Themes, themes themes

radcliffe2

This blog you are reading now uses the free

Radcliffe 2 Theme

I like this Theme because –

1.  It has a “call to action” feature / button which you can place on a static home / front page or on the traditional home page (which will have the “call to action” feature and your blog posts).  This is set up by clicking on “Featured Prompt” under Customize in your blue dashboard.  See the 2nd screenshot below.  You title a “button” whatever you like and link it to a web page.

It may be best to have a light coloured solid colour image for your Background Image, for your Featured Prompt area.  If you do want to use a picture for your Background Image you can try out the various Style Packs with it.  The default background is a grey colour for the Featured Prompt section, despite what Style Pack you choose.

Radcliffe2-featured prompt

2. The blog posts are listed by titles which appear like banners or strips (appearing wide-screen) with or without Featured images.  Click  here  to see this in action on this blog.

3. There are Style packs and Contact Info options available from the Customize area.  The Contact Info function lets you enter an address, telephone number, opening hours and an email address, which you can display in either the Header or the Footer of your blog.  This blog you are reading now uses the Radcliffe2 “Active Style” style pack.

Radcliffe2-customize

Style Packs

Go to WordPress.com and look at the video about Style Packs here for more information.

Contact Info

Here is a snapshot of the top of my test blog “Healthy Frogs” showing the WordPress Theme Radcliffe2 in use, with contact information in the Header.

healthyfrogsheader

Setting up your Home page with a Static (fixed) Home Page

Your WordPress Home page (or Front page) traditionally starts off with showing or displaying your Blog Posts.   However you can have a static or un-changing (not added to) Home page showing significant content that you want up-front or on the first page that readers see when they go to your blog via its Home page URL (web address).

This blog you are reading has a STATIC HOME PAGE.   I have added a Page for the Blog Posts, which one accesses by clicking on the tab at the top titled “Blog.”

My WordPress Guidelines give instructions on how to set up a static home page.  First you need to take 2 steps.

1 –  Create the home page content that you want to be your static home page (e.g. mine is called “About WordPress” which is the title of the Page under the “Call to Action” button).  Click Add next to Site Pages in your blue dashboard, then create your Page and Publish.

2 – Create a new Page with the title Blog (or My Blog if you like) –  do not add any content to the body of this page.  Just click on Add next to Site Pages, type in Blog where it has Title, then click the Publish button.

Next click on Customize under Personalize in your blue Dashboard, then click on Homepage Settings.

HOMEPAGE-SETTINGS

After ticking “A static page” under Customizing Homepage Settings, you will need to select and add the title of the Page you want as your static Home / Front page, and select and add the Page titled “Blog” ( or similar ).  This is shown below for this blog you’re looking at right now.

HOMEPAGE-SETTINGS-2

You then click on Publish and that’s it done.  A tab titled Blog should appear at the top of the screen, which can be clicked on in order to go to your Blog Posts.   Nice!

If you want to see how the Featured Prompt “call to action” looks like when your Blog does NOT have a Static Home page, i.e. it has the traditional home or front page which lists the titles of your Blog Posts, have a look at my Test site  “Healthy Frogs” below.   The first Blog Post titled “The Journey begins” does not have a Featured image because I do not want a featured image for it and did not set a Featured image for that Post.

https://healthyfrogs.wordpress.com

The Blog above has the Blog Page as its Home Page (which is the WordPress default).  It uses the WordPress Theme Radcliffe2 which allows for a featured image to be set on a blog post or not, so it is optional to set an image as a feature of a Blog Post.   The Dashboard has to be configured to display featured images when they are used, and the next section on this Page explains how to do that.

Setting up your Blogs with Featured images with the Radcliffe2 Theme

You can have images appear above your blog titles and on the blog posts.  The supporting documentation for the Radcliffe2 Theme recommends that your image for such be –

2000px wide by 1500px tall   ( 2,000 pixels by 1,500 pixels )

Some experimenting may be useful too. People will be using devices with different monitor resolutions. Also remember that when you create a Blog Post you can preview how it looks on a Desktop computer or on a Tablet or on a Mobile Phone.

You do this by clicking on the Preview button next to Update in the top right corner, then next to the blue Close button at the top left, there is an option with a little arrow next to it.  Click on the arrow to choose one of the aforementioned to see how the blog post might look.

After previewing, just click Close then if you’re ready to publish or update your blog post, click on the Publish or Update button.

My desktop computer monitor resolution is 1680 X 1050 pixels.

This page  here  gives computer screen resolutions for different monitor sizes.  My guess is that the Radcliffe2 Theme has a recommended Featured image size of 2000 x 1500 because of the way WordPress works behind the scenes, meaning the resolutions in the table at the linked page are all below 2000 x 1500 but images uploaded to your blog are managed or sized to suit the monitor resolution without the result looking too grainy, and the 2000 px by 1500 px is the best for this Theme.

First, click on Customize in your blue dashboard then on Content Options.

CONTENT OPTIONS

Tick “Display on blog and archives” if you want the Featured image for a particular blog post to show on the main Blog Page where all your blog titles are displayed.

If you want the Featured image to be displayed at the top of the actual blog post when the title of the post is clicked on, tick “Display on single posts”.

Tick “Display on pages” if you want a Featured image on a Page to be displayed at the top of the Page.

Next, create or edit your Blog Post or Page.   Click on the arrow next to Featured image under Post Settings on the right.  (Note:  if you can’t see Post Settings, click on the icon that looks like a wheel cog, shown below in the black square).

setfeaturedimage

Click on “Set Featured Image” and click on an image to set or click on Add New to add one from your computer, click on your wanted image, then click on Open (to save or upload the image to the WordPress.com servers – “open” technically means open the image file, grab it and insert it into your WordPress Blog Media Library which is really your private share of the WordPress.com servers).

Then click on “Set Featured Image”.

To find WordPress Themes which allow Featured Images to be set, click on Themes in your blue dashboard and type  featured images  into the Search field – click on the thumbnail below to view a screenshot showing this in action.

FEATURED IMAGES

Getting your Background Image for your “Call to Action” section

I did a search of the 2 words:   solid color   :  on Pexels.  Click on the link below to go to this Search.

https://www.pexels.com/search/solid color

Once you find an image that you like on the Pexels website, you can customize the size by ticking Custom size and entering in the dimensions you want, then click on Download.

pexels

Below is a link to my test blog “Healthy Frogs” showing this image above in use as the Background Image for my Featured Prompt “call to action” section.

https://healthyfrogs.wordpress.com

Following is a snapshot showing the default grey / gray background for the Featured Prompt area with no featured image for the blog posts (the default blog post that comes with this Theme is “The Journey Begins”).  I have since setting up my Test blog “healthyfrogs” as below, made changes so it looks pretty good now, in my opinion, with a pretend “Call to Action” BUTTON that takes you back to this blog you are reading now.

healthyfrogshomepage

Some of the instructions above are in my WordPress Guidelines for setting up and running a free WordPress.com blog.

Most of the information on the internet, related to running a WordPress blog, is relevant to using plug-ins and setting up a self-hosted site (see here for more information).  Sometimes a blogger has to trawl through different sources to find what they want or need.  My WordPress Guidelines are in the form of a single comprehensive PDF document providing instructions from start to finish, for setting up your own WordPress blog and running it or maintaining it successfully.  Below is a screenshot showing part of the Table of Contents.

guidelines-1

To see the rest of the Table of Contents, please click on the image below.

give-me-the-guidelines

The purpose of this Page is to introduce you to some of the elements of WordPress Themes.

Take your time selecting your Theme by looking at the features via clicking on Themes next to Customize in your blue dashboard.  The WordPress Guidelines that I wrote gives very good information on working with Themes and trying out themes, which can be fiddly.  Save time by using the WordPress Guidelines.  Rather than trawling through the internet or scratching your head and being bewildered by how to select and apply a Theme, referring to my Guidelines will have you up and running with your WordPress.com site in a day.

When I began with WordPress in 2012, the name of the Theme for a blog was at the bottom of the blog in the Footer, but to my surprise sometime since then, that practice or layout element disappeared.  If you see a WordPress blog / site that you love, don’t be afraid of contacting the blogger (or making a Comment) asking her / him what Theme she / he is using.

There’s another way of finding out what Theme a WordPress blogger is using without asking them  ….  and that way is in the WordPress Guidelines..

You may see advertisements on this blog.  This is because this blog uses the free WordPress.com platform.  If you don’t like the ads, just brush them away like you would with an annoying bug.

 

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