It doesn’t take a lot to install and set up your new WordPress theme. Read on, and you’ll have it knocked out in a snap.
Step 1 – Unzip the File
The file you downloaded can be unzipped with any standard unzip program (if you don’t have one already installed on your computer, Stuffit Expander is a popular option for PC or MAC users). When you unzip the file, you’ll end up with a folder with one of the following names, depending upon which license you purchased:
Within this folder are all the theme files along with the end user license agreement (please take a moment to read over the license agreement).
Please Note: Depending on which unzip program you use, you may end up with a folder within a folder. Both folders will have the same name. Be sure you upload the second-level folder (the folder within the folder you unzipped).
Step 2 – Upload the Theme Files to Your WordPress Site
If you are using WordPress 2.8 and above, you are able to install the ZIP file of the theme directly from the Dashboard. This simplifies things since you don’t need to use FTP:
1. When viewing the WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance -> Themes
2. Click “Install Themes” (big tab at top)
3. Click “Upload”
4. Click ‘Choose File’ then navigate to where you downloaded the theme ZIP file; click ‘Open’
5. Click ‘Install Now’
6. When done installing, click “Activate”
7. That’s it!
For this step, you’ll need an FTP (file transfer protocol) program. An FTP program allows you to transfer files between your computer and your web hosting account. There are several available, but I use SmartFTP. You’ll want to upload your theme folder to the /wp-content/themes/ folder in your WordPress installation.
Step 3 – Activate WP-Launch
Login into your WordPress control panel, and click the Appearance tab. On the next page you’ll see all your available themes. Simply click on the WP-Launch screenshot, then click the Activate link in the upper right-hand corner of the pop-up screen.
Step 4 – Install and Activate Plugins Supported by WP-Launch
WP-Launch has built-in support for the following plugins:
Recently Popular – Your Most Popular Posts will appear in the right sidebar in the tabbed navigation box as seen on this site.
Get the Image – This is a sweet, little plugin from the very brilliant Justin Tadlock. It will make it easier for you to include post thumbnails for all your posts without using custom fields. More on that in another tutorial.
WP-PageNavi – This is a great little plugin by Lester Chan that will add page numbers in place of the “Older Posts” and “Newer Posts” links at the bottom of your pages.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – this plugin will place Related Posts at the bottom of the Single Post page (see example). After you activate the plugin, visit the plugin settings page, and uncheck the box that says “Automatically display related posts.”
Yoast Breadcrumbs – This plugin will place breadcrumb navigation at the top of your pages. Simply activate the plugin, and the breadcrumb will appear automatically.
flickrRSS – This plugin will allow you to easily add flickr photos to your sidebar or footer widgets.
Be sure you download the latest version of each plugin and upload them to your wp-content/plugins folder. Then activate them. The theme will do the rest.
Step 5 – Visit the WP-Launch Theme Settings Page
The link for this page is available under the Appearance tab. We’ve given you several optional settings for the theme, so feel free to change a few of them, and see what sort of site you can create for yourself.
In particular, you will likely want to activate the following features:
- Featured Content on Home Page
- Activate Footer Widgets
- Subscription Form and Sidebar Contact Settings
- Advertisement Settings
Step 6 – Add Some Content to Your Sidebar and Footer Widgets
Click the Appearance tab, then Widgets, and place some content in your sidebar and footer (if footer widgets are activated). This is also the page where you can add the “Side Tabs” widget which will display Popular Posts, Categories, Archives and Tags (as seen on the right sidebar on this site). You can also place your Subscribe Box in either your sidebar or footer via the Subscribe Box widget (as seen on the right sidebar on this site).
Step 7 – Select Some Posts to be Displayed in the Featured Content Section
If you want a post to appear in the featured content section, simply tag the post as “featured” (without the quotes). To add a tag, simply find the “Post Tags” box on the right side of the Write Post screen and enter it there. NOTE: The slug for the “featured” tag must be featured for the featured slider to show posts. If this is not possible, you may instead replace “featured” with “featured-2″ (or the current post tag slug) in the features.php template. In addition, you must have at least two featured posts for the slider to work properly. For more detailed information on the featured content section, click here.
Step 8 – Custom Menus – Very Important
In WordPress 3.0 and above you are able to take advantage of the custom menu feature. Here is a short screencast to show you how it works.
Please note that you must set up the custom menus as instructed in the video. Otherwise, you will have a duplicate page navigation bar as the category bar (if part of the theme).