Atahualpa WordPress Theme – A Tutorial

If you use the Atahualpa theme for your WordPress site you will find you have the freedom to customise almost every aspect of the design of your site.

After you have installed the theme you will find “Atahualpa theme options” added to the appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard.

I always start by setting the width of my site. You will find this under “Style and configure layout”. You can have a fluid width site, that adjusts to the width of the reader’s screen, or you can use a fixed width. I prefer to use a fixed width because text and graphics stay where you put them on the page. I find that anything up to around 960px width will fit most people’s screens without them having to use the horizontal scroll bar.

After you have set the width of your site you will want to look at the order in which things appear at the top of your site. If you look in “Style and edit header area” you will see that you can arrange a variety of elements – your menubar, header graphic, the logo area and a choice of spacer bars. By default Atahualpa puts the menubar at the top of the page, but if you prefer underneath the header image, you can move it.

You can set the appearance of your menubar in the “page menu bar” area. If you want your menubar to blend in with the background, match its background and border colours to the background of your site. If you like your menubar to stand out, use contrasting colours. You can change the size and colour of the font here too. I usually increase the font size to make the menu buttons more obvious for site visitors.

Next you will want to adjust the sidebars. With this theme you can have anything from one column (no sidebars) to 5 columns. You can display some sidebars on some pages and not on others. You can customise the background colour of each sidebar independently. You can also customise lines around the outside.

Then you will want to look at setting the style of your widgets. The options menu shows you a pictorial representation of the area that you are styling. At each step you are customising the area represented in green. You can make your widgets stand out from the sidebars by giving them a contrasting background colour, of blend them in with a similar or the same colour.

If you like to use a background graphic for you site, you can add that under “body, text and links”. Anything you add here will display in the centre column too. If you prefer your background graphic just to display beyond the margins of the site, you will need to go to “style and edit centre column” and set its own background colour.

You will want to design your own header graphic/s. When you styled the header area, you will have set the height of the header image. You started by setting the width of your site. You now know the width and height needed for your header graphic. If you use a fluid width, design a header graphic that is the widest width used.

You can”t import the header graphic from within the theme, you will need to use your ftp software to upload it to the directory wp-content/themes/atahualpa/images/header. By default, Atahualpa comes with three images there. You can delete these and replace them with your own. Make sure there are no spaces in your filename – if there are Atahualpa will ignore it.

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