WordPress Theme Selection & Customization

Quickly build a professional WordPress website with one of these six powerful commercial theme frameworks
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2,377 students enrolled
Instructed by Marc Beneteau Design / Web Design
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  • Lectures 27
  • Contents Video: 2 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2013 English

Course Description

The key to creating a professional-looking WordPress website is to use high-quality commercial themes and good graphics. In under 2 hours this course delivers in-depth feature tours and demonstration of 5 of the most popular commercial theme frameworks on the web (StudioPress, WooThemes, ElegantThemes, Thesis, and OptimizePress), as well as an advanced tutorial on the excellent free Weaver theme framework. We cover fundamental things you need to know before you choose a theme for your professional services or ecommerce website, so that you don't end up at a dead-end with an unsuitable theme and have to start fresh. Through numerous examples and commentary on websites created by WP Academy students you will be inspired to create your own professional-looking website that may be indistinguishable from a website created by a professional designer for $2000 or more.

There is no other course on the internet that gives you so much practical and directly actionable information in such a brief time to short-cut your becoming a proficient web designer, either for your own business sites or as an additional income source. Several of the lectures have been made "free" -- feel free to preview them below and find out what you are going to learn.


  • How to choose a theme

StudioPress build

  • Outside tour of Associate theme
  • Inside tour of Associate and Genesis themes
  • Populating home page widget areas
  • Adding a slider
  • Other StudioPress examples

ElegantThemes build

  • Outside tour of ElegantThemes Feather theme
  • Inside tour of Feather
  • Populating home page
  • Other ElegantThemes examples

WooThemes build

  • WooThemes Fresh News build
  • Other WooThemes examples

OptimizePress build

  • Tour of OptimizePress
  • Creating a squeeze page
  • Creating a sales page

Thesis 1.8 build

  • Thesis 1.8 or 2.0?
  • Thesis 1.8 installation & quick tour
  • Adding header & navbar
  • Adding Meteor Slider
  • Adding center-page 4x2 table
  • Adding footer widgets in Thesis


  • Using Firebug CSS inspection tool; creating CSS overrides

Weaver build

  • Weaver advanced tutorial

Responsive themes

  • What is a responsive theme?

How to learn more

  • WP Academy additional courses and program

Additional WP Academy courses on Udemy or in production

  • WordPress Essentials for Business
  • WordPress Backup, Security & Performance
  • Images and Graphic Editing
  • WordPress CSS Styling & Advanced Content Creation
  • WordPress SEO
  • WordPress eCommerce & Membership Systems
  • WordPress Email Newsletters & Social Media Integration
  • Video Production for the Web
  • WordPress Plugin Selection (coming soon)

What are the requirements?

  • You should have followed our "WordPress Essentials for Business" course already, or have equivalent experience
  • You will need a self-hosted WordPress website to work with this course
  • You will need to buy at least one of the themes mentioned in the course when it comes time to build your site. However, at the end of the course you should know which theme family to use, and/or you can use the free Weaver theme

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn how to create a professional website in under 2 hours
  • Understand the major commercial theme frameworks, advantages of each, and how to work with them
  • Learn many tips and tricks used by professional designers such as: CSS overrides; working with tables; creating sliders; best themes for sales letters and squeeze pages; and much more

What is the target audience?

  • Any self-employed professional or small business owner who wants to save time and money by not needing to outsource their website development
  • Social-media marketers, virtual assistants, WordPress webmasters and others looking for a fast way to add an additional income source

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Before you begin: WP Encyclopedia Road Map
Section 1: Introduction: How to choose a theme
Choosing the best theme for your WordPress website is challenging. We cover a fundamental idea called the Theme Functionality Grid which helps you to locate themes appropriate to your needs.
Section 2: StudioPress build
We review the StudioPress Associate theme demo, while giving a blueprint of how to review and what to look for in a theme
We continue the previous lecture by looking at the Associate theme under the hood, with more guidance of what kind of things to look for in a theme
We build out our StudioPress demo site, demonstrating key concepts such as the widgetized home and the unique StudioPress Featured Page and Featured Post widgets.
We add the recommended Genesis Responsive Slider to the site
We look at some really attractive StudioPress sites with commentary, and give you guidance on what it takes to do the same.
Section 3: ElegantThemes build
We review the ElegantThemes Feather theme through the theme demo and vendor documentation
We continue our review of Feather theme from inside the dashboard, looking at the unique Elegant Themes content system and page templates
We use the ElegantThemes theme options to add the home page content.
We look at some other beautiful Elegant Theme sites, and distinguish the type of sites that Elegant Themes does well.
Section 4: WooThemes build

We do a full inside and outside theme review of WooThemes Fresh News and build out a simple site. We look at extensive theme options and some of the different page templates.

We look at some very professional student sites built with WooThemes, with commentary. You will be amazed at what is possible.
Section 5: OptimizePress build
We review OptimizePress functionality by looking at the vendor page and at some very good sample sites. We discuss sales letters and squeeze pages in general and why they are far from dead.
We create a simple video squeeze page in OptimizePress
We create a simple video sales letter page in OptimizePress.
Section 6: Thesis 1.8 build
Review of the new Thesis 2.0 vs. the old Thesis 1.8, and why in most cases you are better to stick with the tried-and-true.
We cover some of the unusual requirements of Thesis 1.8 installation and have a first look at the extensive theme options.
We add a header and navigation to our Thesis site. If you have never written PHP code, this lecture is your opportunity. It’s not difficult.

We create a slider using the powerful Meteor Slider plugin. Our first view of custom post types and custom taxonomies.


How to add an html table to a WordPress page

You don’t need a widgetized home page to add columnar data (with or without images) to a WordPress page. This lecture shows you the alternative way using a plugin called TinyMCE that extends the standard WordPress Visual Editor.


We demonstrate a quick way to add footer widgets to a Thesis site using a plugin called Ultimate Thesis Theme Options.

Section 7: CSS Styling

How to style your site with Firebug and CSS overrides

Individually styling site elements (font and color) by means of CSS is actually possible even for beginners by using the Firebug CSS inspector and debugger tool for Firefox. You will be amazed at what you can do after a brief introduction and demonstration.

Section 8: Weaver II build
Weaver 2 is an advanced free theme framework, with the added benefit that it’s free.  In this lecture we do an outside tour of Weaver 2 and then take a quick peek inside the dashboard, reviewing the wonderful widget diagram provided by the vendor.  

We cover some of the important Weaver 2 theme options such as: header options, page templates, Info bar / breadcrumbs, per-page options, and custom widget areas.

Section 9: Responsive themes

How to find, review and test a responsive WordPress theme

We define responsive themes and show you to find, review and test responsive themes. We cover the two major types of responsive themes and why you are generally better staying with the simplest type.

Section 10: Next steps

You will learn about the different mini-courses and live training opportunities provided by WP Academy.  There is no need to do this alone, we have programs for all types of learners. 

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Instructor Biography

Marc Beneteau, Founder of WP Academy, Best-Selling Instructor/ 25k students

Marc Beneteau a WordPress trainer and Productivity specialist.  He is the founder of WP Academy, where he has trained thousands of small-business owners, self-employed people, virtual assistants and others to make professional-looking, and profitable, websites in WordPress. Previously he owned a web design business, and was CTO of an internet startup.  He has traveled the world practicing the Digital Nomad lifestyle but has now settled down in Boulder, Colorado. 

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