So, you’ve taken the step and purchased a premium theme, but don’t know what to do next.
Each of the themes I create (or work with) require that you purchase the Genesis Framework, if you don’t already own it. You can buy the Genesis Framework directly from StudioPress here. (link)
The themes run only on WordPress self-hosted websites. This means that you can’t install it on a wordpress.com site.
In order to have a WordPress self-hosted site, you will need:
In simple terms, a domain is your “address” on the web. My domain is onehappystudio.com. Internet addresses are technical stings of numbers, but having an alphabetic (or alphanumeric) address is easier to remember!
Domain names are often seen in analogy to real estate in that domain names are foundations on which a website can be built, and the highest quality domain names, like sought-after real estate, tend to carry significant value, usually due to their online brand-building potential, use in advertising, search engine optimization, and many other criteria. (source)
Each domain has a top-level suffix, which indicates the top level domain it belongs to. Most commonly, this is .com, but can be one of a number of suffixes, including:
Because most people (in the US) would automatically add .com to a web address, where possible it is preferred to purchase a .com domain.
Domains are purchased through a Domain Registrar, and are renewable depending on the time period chosen. I purchase all my domains through GoDaddy. A domain will typically cost you less than $20 a year (unless you decide to buy a premium domain).
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to publish their content to the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services (via servers) needed for the website or webpage to be viewed online.
- Buy the best hosting you can afford. If you are just starting out, you might be on a tiny budget, in which case, take a look at Sitegound, which will cost you around $4 a month if you purchase for 12 months. If you can afford it, I highly recommend WPEngine. They are specialists in WordPress sites. This website is hosted by WPEngine.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS), installed on a web server (your hosting company).
Once you have purchased your hosting, you will need to install WordPress on your new hosting site. If you use WPEngine, they will take care of this for you. For Hostgator, there is a “one click install” option, which makes it really easy.
If you purchased your hosting through a different company than your Domain Registrar (where you purchased your domain name), you will need to “connect” your domain to your hosting by updating your name servers or DNS (Domain Name Service) records. The method of doing this will depend on which web hosting company you have chosen.
WordPress allows you to use one of many thousands of free templates and plugins, so from here, you can get your website up and running, but for more flexibility, you can choose a Premium Theme built on the Genesis Framework:
The Genesis Framework is the parent theme which controls the basic design, security, and SEO foundation of your website. (source)
StudioPress, the creators of the Genesis Framework put the relationship between WordPress, the Genesis Framework and a child theme in simple, easy to understand terms:
- WordPress is the engine of your car
- Genesis is the fame and body
- the Child Theme is the paint job
WordPress does the “heavy lifting” of your website – it’s the database and code that runs the website; the Genesis Framework is the “frame” of the website, which adds additional functionality, and the child theme is what you can use out of the box to give you the look of your site; it’s the child theme which gets customized if you want to change the look of your site.
To install the Genesis Framework, you can do it via your WordPress Dashboard, or FTP (doing it via your dashboard is the preferred and easier method!)
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes.
- Click the Add New button at the top of the page.
- Click the Upload Theme button at the top of the page.
- Click the Choose File button and find the file for the theme on your computer. The file will typically be named with the name of the theme and have an ending of .zip.
- Once you have selected the theme file for upload, click the Install Now button.
You can learn more about the features of the Genesis Framework here (link)
The Child Theme
A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme (The Genesis Framework is a parent theme). Child themes are the recommended way of modifying an existing theme.
- Installing the child theme of your choice is the same as installing the Genesis framework, and can be done through your WordPress dashboard.
Once you have the child theme installed, you will need to follow the setup instructions specific to your child theme. The instructions will generally include a list of plugins used by the theme, and the setup steps to get the theme to look like the demo.
If you are still confused, we offer an option where we can take care of all of this for you here: WordPress complete setup! (Or, if you already have hosting and a domain, I’m happy to help you with the install of a theme and setup – click here to you can learn more about this service!)