Themes, Styles, and Plugins for WordPress {video}

Welcome the the third week of our ten week series on blogging! These first couple of weeks are all about WordPress blogs. Next week, we’ll start covering topics that apply to everyone!

BLOG series Everything Etsy

Last week we did a video on setting up a hosting account and getting your WordPress blog up and running on your own domain.

This week, we’re talking about how to make that blog your own; how to make it all you with plenty of creativity and personality. We’re talking about themes, styles, and plugins for WordPress.

Intro To WordPress Themes Video

One of the really cool things about WordPress is how easy it is to change the look of your site using themes. A couple of simple clicks can transform the look of your site without really changing anything about the content on your site.

Another really cool feature is how easy it is to customize and personalize your theme to really make it your own.

We’ve created a video that goes through the process of changing a WordPress installation from the initial standard theme, to a free theme selected in the WordPress Dashboard, then to a premium theme with lots of bells and whistles.

This is a departure from the normal video where we actually talk! It’s silent save some wonderful background music provided by our 17 year old son. Instead, it uses captions to explain what’s being done. We tried to keep it simple, so it’s best considered an introduction to what WordPress Themes are.

Feel free to ask any questions (simple or more advanced) about themes, plugins, or styles in the comments.


We’ll cover plugins in more depth later in the series, but the video touches briefly on how easy WordPress plugin installation and use is.

Plugins are used for all sorts of extra jobs, such as the addition of all those cool buttons at the bottom of blog posts that allow wonderful sweet readers to tweet, stumble, and share your stuff!

We use plugins for comment handling, email lists, social media, SEO, and more. We’ll cover a complete list in week #9, November 7th!

For links to great WordPress themes, check out our resources page.


  1. says

    I use WordPress, so I was able to follow this, but I like it a lot better when you talk! I use a free WordPress theme. What are the advantages of a premium theme? What do they offer that the free ones don’t?
    Thanks so much for this series!

  2. says

    Hi Cynthia… Premium themes offer a number of advantages over free themes and these vary between premium themes. Genesis based themes offer a number of features such as special widgets, custom home page templates, and high-quality professional designs. Premium themes often include better SEO features as well. The more popular of them (Genesis is the most popular at the moment) also have excellent community support which makes doing just about anything you want much easier because someone has already been there and written a post about it. We started out with Thesis and it made the learning curve so much easier for me due to the community support (Thesis Forums for the most part).

  3. says

    Thanks Kim- I think I need to spend some more time on the StudioPress site, and watch your video again. I’m just trying to get it all figured out. Thanks again for this series.

  4. says

    I was under the impression that in order to install plugins one needs to be hosting their own WordPress site through Since I use the free option of WordPress, I haven’t been able to find a way to install a plugin. Am I just missing it? Thanks!

  5. says

    Thanks so much for this helpful and encouraging series, I am going to take a stab at this. I wouldn’t have known how to start without this info.
    I’m already stuck though and maybe it’s something obvious you can quickly guide me on???
    I’ve signed up for blue host and purchased at genesis and the email from genesis says click her to download the zip file, but … it’s not a zip file, so when I go to wordpress, dashboard, install themes, upload,browse and click on genesis it is not a zip file. What in the world do I do now? I need this to be as easy as possible. I did download the beginners guide but it says exactly what you did that it would be a zip file and just click upload. I appreciate any guidance. I’ve scanned the forums but it seems like this issue is too silly even to show up as a relevant question! thanks!


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