Choosing Your Theme

Pick up the FREE Checklist to go along with this guide. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your teaching website (and you’ll get some bonus advice too!)

Okay, so you have got used to WordPress and how it works. Now it is time to give your site the design that you want.

Your theme is the base on which to build your site. Some themes are more flexible while others are less so. Choosing your theme is important and there are certain things to bear in mind when choosing your theme.

Can I get a free theme?

Of course you can. There are thousands of free themes out there. I started most of my old sites with free themes. Paid themes are more flexible, but starting with a free theme works for a lot of people.

To search for these themes I recommend doing a simple Google search (copy and paste): “best free wordpress themes 2014.” I also recommend this website:

Purchasing a theme (usually $40-50) gives you more options and (most of the time) a better design. They usually have certain features that free themes don’t. Some things that you should definitely look for in a theme are (on top of looking good):

[list type=”check”]

  • Flexibility and Customizable.
  • Responsive (looks good on all platforms).
  • Page templates and shortcodes (especially if you’re a beginner).
  • Great support.


You want lots of font options and colors. You need it to be able to look good on all platforms (responsive). If you’re new then you’ll benefit from lots of page templates (where the page is already set up for you). And, it’s important to have support.

Other than that, take a look at the the different themes on offer and try and see how it can be adapted easily to what you want to get across.

How to get the best theme and what I do

When I’m looking for a new theme I go straight to Theme Forest. I then do the following:

  • Hover over WordPress in the menu and choose Corporate.
  • Order the themes by rating.

Then look at all the highly rated themes (ones that fit the criteria I talked about and have more than 100 sales) and choose the one that you like the look of. Don’t worry too much about getting the perfect theme: choose one and move on.

Look at things like shortcodes and see if these features are something that you could use on your website. Make sure it is responsive, flexible, and has great support. If you are new, then having lots of page templates will help too. For example:

  • About Us
  • Services
  • Contact Us (with contact form)
  • FAQ

Are the above pages provided as templates for your chosen theme?

Choosing the right theme might take a bit of time, but sometimes it is really easy and you fall into a theme straight away.

Your chosen theme

When you have chosen your theme then you need to buy it, download it, and install it. Follow the instructions on Theme Forest and then log in to WordPress.

Under Appearance click Themes. Then click “add new” and then “upload.” You’ll see this:

Upload Theme in WordPress

Click choose file and find your downloaded theme (zip file). Some zip files are within the folder, and other themes give you the direct file. If you are finding this difficult then go to the support page for your chosen theme (they always have step by step instructions).

Install your theme and then click activate. Congratulations, you now have your theme fully installed on your website!