Why is Changing a WordPress Theme so Damn Confusing! 4 Simple Steps to Help

There is always a learning curve when applying a brand new WordPress theme, you really have no idea what you are going to get after you click Activate… Sometimes it might look like the demo home page, however most of the time it likely will not. Here are a handful of key steps to help you navigate to where your new theme layout may be hiding…

Step 1: Active New Theme & Click Customize…

Explore all the options within the WordPress Appearance Theme Customizer area first… Sometimes you will get lucky and find many new theme settings…

Step 2: Edit Any Page & Look for Page “Templates”

This is the real tricky & nearly hidden one… I seriously wish WordPress would make a much easier way to teach new users how this works… These templates are specific to every theme, and new theme may have their home page layouts hidden within this area.

Step 3: Check for Widgets

The theme may automatically add a bunch of new widgets into your site as well, often you may just go and remove them…

Step 4: Double Check Your Homepage Settings

Does the new theme show blog posts on the home page? You may need to change your home page setting here under Settings > Reading so that your home page displays “Your Latest Posts”, however sometimes you may need to keep it set to a normal static page that has a “Home Page Template”. See what I’m saying? Way too confusing for most people. It will likely be one of the following:

Try “Your Latest Posts” and Refresh Your Home Page

– or –

Try “A Static Page” to Any Page with a “Home Page Template” within the Page Settings and Refresh Your Home Page

By going through each of the steps above, you’ll hopefully have a slightly better experience setting up your new there.

Bonus Tip: Look for New Admin Menu Items

Look for any new WordPress Dashboard Menu Items while in the WordPress Admin area that might be specific for your theme.

Bonus Tip: Look for Demo Content

Some themes will even include “Demo Content” that will automatically import content into your website and hopefully try to set things up just as it looks in the demo. Just be careful here, in most cases any existing content will still be there however a bunch of new content will be added, however in some cases if could technically wipe out any old content that you had. Always think about a backup beforehand, or even reaching out for help.

Thank you for reading, and Good Luck!