The refined theme is one of my favorites as far as feminine blog design goes. In fact, it’s the one I chose for my Ballen Blogger blog. I fell in love with it and decided to put a tutorial together to teach my blogging clients how to build a Lifestyle blog on WordPress using the Refined theme.
- Refined Lifestyle Blog
- Register a Doman Name
- Install WordPress
- Install Your Theme
- Refined Pro Theme
- Log Into WordPress
- Notice the WordPress Dashboard
- Remove Plugins
- Select Your Permalink Structure
- Set your General Settings
- Install The Theme
- Install The Plugins
- Ballen Blogger Favorites
- Blog Themes and Tutorials
Refined Lifestyle Blog
The Refined Blog System is a feminine design that would be great as a lifestyle blog, beauty blog, travel blog, or food blog. It features an SEO friendly design, comprehensive home page, ecommerce component to build a store, testimonials, social sharing tools and more.
Register a Doman Name
I register my domains at Godaddy. Choose a domain that is short and memorable if possible and choose a .com extension. If you ever decide to flip your domain or sell the domain, 2 words are more valuable as a general rule.
I suggest WP Engines Smart Plugin Manager upgrade with your hosting if you aren’t going to be in your website frequently to update your plugins. It’s easy to update, and bloggers forget.
You can also point your domain to your blog. Here is a video tutorial on this process.
Install Your Theme
Purchase The Refined theme. If you are going to build multiple websites or a web designer, you may want to look at the pro plus package valued at more than $1,700. It has the refined theme in the bundle. You can also purchase the refined theme on it’s one.
Refined Pro Theme
If you are an entrepreneur and ready to build a timeless, classic brand, Refined Pro is the perfect foundation for your business. Refined Pro allows you to beautifully showcase your photography, your content, and your productsÑwhile maintaining a simple, yet elegant, look. Includes the Genesis Framework
Includes the Refined Pro Theme
Unlimited Updates, Support & Sites
Access to Detailed …
Log Into WordPress
Your webhost will provide a unique link for you to log into. This is typically an address that looks like [yourwebsitename.com/wp-login]. You can change the password they gave you, but do make sure it’s a very secure password and that you save it. Check out Every Key for a single key that locks and provides passwords for everything from your computer to your phone to your house and to your car.
Notice the WordPress Dashboard
When you see the “At A Glance” message that WordPress provides offering a sample post, a comment preview, and a “dummy” page you’ll know that you have reached the WordPress dashboard. This is customizable. I’ll be honest and say I don’t do much with the dashboard myself. I’m usually finding what I need in the left or top column.
Find the word ‘Plugins’ in the left column. If your WordPress system came with any default Plugins other than the host plugin, you can go ahead and delete those. I’m going to advise Plugins for you based on your blogging goals. You’ll also gain Plugins in our Refined theme upload.
Plugins add functionality to your website. They are often free with premium upgrades. They also need updated on a regular basis as they can make your website vulnerable to hackers. I suggest WP Engines Smart Plugin Manager upgrade with your hosting if you aren’t going to be in your website frequently to update your plugins. It’s easy to update, and bloggers forget.
To remove a plugin, you can first deactivate it, and then delete it.
From the left hand column, find settings, then choose permalinks, then make sure post name is selected. This is the most popular choice today for short, simple, keyword friendly domain names. Once you set this, don’t change it.
Set your General Settings
- Site Title: 50-60 Characters. This is displayed on your blog usually in the header and is the website name shown on the search engines
- Tagline: This is sometimes displayed on a Website and by Google in the snippet on a search engine results page
- Timezone, Date, Domain Name etc. should all be filled in.
Install The Theme
- Upload the Genesis Framework first. In the left column, go to appearance -> themes -> Add New -> Upload Theme. Choose the .zip file without unpacking it. Once it uploads, click Activate
- Repeat this step with the .zip file containing the refined theme.
Install The Plugins
The Refined theme loads the following plugins. Some, you may keep if you think you’ll use them, others you can deactive and remove if you aren’t going to keep them. Remember, plugins can bloat your website and slow down the page speed so only use the ones you find valuable.
Genesis eNews Extended
This plugin provides the widget used throughout your website to gain subscribers. It works with your favorite email autoresponder mailchimp, convert kit, infusionsoft, aweber contstant contact and so forth. I use convertkit on my blogs and infusionosoft for my training company.
SIMPLE SOCIAL ICONS
Customize social icons that are displayed on your website. Choose the social profiles they link to and select from various colors and sizes. Change the alignment easily to display on your Genesis Child Theme.
Smash Balloon Instagram Feed
You can start off with the free Smash Balloon Instagram feed PlugIn or go to the Smash Balloon site and download the pro version. With the Smash Balloon Instagram feed, you can add an instagram feed anywhere on your website that allows for the widget or shortcode.
Ninja Forms is a very popular form tool for WordPress. While the original plugin is free, you’ll find upgrade features robust.
The upgraded Single Site provides:
- Layout & Styles
- Conditional Logic
- File Uploads
- Multi-Part Forms
- Integrations with your favorite email autoresponder
- The ability to accept payments with Paypal Express
- 20% off additional add ons
Soliloquy Responsive Slider
Soliloquy is a WordPress slider plugin that is very popular for adding sliders to a WordPress website. Soliloquy was designed to adapt to the workflow of WordPress users to reduce the bloat that is created by sliders. It’s optimized for speed and usability.
There is a free version and a pro version.
The pro version of Soliloquy slider includes powerful features like:
- Featured Content Slider – Create sliders based on blog posts, pages, products, testimonials, and any custom post type.
- WooCommerce Slider – Create beautiful product sliders for your WooCommerce store.
- Instagram Slider – Import images from Instagram into your WordPress slider.
- PDF Slider – Create responsive sliders from your presentation slides and other PDF files.
- Schedule Slides – Easily schedule both sliders and individual slides to be displayed at specific days and times.
Get the Soliloquy Plugin
Ballen Blogger Favorites
ConvertKit is a lead capture tool with an easy to use email funnel for follow up emails, and delivery of lead magnets. I personally tested AWeber, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Zoho, Infusionsoft, and KEAP and found Convert Kit to be the winner for simple subscriber based offers and emails.
With the ConvertKit WordPress plugin, you can add ConvertKit Forms to the bottom of any page or post, on your WordPress blog, without ever having to know code. Simply install the plugin, add your API key, and select a Form!
Social Snap allows you to install some extra sharing features when adding a new blog post. Before you hit publish, you can add a featured image for Pinterest, For Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter, add a social video, click to tweet, refresh old post and more. It’s definately a best practice to optimize your blogs for social sharing.
Blog Themes and Tutorials
- Marketing ToolsIn this guide, you’ll find almost any marketing tool you will need for growing your blog, website, or online store. You’ll find automation tools, posting tools, promotional tools, money-making tools, SEO tools and so much more.
- WordPress Tutorials
- Refined WordPress Theme Set Up – Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle Blog
- The Best Webinar Platforms
- SEO Content Writing Tutorial For Beginners