WPBeginner https://www.wpbeginner.com Beginner's Guide for WordPress Mon, 25 Mar 2019 12:18:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 How to Easily Create a Custom WordPress Theme (without Any Code) https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-themes/how-to-easily-create-a-custom-wordpress-theme/ https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-themes/how-to-easily-create-a-custom-wordpress-theme/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:05:02 +0000 https://www.wpbeginner.com/?p=61821 Do you want to create a custom WordPress theme from scratch? In the past, you had to follow the WordPress codex and have a decent coding knowledge to build a custom WordPress theme. But thanks to new WordPress theme generators, now anyone can create a… Read More »

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Do you want to create a custom WordPress theme from scratch?

In the past, you had to follow the WordPress codex and have a decent coding knowledge to build a custom WordPress theme. But thanks to new WordPress theme generators, now anyone can create a completely custom WordPress theme within an hour (no coding knowledge needed).

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Creating a custom WordPress theme without writing any code

Creating a Custom WordPress Theme for Beginners

Unlike static HTML sites, WordPress themes are a set of template files written in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Typically, you would need to have a decent understanding of all these web design languages or hire a web developer to create a custom WordPress theme.

If you hired a developer or agency, then the cost of a custom WordPress theme can reach thousands of dollars.

Since many small business owners couldn’t afford the high costs of a custom WordPress theme, a lot of them just settled for the default themes that came with WordPress.

Those who didn’t want to settle and wanted customizations either used a drag & drop WordPress page builder, or they used a theme framework to build a custom theme.

While WordPress theme frameworks made building a WordPress theme easier, they are a solution for developers, not an average website owner.

On the other hand, WordPress page builder plugins made it super easy to create custom page layouts using a drag & drop interface, but they were limited to layouts only. You couldn’t build custom themes with it.

Until Beaver Builder, one of the best WordPress page builder plugins decided to solve this problem with their add-on called Beaver Themer.

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

Beaver Themer is a site builder add-on that allows you to create custom theme layouts using a drag and drop interface and without learning to code.

Let’s take a look at how to use Beaver Themer for easily creating a WordPress theme.

Setting up Beaver Themer to Build a Custom Theme

Beaver Themer is an add-on plugin for Beaver Builder, so you will need both plugins for this article.

First, you need to install and activate the Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer plugins. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Beaver Themer allows you to create a custom theme, but you will still need a theme to start with. We recommend using a light-weight theme that includes a full-width page template to act as your starter theme.

You can find many such themes in WordPress.org theme directory. Most modern WordPress themes include a full-width template. Our top picks are:

  • Astra – A free light-weight all-purpose WordPress theme that comes with built-in support for Beaver Builder.
  • OeanWP – Another popular free multi-purpose WordPress theme that comes with full page builder support.
  • StudioPress themes – All of their themes are compatible with Beaver Builder and would work great with Beaver Themer.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using Astra, which is light-weight and easy to customize WordPress theme.

Setting up Your Theme for Beaver Themer

When building a custom WordPress theme with Beaver Themer, it’s important to make sure that Beaver Themer has access to the full body of the page (from edge to edge).

This is the default Astra layout. As you can see that this layout includes a sidebar which can be difficult to work with when using Beaver Themer.

Default theme layout with a sidebar

You can change that by visiting the admin panel of your website and then navigate to Appearance » Customize page. From here, you need to switch to the Layout » Sidebars tab.

Turning off sidebars in your theme

Once there, simply select ‘No Sidebar’ under the default layout option and click on the Publish button to save your changes.

Your theme will now start using a layout with no sidebars. This is the best layout to use with Beaver Themer.

Theme layout with no sidebars

This full-page layout allows Beaver Themer to use every inch of the screen, so you can create a beautiful end-to-end visual experience.

Most WordPress themes include a template file for full-width pages. If you are using some other theme, then you may find an option to remove sidebars in your theme settings.

If you cannot find it, then contact your theme developer and they may be able to help you with that.

Once you have set up your theme to a full-width layout, you are ready to create your custom WordPress theme using Beaver Themer.

Quick Beaver Themer Fundamentals

Beaver Themer works on top of Beaver Builder. As a page builder plugin, Beaver Builder allows you to drag and drop items to a page to create custom layouts.

It has the following items that you can use in your layouts:

  • Template: A collection of columns rows, and modules that make up an entire page layout.
  • Columns: Vertical layout modules that help align content horizontally.
  • Rows: Horizontal collection of multiple modules
  • Module: An item that outputs specific information such as title, text block, table, gallery, etc.

Simply edit a page in Beaver Builder and then click on the add button at the top right corner. You can then drag and drop columns, rows, modules, to your page and start editing them right away.

Using Beaver Builder

If you don’t want to start from scratch, then select from a list of pre-made templates to begin with.

Beaver Builder templates

Beaver Builder also allows you to save your layouts and then use them later as templates.

To learn more see our article on how to create a custom page layout using Beaver Builder.

However, we don’t just want to create page layouts. We want to create a complete custom theme.

This is when Beaver Themer comes in.

It adds another item to Beaver Builder called ‘Themer Layout’.

Themer Layout

Themer layouts allow you to create custom layouts for the header, footer, content areas, 404 page, and other template parts.

These are the building blocks of all WordPress themes and by using them you’ll be able to create a custom theme that fits your needs.

Using Beaver Themer Templates to Create a Custom WordPress Theme

In the following instructions, we’ll walk you through the steps it takes to build the most popular custom theme elements. By the time you’re done, you’ll have completely transformed your base theme into a fully custom WordPress child theme.

Building a Custom Header for Your Theme

Let’s start with your website’s header area. A custom header is an essential component of a theme and building one can be tricky using traditional methods.

Luckily, Beaver Themer has header features built in. You can either use the pre-created template or use the menu and image modules with a two-column layout.

In order to get to this header area, first, we’ll need to set up a header layout in Beaver Themer. Visit Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your header.

Creating a custom header layout

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Header’ as the layout option. Once you’re done click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location where the header template will be displayed on.

Layout settings

Next, click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column and two-row header layout as a starting point.

Header layout

You can use the same Beaver Builder drag and drop tools to change the background, colors, text, etc. You can also add other modules, load pre-made templates, and add rows / columns by clicking on the add button at the top right corner.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

You can now visit your website to see your custom theme header in action. As you can see, we have applied the header layout to our custom theme.

Custom header in your custom theme

Aside from the header, it will not you show any content yet, and you will likely see your base theme’s footer area.

Let’s change this.

Building a Custom Footer for Your Theme

You can create a custom footer for your theme using the Beaver Themer just like you created a custom header.

Head over to Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your footer layout. Next, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Footer’ as the layout option.

Footer layout

Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location that the template will be displayed on.

Footer layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a footer layout using three columns. You can use this layout as a starting point and start editing.

Editing your footer layout

You can add modules, text blocks, or anything else you want. You can always change colors, fonts, add a background image, and more.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

Building Content Area for Post and Pages

Now that we’ve created headers and footers for every page and post on the website, it’s time to build the post or page body (the content area).

We’ll start off in much the same way that we built the header and footer by adding the ‘Singular’ layout in the Add New page.

Creating posts and page layouts

Next, you will choose where to display this layout. You can choose singular to use it for all single posts and pages, or you can choose posts or just the pages.

Singular layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Editing singular layout

Beaver Builder will load a sample singular layout with post/page title at the top, followed by content, author bio box, and comments area.

You can point and click to edit any of these items or add new modules, columns, and rows as needed.

Once you are satisfied with the layout, click on the Done button to save and publish your changes.

You can now visit your website to see it in action.

Theme layout with content

Creating Archive Layouts for Your Custom Theme

Now that your custom theme has started to shape up, you can move on to creating layouts for other parts of your website. Archive pages are where WordPress displays your categories, tags, author, and monthly archives.

Let’s create a layout for archive pages in your custom theme.

You’ll start by visiting Beaver Builder » Add New page and providing a title for your archive layout.

Creating an archive layout for your custom theme

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as type, and ‘Archive’ as the layout option. Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘All Archive’ as the location that the template will be displayed on. You can also create separate layouts for each individual archive type like date, search results, category, tags, etc.

Archive layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column archive layout. It will display archive title at the top, which is followed by posts.

Editing Archives layout for your theme

You can point and click on any item to edit its properties. You can also add new modules, rows, and columns as needed.

After that, click on the ‘Done’ button to save and publish your changes.

Creating Other Layouts for Your Custom WordPress Theme

Beaver Themer also allows you to create layouts for other pages in template hierarchy, for example, 404 page, template parts, search results page, and more.

Using the built-in drag and drop functionality of Beaver Builder, you can easily create your own custom WordPress theme from scratch without ever writing code. This is truly the most beginner friendly WordPress theme development method in existence.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a custom WordPress theme without learning to code. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up your WordPress website for better SEO and user experience.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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29 Best WordPress Themes for Authors (2019) https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-wordpress-themes-for-authors/ https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-wordpress-themes-for-authors/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:00:38 +0000 http://www.wpbeginner.com/?p=43632 Are you looking for the best WordPress themes for authors? As an author, you want to offer a great reading experience for users while allowing them to connect with you and purchase your books. In this article, we will show you some of the best… Read More »

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Are you looking for the best WordPress themes for authors?

As an author, you want to offer a great reading experience for users while allowing them to connect with you and purchase your books.

In this article, we will show you some of the best WordPress themes for authors that you can use to build your website.

Best WordPress themes for Authors

Building a WordPress Site for Authors

WordPress is the most popular website builder among authors and writers. It allows you the flexibility and freedom to build your website and grow your author profile to connect with readers.

Before you start, you need to make sure that you are using the right type of WordPress. There are two types of WordPress websites including WordPress.com and WordPress.org. You can read our guide on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

You’ll need WordPress.org for your website. A self-hosted WordPress.org site gives you the freedom to use all WordPress features.

Next, you will need a domain name (your website’s name) and WordPress hosting (where your website files will be stored).

We recommend using Bluehost. It is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress hosting partner.

They’re offering WPBeginner readers 65% OFF on web hosting and a free domain to start your website.

Get started with Bluehost

Once you have signed up for hosting, you are now ready to install WordPress. Follow the instructions in our complete step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog and you will be up and running in no time.

After installing WordPress, it’s time to choose a WordPress theme. Select a theme from our expert pick below.

Need help installing the theme? See our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress themes for authors. This list contains both paid and free themes.

1. Astra

Astra

Astra is a multipurpose WordPress theme that can be used to create an author’s website. It has the perfect layout for authors which comes with a separate blog page to connect with readers. The theme comes with a responsive design and crisp typography to help your website stand out.

It supports WooCommerce for adding an online store, multiple theme layouts, and social sharing icons. Astra theme has custom widgets, homepage sections, image gallery, about me section, and more.

What makes Astra really stand out is the speed and performance of the website.

2. Divi

Divi Theme Author Layout

Divi is a WordPress theme and drag & drop page builder that comes with dozens of pre-built templates. Their author layout is perfect for creating an a website to showcase your book and connect with your audience.

You can import the Divi author layout with just a few clicks and have a ready-made website that’s mobile responsive and has all the features like gallery, shop, landing pages, social buttons, and more.

What makes Divi really stand out is the drag & drop feature that lets you build any kind of custom layout without writing any code.

3. Author Pro

Author Pro

Author Pro is a WordPress theme designed specifically for libraries, authors, and ebook stores. It has an intuitive and flat design that makes your library or bookshelf presentable to the audience.

The theme is built on top of the Genesis framework which is known for high coding standards and performance. We built our WPBeginner website template on top of the Genesis framework as well.

It allows you to display the best selling books on the homepage. You can create a custom navigation menu to add landing pages, categories, and tags for the ease of your users. Author Pro is a fully responsive theme and optimized for SEO.

StudioPress is now part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company. You can get this theme and all 35+ other StudioPress themes if you sign up for WP Engine hosting to build your website.

Bonus: WPBeginner users also get additional 20% off. Get started with WP Engine.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP Blog Theme

OceanWP is a powerful free WordPress theme with multiple ready-made websites. It has a template for authors, writers, and booksellers. The template can be installed in 1-click and needs no coding skills. OceanWP offers beautiful and flexible layout design with eCommerce support to sell your books.

It features some of the amazing web extensions like full screen view, stick anything, Instagram feed, login popup, and more for your website. It’s translation ready and can be used to create a multilingual website.

5. Ultra

Ultra

Ultra is a modern and powerful WordPress theme to sell your books online. It has a full-width header area on the homepage to add a featured image or display your books in an image slider. It allows you to add a call to action button with your book photos for the users to purchase directly from the homepage.

This theme covers all you need as an author including a testimonial section, so the readers can leave reviews and rate your books. You can also add an author section to share your story professionally.

6. Presence

Presence

Presence is designed to help you quickly create your online presence. It works perfectly for bloggers and authors.

It includes 10 demo websites that you can easily import and then just replace the content with your own to build your website.

Presence is 100% mobile responsive, and it comes with many powerful features such as photo gallery, eCommerce support, sliders, and more.

7. Hello Pro

Hello Pro

Hello Pro is a WordPress blogging and portfolio theme for authors. Created by the folks at StudioPress, it comes with a widgetized homepage with a number of widget areas and has multiple templates for your blog, homepage, archive, and landing pages.

It’s designed to beautifully showcase your content and uses large images with elegant typography to make your content more enjoyable. It has a custom gallery post format with lightbox display of your photos. This theme is highly optimized for speed and performance. It has a quick and straightforward setup.

8. Float

Float

Float is an elegant WordPress theme for authors, writers, and bloggers. It comes with multiple pre-designed demos to quickly launch the website and start adding your content. The homepage has a portfolio section to showcase your books in the masonry style. It has parallax scrolling to improve the user experience on your website.

With the design options, you can use the header layouts, navigation menu styles, transparent header option, and layout design settings to customize the theme. Float has eCommerce support with the integration of WooCommerce and requires no additional settings to create an online store.

9. True North

True North

True North is an elegant WordPress theme with beautiful design. It uses a grid layout on the homepage with a beautiful display of images. It has multiple layout choices and a built-in portfolio section to showcase your work.

It also supports custom background, custom header, and has several custom widgets for social media and content discovery features.

10. Writee

Writee

Writee is a free WordPress theme designed for authors, writers, and bloggers. Inside you will find a full-width boxed slider allowing you to showcase your most important content at the top. It pays special attention to readability with beautiful typography and a spacious layout.

It has a navigation menu and a social links menu at the top. It also adds social sharing icons below each article and an excerpt so that your users can easily share content.

11. Magazine

Magazine

Magazine is a stylish WordPress theme with a magazine-style layout for authors and writers. It comes with over 40 theme designs and supports the Themify drag and drop builder to create your pages. The other features include a slide menu, mega menus, widgetized areas, social share buttons, related posts, footer menu, and amazing typography. It’s a full package theme to start a blog or make a website of your choice.

12. Binder Pro

Binder Pro

Binder Pro is a well-crafted WordPress theme designed for publishing. It’s perfect for content rich websites like magazines and blogs. Inside it, you will find 7 ready-made websites that can be installed with 1-click and then you can easily replace content with your own.

It uses modules and allows you to drag and drop them to build your own layouts as well. It has multiple sidebars, header styles, font icons, unlimited custom sidebars, and full WooCommerce support.

13. The Daily Dish Pro

The Daily Dish Pro

Daily Dish is a WordPress theme for authors and bloggers with a professional design. It’s built on top of the powerful Genesis theme framework. The most notable features of the theme are crisp typography and beautiful display of images.

It has a widgetized homepage layout which is quick and easy to set up. Inside you will also find multiple page templates, custom header, and WooCommerce support.

14. Elegant

Elegant

Elegant is a WordPress blog and portfolio theme. It features a beautiful layout with the logo and navigation menu on top with a social menu. It has multiple layout options including a grid layout.

It has a built-in portfolio content type, several custom widgets, multiple color schemes, and easy to use theme options panel. It ships with a drag and drop page builder and WooCommerce support.

15. Suarez

Suarez

Suarez is a stunningly beautiful WordPress blog theme for authors. It features a unique homepage style which is designed to showcase your content prominently using images and text.

It includes beautiful animations, multiple page layouts, and custom content discovery widgets. It also has hero homepage slider for your homepage and comes with a separate slider plugin to use anywhere on your website.

16. Brittany

Brittany

Brittany is a stylish WordPress blog theme with a beautiful design. The homepage features an intro section at the top followed by your most important content.

It has several layout options and templates for different pages. You will also get several custom widgets for easy social media integration and content discovery features.

17. TheStyle

TheStyle

TheStyle is a modern WordPress theme for authors to showcase their books in a unique style. It has an eye-catching modern and crisp design to get the attention of your audience. The visual experience improves your website traffic and helps in the SEO.

It comes with 5 custom colors, page templates, and theme options panel to for easy customization. TheStyle has shortcodes support to add the content anywhere on your website.

18. Metro Pro

Metro Pro

Metro Pro is a powerful WordPress theme built on top of the Genesis theme framework. It includes an easy to setup homepage with multiple sections to share your featured stories beautifully.

It also has built-in social media integration, custom menus, custom widgets, and a theme options panel. With rock solid code, Metro Pro is highly optimized for performance and speed.

19. Landing

Landing

If you’re looking for a WordPress theme to sell your ebooks, then Landing is a perfect choice. It has many built-in templates designed specifically to help authors, writers, and bloggers to create a website. Landing theme has flexible header options to give a professional first impression to users.

Other features include portfolio post type to create your book shelf, event post type to host your book launching events, and WooCommerce support to sell your books online.

20. Montblanc

Montblanc

Montblanc is a very powerful and highly customizable WordPress theme perfect for authors. It comes with flexible layout choices, multiple homepage styles, custom widgets, page templates, etc.

It can be used for a multi-author magazine website or a single page author profile. It also includes portfolio, photo galleries, and beautiful sliders. It is WooCommerce ready and comes with a powerful page builder plugin.

21. Libretto

Libretto

Libretto is a free WordPress blog theme with a distraction free layout which makes it an excellent choice for a blog or author’s website. It has a beautiful color scheme with gorgeous typography.

Designed in the traditional one-column blog layout with a navigation menu at the top. It supports custom header and background, social links menu, and footer widget area.

22. Author

Author

Author is a free WordPress theme for authors and publishers. It focuses on improved accessibility with a beautiful design. It loads fast and the code is optimized to improve the performance of your WordPress site.

It uses a simple two-column layout with a sidebar and navigation menu to the right. It’s easy to set up and can be customized using live theme customizer.

23. Relive

Relive

Relive is a modern WordPress theme for authors and storytellers. It’s designed to create an immersive experience with the help of audio, video, images, and text.

Ideal for long-form content with beautiful scrolling effects, Relive also comes with a page builder and tons of customization options. It’s easy to set up and ships with 1-click demo content installer.

24. Indigo

Indigo

Indigo is a gorgeous multipurpose WordPress theme. It comes with easy to use modules that you can just drag and drop to build your homepage layout. It also includes 14 ready-made websites that you can install and then just replace the content with your own. These websites include a blog, magazine, and stories theme that would work perfectly for any blog or author website.

25. Modules

Modules

Modules is a beautifully designed WordPress theme perfect for authors and bloggers. It uses a modular approach to design and comes with several ready to use modules that you can drag and drop to build your layouts.

It also includes multiple demo websites that you can install and use as a starting point for your website. Inside the theme, you will find several custom widgets, unlimited sidebars, header styles, video background support, Google Fonts, and WooCommerce support.

26. Extra

Extra by Elegant Themes

Extra is a perfect theme for bloggers and online publications. It is built on top of the Divi page builder by Elegant Themes, so you can easily customize the layout as needed.

Extra gives you a lot of flexibility to create different categories, homepages, and story-driven blog posts.

Like all Elegant Theme designs, Extra is 100% mobile responsive and comes with all the powerful features that you can expect such as galleries, social sharing, sliders, and more.

Flexible is a simple and sleek WordPress theme for authors, writers, and portfolio websites. It’s bundled with powerful font customizer to select the different font variations and font colors. It has an image gallery that loads your photos smoothly. You can display your featured books and stories in the portfolio gallery.

27. Nozama

Nozama

Nozama is a WooCommerce-based theme that makes it easier for you to sell your books online. Like any other eCommerce theme, it has products page layout and homepage section to display your books professionally. It has a customizable storefront with multiple settings for product layouts, element visibility, and product filters.

This theme supports the Elementor builder to create pages and custom layouts without effecting the original layout. It has flexible customization features to make a website that you need.

28. Unik

Unik

Unik is a multipurpose theme for WordPress websites. Authors can use it to display their books beautifully. It comes with a sticky menu, lazy loading images, quick preview portfolio, animations, parallax scrolling, and more.

It features over 500 font icons and stunning typography. With Visual Composer, you can easily create pages on your website. Unik allows you to create a multilingual website with WPML.

29. Boss Pro

Boss Pro

Boss Pro is a minimalist WordPress theme designed for authors to connect with their readers. It features stunning typography, full-width background, and sharp colors to catch the eyes.

It’s built on top of the Genesis theme framework which gives it a solid foundation. Boss Pro supports WooCommerce to sell your books online. It can be easily customized to add content, images, and more on your website. You can use the theme options panel to make changes with an ease.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress theme for authors and writers. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide and the list of must have WordPress plugins to grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Make a Niche Review Site in WordPress Like a Pro https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-create-a-reviews-site-with-wordpress/ https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-create-a-reviews-site-with-wordpress/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2019 10:00:08 +0000 http://www.wpbeginner.com/?p=27595 Do you want to create a reviews website and make money blogging? Online reviews help others make a buying decision while allowing you to earn referral fees, known as affiliate commissions. You can build a reviews website dedicated to a specific niche, or you can… Read More »

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Do you want to create a reviews website and make money blogging?

Online reviews help others make a buying decision while allowing you to earn referral fees, known as affiliate commissions. You can build a reviews website dedicated to a specific niche, or you can add a reviews section to your existing blog.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a niche review site in WordPress and make money from it.

Making a review site with WordPress

Here are the steps we will cover in this guide.

Why Create a Reviews Site?

What’s the first thing that you do when you’re looking to buy something online?

If you’re like most of us, then you check the online reviews of that product to see what others are saying about it.

This is why a popular online review site, TripAdvisor, is worth roughly $8.5 billion dollars.

While everyone cannot be as big as TripAdvisor, we know several folks that are earning anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month from running a niche review site.

There are two popular ways to create a review website. The first is to add a reviews section on your existing WordPress blog. The second is to create a completely independent online reviews site.

Regardless of the direction you choose, it’s important that you don’t pick a highly competitive niche.

For example, there are tons of sites talking about digital camera reviews, but not as many that are talking about camera accessory reviews.

The secret to building a successful review site is to find the right niche. A perfect niche has low competition, and it should be something that you’re passionate about.

Here are a few factors to think about:

  • What resources can you offer to build traffic?
  • Can you easily attract advertisers? (i.e are there people selling paid products)
  • Are there affiliate programs available?
  • Are other people making money in this niche?
  • What is the competition like?

You can use tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner to help with research. See our beginner’s guide on how to do keyword research for step by step instructions.

Once you have picked your niche, let’s take a look at how you can create a reviews site.

Step 0. Before You Start

Before you start your website, you need to choose the right blogging platform. Ofcourse WordPress is #1, but there are actually two different types of WordPress.

First, there is WordPress.com which is a limited hosted platform. Second, you have the popular WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress. When you hear WordPress, people are typically talking about WordPress.org. To understand the difference, see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you full freedom to create any kind of website. It also gives you full access to all WordPress features out of the box.

To get started with WordPress, you’ll need a good WordPress hosting company and your own domain name.

We highly recommend Bluehost because they are an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider, and one of the largest hosting companies in the world.

Not to mention, they are giving our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and 63% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users).

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

If you want a Bluehost alternative, then take a look at Siteground who also offer an exclusive discount to WPBeginner readers.

Once you have signed up for hosting and set up your domain name, the next step is to install WordPress. With Bluehost, WordPress comes pre-installed. Most other hosting companies offer 1-click WordPress install option. We have created a step by step guide on how to install WordPress which covers every major hosting platform.

Once you have your WordPress site setup, you will reach the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress dashboard

Step 1. Choosing the Perfect WordPress “Review” Theme

The first step after setting up your WordPress site is to select a perfect WordPress theme.

When you’re searching for best WordPress review themes, you will likely come across several themes that offer complete review-site functionality baked into the theme. You need to avoid those at all cost.

You don’t need a WordPress review site template. Most of those WordPress review themes are bloated and will lock you into using them forever.

That’s why it’s better to use a WordPress reviews plugin because plugins will work with any theme/design that you choose.

You will have the flexibility to change your themes in the future without having to hire a developer.

We have an article that will help you find the perfect theme. Basically, pick a theme that you like in terms of look and feel. We will show you how to add the reviews functionality in the next step.

Once you have found the theme you like, you can go ahead and install it. Need help installing theme? See our guide on how to install a WordPress theme for step by step instructions.

Step 2. Installing the best WordPress Reviews Plugin

Now that your website is ready, it is time to add reviews functionality to your website. We will be using a plugin to add SEO friendly reviews that make your website more easily discoverable by search engines and users.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Product Review Lite plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

This base plugin is available for free and comes with all essential features. However, you may need to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin to unlock advanced features like product comparison table, Amazon Affiliate integration, multiple templates, and more.

WP Product Review plugin is easy to use, and it helps you stand out in search engines by adding schema markup or rich snippets for your reviews.

In plain English, it adds those star ratings next to your reviews in Google to help you stand out.

Rich snippets in Google search

Upon activation, you will notice a new menu item labeled ‘Product Review’ in your WordPress admin menu. Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings page.

WP Product Review settings

The settings page is divided into different sections. First, you need to set up the general settings.

Start by selecting where you want to display the review box. There are three options to choose from. You can show the review box after the content, before the content, or you can manually add it using the shortcode.

The next option is to choose whether you want to allow users to add their reviews as comments. If you allow this, then you also need to select how much influence user reviews will have on the actual review.

After that, you need to choose the numbers of options, pros, and cons that you want to be displayed. By default, the plugin will allow you to add 5 of each. You can adjust that as needed.

Another important option on this page is to enable the ‘Review’ post type. Basically, the plugin allows you to convert any WordPress blog post or page into a review.

However, some users may want to keep reviews separate from their blog posts and pages. The default option is ‘No’, and if you are unsure, then you can leave it as is.

Now move on to the rating colors tab in settings. This is where you can define the default colors used by the plugin for ratings. WP Product review uses different colors for excellent, good, not bad, and weak ratings.

Choose rating colors

You can change the rating colors to match with your theme design.

Next, click on the ‘Typography’ tab in the settings. This is where you can choose the default text for pros and cons columns. You can also change the text colors for different sections.

Typography

The final tab on the settings page is the buy button. On this tab, you can select the colors you want to use for the buy button.

Buy button will also have your affiliate link, so it is important that you choose a color that’s likely to stand out, so more users can click on it.

Buy button

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save All Changes’ button to store your settings.

Step 3: Adding a Review in WordPress

Adding a review using WP Product Review plugin is quite easy. There are basically two ways you can add product reviews in WordPress using WP Product Review plugin.

  • Add reviews to the reviews post type
  • Add review to any WordPress post or page

Regardless of how you choose to publish reviews, adding reviews in WordPress will be the same.

The plugin allows you to convert any WordPress post or page into a review. Simply edit or create a new post in WordPress.

If you have enabled the reviews post type, then you will need to visit Reviews » Add New page to add your review.

You will write your main review like you would write any other post in WordPress.

Under the ‘Document’ meta box in the right column, you will find the option labeled ‘Is this post a review’. Turning it on will display the options to add your product review.

Enable product review features

First, you need to provide product details like images, buy now button text, product or affiliate link, and product price.

Product review details

After that, you need to add specific product features and your grade score for that respective feature. Click on the Add option button to add more features if needed.

Product features and grading

Next, you will add the pros and cons lists. You need to add the best features of the product in the pros list and the features it lacked in the cons list.

Pros and cons

Once you are done, simply save or publish your post.

You can now visit the post to see the review box in action.

Review box

Note: If you are still using the old Classic Editor, then you will find the product review meta box below the post editor.

Product review box in classic editor

Step 4. Displaying Your Reviews in Sidebar

WP Product Review allows you to show your review posts in the sidebar and other widget-ready areas.

Visit Appearance » Widgets page, and you will find the top products and the latest products widgets.

Latest product reviews widget

Simply add the widget to a sidebar and configure its options. You can select the number of products you want to display, product title and image display settings. Once you are done, click on the save button.

Next, go ahead and visit your website to see the reviews widget in action. It will show the latest reviews with ratings and product image.

Reviews in sidebar widget

Step 5. Making Money From Your Reviews Site

Reviews site are a great way to generate passive income on the side. There are multiple ways to make money from your niche review site.

Following are some of the most common ways used by reviews websites to generate revenue.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to make money from your reviews by recommending products on your website. You earn a commission when users click on your referral link and buy the product.

You will need to find products that have an affiliate program. The easiest way to find awesome products in every niche is by joining a large affiliate network like ShareAsale or Amazon Associates.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing with detailed instructions and tools/plugins you’ll need to grow your business.

2. Advertisements

Most websites on the internet generate their revenue by displaying ads. You get paid either for impressions or when a user clicks on the ad from your website.

The easiest way to displays ads on your reviews site is by using Google AdSense. This gives you access to thousands of advertisers who are looking for targetted audiences.

To learn more, see our guide on how to properly add Google AdSense to your WordPress site.

Apart from Google AdSense, you can join other advertising networks like Media.net or sell ads directly to advertisers. This allows you to diversify and maximize advertising revenue on your reviews website.

3. Paid Reviews

This direct approach allows you to cut the middleman and directly reach out to businesses that want their products to be reviewed.

You get paid for testing and writing your honest opinion of the product. This approach requires a lot of outreach and can influence the quality of your reviews.

For more ways to make money from your reviews site, see our list of proven ways to make money online.

Step 6. Taking Your Reviews Site to The Next Level

WordPress is a powerful platform, and it gives you access to thousands of awesome plugins that you can use to grow your reviews site.

Following are just some of the essential plugins that you can install right away.

Pretty Links – It allows you to cloak affiliate links and easily add, manage, and edit affiliate links in WordPress.

WPForms – It is the best WordPress contact form plugin and allows you to quickly create beautiful forms using simple drag and drop form builder.

Yoast SEO – It is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin on the market and will help you get more visitors from search engines.

MonsterInsights – It allows you to easily install Google Analytics in WordPress and shows human-readable reports to understand where your visitors are coming from and which reviews on your website are popular. It also allows you to easily track outbound affiliate links which helps you improve your marketing strategy overtime.

For more plugin recommendations, see our list of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites.

Step 7. Improving Your WordPress Skills

WordPress is quite easy to use even for the beginners. However, occasionally you’ll need help in learning new things as your website grows. This is where WPBeginner can help.

WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners. We have lots of helpful content which is created specifically for beginners, business owners, and bloggers.

Following are a few of the helpful resources you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are completely free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 130,000 subscribers and 12 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a niche review site in WordPress like a pro. You may also want to see these practical tips get more traffic to your reviews website.

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