Get started: Choosing a theme

The OAC has over 12 fully customizable themes for you to choose from! To change your theme, access your site’s Dashboard and click on Appearance > Themes in the left hand panel. From here you can Preview or Activate any theme. If you are a beginner blogger, we would recommend that you choose from one of the following UVic supported themes:
  • First fully-responsive WordPress theme, pulling “mobile-first”.
  • iPad and other tablets display similar to the desktop version.
  • Typography is kept clean and crisp: great for screen readers and ease of reading the content.
  • Navigation is at the ultimate ease, creating a clear, clean, and concise look and feel of your site. This makes flipping between posts, pages, and menu items easy and straight forward.
  • Sidebar option (widget area) is available on all pages, however you can customize this to only be on your front page.
  • Header image, or rotating header image is available in the customize section but turned off by default. This is done by design to focus on beginner bloggers adding their content.

Since 2010, WordPress has introduced an annual default theme, named for the year it appears. Default themes, according to Lance Willett (2012) at WordPress, are “as simple as possible while still sticking to important principles.” The Twenty Thirteen theme manifests those qualities, featuring a vibrant colour scheme, flexible layout, and a full complement of post formats.

Change default header image

Twenty Thirteen comes with a bold orange header image. To change this image,  upload the desired image into your media library (WP will show the cropping required to size the image), and choose the new image as your header. Don’t forget to Save and Publish. You may also upload multiple header images and choose to shuffle the images.

Lots of post formats

Twenty Thirteen also supports a variety of post formats:

  • Standard is the default post format, your everyday blog post. You can also add video, images, and galleries.
  • Aside for brief snippets of text that aren’t quite whole blog posts, such as quick thoughts and anecdotes.
  • Audio for your favorite tunes or podcasts
  • Chat for dialogue transcripts
  • Gallery for (you guessed it) galleries.
  • Image is intended for single image posts
  • Link is for those days when you just want to share a link to an article and a couple of thoughts on it.
  • Quote highlights your block quoted text in a bolder way than standard posts typically do.
  • Status for a quick update about what you are doing right now
  • Video is for videos.

Experiment with using these different posts by adding a post, clicking on the type of post format you want, adding content, and viewing the different effects produced.


Twenty Fourteen is a WordPress theme, designed and marketed as a “magazine theme”. It is a responsive theme (looks good on mobile devices) and allows for custom menus, header/background image, three widget areas (primary sidebar, content sidebar, footer), and more.

There are two very unique aspects of this theme: (1) Featured content display, allowing you to choose up to six posts (with images) to feature on the front page in either a grid or slider format and (2) The Twenty Fourteen Ephemera widget, which displays posts that have been set to a specific post format.

Featured Content:
  1. From your blog’s Dashboard, select Appearance > Customize from the left navigation panel.
  2. From the left panel, click on Featured Content.
  3. From Layout, choose whether you wish to display your featured posts as a Grid (two rows of three images) or a Slider (one large image area that viewers can click to view the next image). The maximum number of featured posts/images is six.
  4. Beneath Tag Name, decide on the tag that you will use to mark the posts that you wish to include in the featured content. Any blog post that has this tag will be included in the grid/slider on the home page.
  5. Next, start creating your posts! Any post that you wish to include in the featured content, be sure to include a Featured image for the post, and the tag specified in Step 4.
  6. These tagged posts will be displayed in the grid/slider on the home page.
Ephemera Widget:
  1. When you create a blog post, you have the option of setting a particular Format for the post. For the Twenty Fourteen theme, the available post formats are: Standard (default), Aside, Image, Video, Audio, Quote, Link, and Gallery. Setting a post format applies certain display characteristics to the post.
  2. If you have set a particular Format for a number of posts, you can use the Ephemera widget to display these posts in the sidebar of your site.
  3. First, ensure that the posts have been set with the appropriate Format.
  4. Next, add the Ephemera widget.
  5. Customize the settings within the widget:
    • Title: enter a custom title for the widget.
    • Number of posts to show: determine the maximum number of posts to show within the widget.
    • Post format to show: select the post format that you would like to pull from. Only posts set to this format will be displayed in the widget.
  6. Click Save within the widget.
  7. Take a look at your blog, and the new widget. The widget will display posts that have been set to the given post format. There will be a link at the bottom of the widget to other posts with the same format.

Divi is a flexible, interactive theme developed by Elegant Themes. This theme includes a Divi Builder, which allows you to include a variety of elements and modules on your site. The Divi theme is incredibly versatile, delivers an intuitive browsing experience and creative theme – “with Divi, the sky’s the limit”! (Divi website).

The Divi theme also offers 18 pre-made layouts that give the users a great starting point for creating your own design.

The Divi Builder

The builder changes elements into visual building blocks, which allow the user to understand and use this theme without touching a single line of code. When you build a page with Divi everything is comprised of sections, rows, and modules. Sections are your largest organizational element, inside of a section there are rows of columns and in each column, there is a module or multiple modules. Any number of rows, columns and modules can be added to a given section. The builder allows the user to simply drag and drop rows, columns, or modules with ease. There are three types of sections currently offered with the Divi Page Builder.

  • Section:It allows you to pick the number of rows you want inside your section and you can then can insert pre-made columns into these rows. When you click on Insert Column button given in a given row, it gives you a visual list of column prototype. You can choose the column type from list and add modules inside it.
  • Full width Section:This section allows you to insert full width modules directly into the section, without making use of any rows.
  • Specialty Section:This section is an amalgamation of the above two sections. You can insert semi-rows into the section and insert columns and rows in it and at the same time add a semi full-width module inside the same section.

Modules are independent unit use to create your web page. These are the basic building blocks of the Divi Page Builder. Divi module ranges from text, image, slider, video to tabs, circle counter, bar counters, accordion, maps, countdown timer and many more.


New Features
  • New single Video Module and Video Slider Module
  • New Thumbnail Track and Dot Navigation for slider modules
  • Custom and Auto-Generated Cover Images
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