Build Your Own Author Website—Step 11: Theme Installation

In Build Your Own Author Website–Step 5Book-Snapper Author Theme Installation, I showed you how to check the WordPress Theme Directory for free author themes via your Administration Panel  Dashboard>Appearance>Themes.

In Build Your Own Author Website–Step 9 and Build Your Own Author Website–Step 10, I introduced you to the Book-Snapper author theme.

Now, it’s time to execute the theme installation of your choice.

Did the word “execute” get your attention? Good, because with this step, you start claiming your website as your own.

For demonstration purposes, I’ll assume that you purchased the Book-Snapper author theme (at half price for $18.95). If you purchased a different WordPress theme, the setup steps will differ from what I’ll be sharing with you here, so feel free to skip this post and head on to another or follow along to see what parts may apply to you.


Theme Installation: Book-Snapper

Although the Book-Snapper Mark II Documentation that I’ll be sharing with you here was included with your Book-Snapper purchase, let’s go through the initial theme installation steps together, just so we’re all on the same page.

To install the Book-Snapper theme.

In your WordPress dashboard go to Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >>Upload Theme


Browse for the zipped file called Book Snapper (which you saved to your computer after your purchase) and then click on Install Now.


Once the theme has finished installing, click on the option that says Activate.

Now you are ready to start setting up your theme.

Theme Installation: Plugins

* We discussed and played around with Plugins in Build Your Own Author Website–Step 8,  where I mentioned Contract Form 7 as a must have plugin. Here’s the reason why:

Contract Form 7 must be installed in order to use the integrated Contact Form module in Book-Snapper:

To install the plugin go to the menu and select Plugins >> Add New >> Search. Copy the name of the plugin listed above (Contact Form 7) and then click on Search.

Contact Form 7

Once you have found it click on Install now. The plugin will install and when complete, click on the option Activate.

This would be a good time to install the WordPress Maintenance Mode plugin, which we discussed in a previous post.

When activated, you will be able to see your website normally, but visitors will only be able to see a maintenance mode message.

If you’d like to add such a plugin, go to Dashboard>Plugins>Add New.

In the search box, type the keywords “WP maintenance.”

Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode is a plugin that is compatible with Book-Snapper.

If you like what you see, click Install Now and follow the “settings” instructions.

 Theme Installation: Housekeeping

In case you missed it, let’s review some administrative panel housekeeping that we covered in Build Your Own Author Website–Step 7.

Go back to your dashboard menu and select the option Settings, then select “General” in the pop out menu to the right:

  • General

Type in the Site Title and Tagline you want for your site.

Remember, I strongly suggest that you use your name as the title of your site. As an author, your name is your brand.

Then click on Save Changes.


  • Permalinks

This is a really important setting. You must change it to the custom structure as shown in the diagram below. This helps with the SEO of your site. Remember to Save the Changes.


  Theme Installation: Menu

The following step  in creating a menu must be taken otherwise the Book-Snapper theme will not show the sections correctly.

Go to the menu option Appearance >> Menus and create a new menu. Type in whatever name you want to use (I used Margaret’s Menu) and then Save the Menu.

Add the sample page to the menu for now. We will come back and tidy up once you have created all your pages.  (Or, ignore this step if you deleted the sample post and page as I suggested in Build Your Own Author Website–Step 7.


Now go to Manage Locations and assign the menu that you just created to the Primary Navigation. Remember to Save Changes.


Okay, that’s it for today.

Join me for my next post, where we’ll have some fun in making your new website truly your own by designing your website header/banner.


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About Margaret Duarte

Although warned by agents and publishers that labeling her work Visionary Fiction was the “kiss of death,” Margaret Duarte refused to concede. “In a world riddled with fear, misunderstanding, and lost hope,” she says, “I believe there are people prepared to transcend the boundaries of their five senses and open to new thoughts and ideas. The audience is ready for fiction that heals, empowers, and bridges differences.” Margaret joined forces with other visionary fiction writers to create the Visionary Fiction Alliance, a website dedicated to bringing visionary fiction into the mainstream and providing visionary fiction writers with a place to call home. In 2015, Margaret published BETWEEN WILL AND SURRENDER, book one of her "Enter the Between" visionary fiction series, followed by book two, BETWEEN DARKNESS AND DAWN, in 2017. Through her novels, which synthesize heart and mind, science and spirituality, Margaret encourages readers to activate their gifts, retire their excuses, and stand in their own authority. Margaret is a former middle school teacher and lives on a California dairy farm with her family and a herd of "happy cows," a constant reminder that the greenest pastures are closest to home.
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