I love the Atahualpa theme and use it for all of my WordPress sites. One of the great things about using WordPress for your site is the vast number of themes available for you to choose from. There are themes to match almost any topic – and new ones are being designed all the time.
However, most of these themes have limited options for customisation. Your site will finish up looking similar to someone else’s. You won’t get that unique and personalised design that your site deserves.
Before I found the Atahualpa theme I had tried dozens of other themes only to get frustrated because I couldn’t get any of them to look the way I wanted them too. I considered purchasing a license for some of the premium themes, but that wouldn’t really solve the problem – the design of my site still wouldn’t be unique.
Then I found what is now my favourite theme. I can’t remember how or when I found it, but I fell in love with it immediately because of the vast amount of options available for customisation.
I’m not a coder – I can cope with the occasional bold tag or href tag to make links, but that’s about it. The joy of this theme is that, although some of the options do require coding, the author gives you helpful hints to set you in the right direction.
What can you customise? The short answer is “everything”. I usually work from the top down. You can design your own header graphic and upload one or more – the Atahualpa theme has a built-in header rotating function if you want to use it. You can have an area above the header graphic (or below it) for your company logo, RSS and comments feed and a search box. You can style this area to blend into the outer background or you can give it a style of its own and make it stand out.
You can choose where to put the page and or category menus and style their lines and colors. You can make the top level link clickable, or make it non-clickable thus forcing your readers to choose from a drop-down menu.
You can have a solid colour for the off-page background or, if you prefer something more jazzy, you can upload your own image.
The site width is entirely under your control. You can use a fluid width which adjusts to the width of your reader’s screen, or you can use a fixed width of your choice.
Moving onto the sidebars you can have from 0 to 4 sidebars. You can choose which pages each of the sidebars is displayed on – great if you want one set of widgets on some pages and another set of widgets on other pages – and maybe no sidebars at all on a sales or download page.
The design of the widgets is totally customisable. Choose to blend them into the background or make them stand out. You have control over the colours, lines and spacing.
You can really let your imagination run wild with all the options for styling the centre column – background colors, lines, kicker and header styles, choose how your next and previous navigation looks – I can’t list all the centre options – you’ll be here all day reading this article.
Within the theme you can also decide whether to display full posts or extracts on the front page – and have control over the length of extracts displayed.