mac or ctl + C for PC. Navigate to your GoDaddy account. Once you have entered your account, click on “Manage DNS” next to the domain you are looking to host your website on. One of the options you will have on the Manage DNS screen will be to set your nameservers. Initially, “Default Nameservers” will be the current setting. To change the setting to reflect your Hostgator nameservers, simply click “Change”. In the first box, paste the nameserver address you copied in from your Hostgator account information. Then, paste the same address in the second box and simply change the number to reflect your other nameserver. After you have placed both nameserver addresses in the boxes, click save.
And just like that, you are ready to install WordPress! Thanks for reading & don’t forget to watch our tutorial video!