Make WordPress look like a website, not a blog

by Jeremy

How to bend WordPress to look like a full blow website instead of a boring blog

Make wordpress less like a blog

The first step you can take to make WordPress look like a website instead of a blog is to simply do the following. 

  1. Login to your wordpress administration area
  2. Click on "Appearance" on the left then >>  "themes" 
  3. Click on the "install themes" tab on the top
  4. Search for a new theme that is ideal for your site or niche, this will at least get you out of using the boring default theme loaded by wordpress. 

Add a default homepage instead of posts

Create a static page

Next we want to add a default page so that it doesn't just list the posts right on the home page, this will go a long way in making it look more like a website and less like a blog. 

1) Go to Pages -> Add New. Name the page ‘Welcome’ and Publish it. 

2) Go to Pages -> Add New, name this page ‘site’ and Publish it.

3) Now go to Settings -> Reading in your WordPress Admin panel.

4) Change the “Front page displays:” settings to be the "welcome" page. This will tell wordpress to use your newly created welcome page for the home page. 

Add more pages within the navigation

Another tip I would give you is to add more pages within the actual main navigation of your wordpress site. Don't just add one or two pages with a category/article link, and leave it at that. 

I recommend adding a contact page, about us page, privacy policy and so on. These pages make the reader feel much more at home, and tend to trust sites more that contain these types of pages. 

Steps for setting up some additional pages. 

  1. Login to your wordpress administration panel
  2. click on "pages' on the left navigation
  3. Click "add new" under pages, this should then bring up the page dialog.
  4. For the page title, add something like "about us"
  5. Add the content and publish the page

You should now have more than just the default "home" and category/article link pages. 

Find a real theme that supports widgets etc

The next step is short, and really up to you and your creativity. I recommend heading over to any of the following theme sites and getting a paid theme. They cost next to nothing (some $10), and really give your website the professional look and feel it will need, as well as saving you thousands over hiring a web designer. 

Some theme sites that I like: 

  1. http://themeforest.net/
  2. http://www.wordpressthemes.com/browse-themes/

Please be careful when selecting a theme for your site, don't just grab the first free theme you find. Many free themes have spam and malware embedded in them, I recommend against the free themes, just spend a few bucks and be safe. 

 

Updated: 01/22/2012, Jeremy
 
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Sunforged on 03/15/2012

I use primarily premium themes nowadays, but I think anyone who gets serious about using Wordpress should create and design at least one theme for themselves. You learn quite a bit in the process.

Themeforest is a solid resource, I use it. As for "malware" and such. You can stay pretty safe just by grabbing the themes direct from the WP repository rather than some unknown site (when using free resources)

Sam on 01/26/2012

I use a free plugin called Theme Authenticity Checker to check themes for malicious code ;-) Works well for me!

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