After you have a basic install of WordPress completed, (if you haven’t done that yet, see my guide here) you'll want to install a theme that will make it easy to setup your niche site.
In this article I'll show you what the best Theme is for a niche authority website and how to install and configure it.
For this I recommend you use Thrive Themes. This is what I use on all of my sites, including the one you are reading this article on!
They offer a package that includes a fantastic Theme, as well as several other premium plugins that are essential for creating a niche website.
What's great about Thrive Themes, is you can pay a very small monthly fee (currently just $19 at the time of writing) and you get access to all of their software.
To read more about what you get in the Thrive Themes membership, go to ThriveThemes.com and click on the ‘Become a Thrive Themes Member’ button.
Click on Products in the top menu to check out what is included in the membership.
The main theme that you will be using is called Thrive Theme Builder.
It's very flexible and easy to use and is the best theme I've found for building and configuring niche sites. It makes the job of configuring your site extremely easy.
ThriveThemes give you lots of pre-built templates and also allow you to create your own. This means that when you’ve configured your first site, you can simply clone this to a template to quickly set up more sites!
It’s also great for beginners as it has a wizard style approach to help you get everything setup.
The other main component that you will need is Thrive Architect. This is an advanced drag and drop page builder.
There are various other products included in the Thrive Membership package. For example when you want to start building your email list you can use Thrive Leads. This will help you quickly and easily collect email opt-ins and to connect an email autoresponder service such as ActiveCampaign.
You can also use Thrive Apprentice to create a membership area on your site and to deliver digital courses. It integrates with several payment platforms like ThriveCart (not the same company as Thrive Themes despite a similar name!)
I use Thrive Apprentice for all of my courses and have been able to get rid of more cumbersome, more expensive membership and payment plugins.
For the moment though, I recommend just installing Thrive Theme Builder, Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads as these are the core components you will want to use to get started.
Install Thrive Product Manager
Once you've joined Thrive Themes you'll be able to log into their site and download the Thrive Product Manager plugin.
Once you’ve downloaded the Thrive Product Manager go to Plugins> Add new
To upload the plugin from the file you just downloaded from Thrive Themes go to plugins> Add New and click on the ‘Upload Plugin’ button and browse to the file.
Next click on the ‘Install Now’ button
Then click the ‘Activate Plugin’ button
You should now see that you have the Product Manager showing on the left-hand menu.
Click on the ‘Log into my account’ button, this will automatically connect your site to your Thrive Themes account.
Install Thrive Theme Builder, Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads
Next you are going to install Thrive Theme Builder, Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads.
To do this simply check the ‘Install product’ boxes for both Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect. For the Theme Builder, check the ‘License’ box for the ‘ShapeShift’ theme under Thrive Theme Builder Themes.
Finally, click the ‘Install and License selected products’ button.
The reason you are not installing all of the Thrive Themes plugins at this point is the same reason you should delete all the built-in plugins to start with; the less plugins you have, the quicker your site responds and serves up your content to your visitors.
To keep your site quick and responsive, for the moment these are the only Thrive Themes plugins that you will need. Later on once your site becomes more establishined you can install the additional plugins as and when necessary.
Tidy up Built-In Themes
Now you have the Thrive Theme installed, it’s best to delete any other themes that got installed by default when you installed WordPress.
Again, this is to keep your site clean and quick!
To do this go to appearance at the left-hand side and click on themes
You should see that the Thrive Theme Builder is installed and activated and that there are several other themes installed
To delete the other themes click onto each theme and then click the delete button in the bottom right-hand corner.
When you’ve deleted all of the additional themes it will then just show the Thrive Theme Builder
Now that you have the Theme installed go to your home page and you should already start to see that it looks a little bit different.
Congratulations! You now have the core components installed and configured to start setting up your niche site.
Continue to the next article in the series that will guide you on exactly how to set up the site to make sure it is optimised to get you ranking well in Google and bringing in lots of visitors!