Hi. I am building a blog and would like to split my blog’s web page into two with the following layout:
- Display blog articles on the left part of the page
- Display a sign-up form on the right part of the page
- Display the list of latest posts below the sign-up form on the right part of the page
- Display an horizontal ad just above a blog article
Any idea where I can get a theme that has all of this? Or would I have to tweak an existing standard WP theme? Many thanks!
Building sites with WordPress is often less about finding the perfect theme, and more about finding the best plugins to accomplish what you want to do on your site.
Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t include an email newsletter service or an ad network. This is by design. WordPress is a platform, not an all-in-one solution. WordPress provides the underlying architecture that enables you to build a website that integrates with just about any type of service you can imagine.
Going one step further, most WordPress themes are created by third-party developers. As such, they support the default functions and features of WordPress. You won’t find a theme that includes an email newsletter signup form or displays ads. That’s not their job.
Email newsletters and ad networks are powered by companies that specialize in those services. So, the best practice is generally to choose the company or service you want to use, then integrate that service with your site.
With that as background, let’s tackle what you want to accomplish with your site.
You can do everything you described above with just about any theme that supports a two-column layout. In other words, any of the themes from the the theme companies we recommend will suffice.
Any theme that support a two-column layout will enable you to display blog articles on the left-hand side of the page, with a sidebar on the right-hand side. So, that item is easily accomplished.
To display a sign-up form in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll first need to find and install a plugin for the email newsletter service of your choosing. We use Mailchimp, but there are dozens of other email services from which to choose.
When you’ve signed up with the email service provider you want to use, the next step is to install a plugin to add a signup form widget to the sidebar of your site. So, if you signed up for Mailchimp, for example, you might install a plugin like Easy Forms for Mailchimp. After you install and activate that plugin, you’ll be able to add the signup form widget to your sidebar.
To display a list of the latest posts below your newly-added signup form, just add the Recent Posts widget to your sidebar. As a review, here’s how to add a widget to the sidebar of your site.
There are several ways to display a horizontal ad above a blog article, depending on where the ads are coming from. Google AdSense? Another 3rd-party ad network? Or are you selling ad space to sponsors, partners, or other entities who may be interested in advertising on your site? Or maybe you’re just running your own ads.
Once you’ve determined the source of your ads, you’ll need to install and activate a plugin to insert and manage ads on your site. The Advanced Ads Pro Plugin is a powerful and easy-to-use ad plugin for WordPress.
Our good friend, BobWP, has written a helpful article on how to install and use the Advanced Ads Pro Plugin.
As I stated at the beginning of this reply, building sites with WordPress is often less about finding the perfect theme, and more about finding the best third-party services and plugins to accomplish what you want to do on your site.
I hope this helps point you in the right direction!
Thank you for such a clear and complete reply!
I’ve printed it out & pinned it to my ideas board !