My Wordpress Looks Like Trashpress


I'm just trying to design a basic site for the my business but it comes out looking like trash.  I currently have it offline to avoid embarrassment / loss of client confidence.

Here's a good Wordpress that is somewhat similar to what I want to do:

I don't know how much work that site took but it seems pretty straight forward.  Can anyone recommend a tutorial or offer advice for starting out?  It's not the content of the web site that's a problem; rather, it's actually using the software.
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Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
It's kind of hard to give you specific advice without knowing what is screwed up :)

There are a ton of "how to create a Wordpress theme" tutorials out there for the Googling.  Start with this one:

and if you have more specific questions, ask.

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epichero22Author Commented:
Well, is there a more introductory tutorial that will be me familiarized with the GUI portion of WP?  I'm not quite that comfortable writing code.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
>> Well, is there a more introductory tutorial that will be me familiarized with the GUI portion of WP?  I'm
>> not quite that comfortable writing code.

Again, there are tons but learning the GUI will help you to manage content and not so much the design.

is the best intro to things.  But if you want to create a site that mimics the link above, you need to find a theme that supports what you want to do.  Based on cursory look at that site, they are using a custom theme so you are going to have to find one that mimics it and then customize it to match what you have in mind.

Here's a couple of good ones from WooThemes that are pretty close:
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epichero22Author Commented:
Haven't gotten around to the WooThemes, but tried a few themes built-into the wordpress.  

How do I get rid of the "search" box, RSS feeds, "Leave a reply" controls?
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
>> How do I get rid of the "search" box

Manually edit the theme files to remove it.  It will probably be in header.php and look something like this:

<?php get_search_form( $echo ); ?>

>>, RSS feeds,

Look in header.php for something like this: echo get_bloginfo_rss('rss2_url') and remove.

>> "Leave a reply" controls?

If you disable comments on all posts and pages those should go away if the theme is well-coded.

epichero22Author Commented:
I want to close this question but I have something else I need to ask:

How can I adjust / create rows and columns on my page, is that done in the style sheet?  
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
What, like a table?  You can switch to the HTML view and just add table code.

The short answer is you need to change both the CSS and probably the base HTML of your theme's page template to get the effect you want.  The longer answer involves knowing the difference between posts and pages in themes and which files to change.

Perhaps the better answer is to look for a plugin that adds shortcodes to allow you the flexibility you are looking for.  I'm not sure what that flexibility is, though.
epichero22Author Commented:
Excuse my venting, but:

I was hoping it could be as simple as creating a table like you do in any word processor and being setting properties like border style, cell width, and contents.   Take a look at how this person's web is set up (which I've shown as an example in another question):

I would like to know what's going on behind the scenes, like for example, it looks like there's a row at the top for the banner.  Then two columns on each side that each are divided into their own respective cells.  Is that an HTML table?

Also, how does he get the mouse-over animation on the top menu?  Where does he specify what sub menus it drops to and their respective properties and behaviors?

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
Okay, now I understand.

All of that stuff is set in your theme files.  The row at the top is most likely the header.php and was written to support a banner.

The two column content layout is not a table, but done using left/right floated divs to create the columns.  The "rows" you see are also divs that are generated by WordPress automatically to display the desired content.

The stuff in the left column are probably his most recent Posts displayed automatically in descending order.  You tell WordPress that's what you want in Settings | Reading.  The right column are various Widgets which are placed and controlled from Appearance | Widgets and are probably a mix of standard widgets, the free text widget, and widgets created via plugins.

The animation and menu options are set in one of two ways.  Some older themes automatically use Pages to generate the menu and will do the drop down structure based on how you set Pages to be children of other Pages.  Modern themes should support WordPress Menus (Appearance | Menus) which lets you build a menu bar via dragging and dropping page titles.

The good news is that everything you see on the linked page is pretty vanilla functionality for WordPress and should be supported by any theme that works with WordPress 3.0 or higher.
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