The Ghacks WordPress theme is a free theme that everyone can download and use on his blog. The theme is optimized for SEO and monetization and could raise the income and exposure of your blog tremendously.
Everything was done to implement plugins as flawlessly as possible. All plugins that I recommend can just be activated in WordPress and the theme displays them automatically without user interaction or code editing.
The only request that I have is that you keep the Ghacks link in the footer intact. If you remove it you have to use another theme.
Download the theme here and make sure you read the instructions below.
You only need to change three elements of the site to customize it. The first is of course to remove the ghacks logo and replace it with a logo of your site. To do that you go to /wp-content/themes/Ghacks2/images/logo/ and replace the file ghacksheaderlong.jpg with an image of your choice. Make sure you keep the right size which is a width of 1000 and a height of 142.
The other change is the about text in the sidebar. To change that open the file sidebar.php in /wp-content/themes/Ghacks2/ and search for About Sitename. Change this heading and edit the text just below that line as well to reflect your site.
The last one changes the header navigation. You surely want to add links to your site there which means that you have to open the file header.php in /wp-content/themes/Ghacks2/ and look for the phrase "auto page navigator". The menu entries start below that line. Simply edit the url and the description. If you have problems doing that let me know and I explain it in detail.
Several plugins have been already implemented in the theme which means that you simply have to install the plugin in WordPress and activate it. There is no code editing involved if you like the way the plugins are played in the theme.
I list all plugins with a short explanation and link to the developer for easier implementation.
- Adsense Paster - The easiest way to add Adsense to your blog. Download the plugin from the website above and ftp it into your wordpress plugin directory. After that you simply create the code on the Google Adsense website and paste that code into the ads_0.php file that resides in the plugin directory. Once you have done that activate the plugin in WordPress and watch as the ads appear on the top left of your articles.
- Advanced Search Lite - If you want to enable site search you need this plugin. As usual, just download the plugin from the above website, ftp it to your plugin directory and activate it in your WordPress plugin administration.
- CSS Compress - Compresses the css file which speeds up browsing for your visitors and saves bandwidth. As usual, download, ftp and activate in WordPress. No additional work involved.
- Head Meta Description - Takes an excerpt from the first paragraph and adds it as the meta description.
- My Avatars - If you want to display avatars next to the comments than you need to download and activate this plugin.
- Optimal Title - probably the most important plugin for search engine rankings. Just install and activate.
- Simple Tagging - used to tag posts, display related posts and keywords to the meta tags. Just install and activate again.
- Spam Karma - the antispam plugin that I'm using. If you use another plugin keep using it, don't think that makes much of a difference.
- Subscribe to Comments - Gives your visitors the option to subscribe to comments to receive an email whenever a new comment appears in the article.
- Text Link Ads Plugin - If you want to use text link ads on your blog you should download and install the text links wordpress plugin. Just download and activate the plugin, it will be automatically displayed in the sidebar.
- WP Cache - If you have a high traffic blog you need this plugin which caches pages for a certain amount of time reducing database load immensely. You need to turn of GZip compression in your options though to be able to use this plugin.
- Page Navi - Uses numbers instead of previous and next in the page navigation. Just activate the plugin, everything else is set.
- Dropdown Cats - Displays the categories in a neat dropdown menu in the sidebar.
I'm recommending a handful of advertisements that work best for my blog and will most likely perform as good on your website. I provide links to every advertiser where you can signup if you are not already a member there. I will explain exactly how the advertisements will be added to the theme, this is just a matter of seconds normally.
- Google Adsense - I earn more than 50% of my earnings each month from Google Adsense. This one is the definite number one money maker for most blogs. Take a look at the Adsense Plaster plugin to know how to implement the code in your blog.
The best working settings for me are the following:
Large Rectangle,title color the same as the link color of your blog, text color black, url color black, no border, take a look at the picture below which shows how to set it up in Adsense.
- Text Link Ads - great way for blogs with low traffic levels to earn some money. See the text link ads plugin for implementation.