Tag Archives: theme

How your website is like a camper: a simple explanation of some confusing terms

I’ve given a detailed explanation of web hosting, domain registration and such elsewhere. Here, I’d like to provide a simple word picture that might help make it simpler to understand.

Imagine that your website is a camper. It’s like a camper because it’s got contents, it has a style, it can be moved from one place to another, and it needs somewhere to park. Let’s also suppose that you’ve given your camper a name: Roadrunner.

The name is like your web address, also called a domain or URL. (See the aforementioned article for more a more detailed explanation. We’re keeping things simple here.) So when someone walks up to your camper, or arrives at your website, they know it’s yours because they recognize the name.

your website is like a camper

(I haven’t created  a graphic for it, but you could also change the name of your website/camper, everything else remains – it’s still your property.)

Maybe you start out with your camper in Monument Valley. But after a while, you get tired of the heat, so you decide to head to the Redwood Forest.

website is like a camper

Same camper, new location.

In the same way, a website can be moved from one host to another. If you get frustrated with some aspect of one host — say, their customer service leaves something to be desired — you can move your website elsewhere.

Now, let’s say you get tired of the yellow color scheme and the font on your sign, so you decide to change things up a bit.

same camper, new color; same website, new theme

This is like changing the theme, fonts, color scheme, or other design elements on your website. It still has the same contents, the same name, and the same location, just different styling.

WordPress sites make it pretty easy to make small design tweaks. Depending on the theme you’re using, you may only be able to change a few things, or you may be able to make significant changes. Look under “Appearances” in the navigation on the lefthand side of your WordPress back end to see what options are available.

If you want some changes that are more complicated than you can do — or you’d just like some friendly coaching while you learn — I know someone who can help!  😉

Contact me.

Request a price list.


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WordPress theme: Grisaille

WordPress theme: Grisaille

Two custom menus available: top and sidebar.

Social icons: Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+; in header

Font(s): Heads – a condensed, stylized sans serif; body – Verdana

See the theme on WordPress.com.

New WordPress theme: Yoko

WordPress theme Yoko

Post formats: Aside, Gallery, Link, Video, Image, and Quote
Two sidebars/widget areas available
Two custom menus available; one appears above the header (default), one below.
Custom link color, background color (or image) and header. The height of the header is changeable.
Font(s): Sans serif very similar to Tahoma, with a few touches of an italic serif here and there.

There’s a demo site here.

WordPress theme: Oxygen

WordPress theme: Oxygen

Note: I have now used this template to build a site, and I recommend it highly! Very flexible.

Note to web developers new to this theme: Almost everyone runs into a wall trying to figure out how to get the home page to display a large slide show at the top, as shown in the demo and in the Hope site showno here. (Proof: the WordPress support forum is littered with “How do I get the Showcase Page to work in Oxygen?!” requests.) Here is the simplest, clearest explanation I’ve found.

Here’s the site: Hope Community Church, Andover KS

Showcase page template.
9 font families and a custom link color
3 custom menus
Widget areas: up to 7
Font(s): heads – very condensed, stylized sans serif; body – condensed sans serif, possibly Helvetica. Nine font families available.

WordPress theme: Chateau

WordPress theme "Chateau"


Light or dark color scheme.
Custom accent color.
Sidebar left, right or none.
Multiple archive styles.
Post format styles: 4
Widget areas: 6
Font(s): heads – a classic serif that looks like Caslon or Garamond; body – Verdana. The typography on this theme is very nicely done.

WordPress theme Chateau; customize with color
You can choose a light or dark color scheme, and a custom accent color.
WordPress theme Chateau: two archive styles
You can choose from two archive styles: detail or concise.