PLEASE NOTE: The Arc logo included in this theme is not an official logo copy. To use the logo, you must purchase it from The Arc. DO NOT USE THIS LOGO without paying THE Arc.

FREE WordPress Theme for Arc Chapters.

WordPress is FREE, and my theme is FREE. All you need to pay for is your domain name and web hosting. If you have someone on your staff who is web savvy, they can install WordPress and my WordPress Theme for Arc Chapters.

The Best Reason to WordPress

Once you have WordPress and a theme installed, ANYONE YOU DESIGNATE CAN UPDATE THE WEBSITE, anyone you want within your organization. You can allow only one person or two, or several. Any of those users can easily add content to the website WITHOUT KNOWING ANY CODING. It’s similar to composing an email. There are loads of FREE online tutorials available, many in video format. This site has a list of video tutorials for WordPress.

More Reasons to use WordPress

It’s the most popular CMS in use. A CMS is a Content Management System, allowing you to add content easily to your website, and WordPress will manage publishing it for you. WordPress is not just for blogs, it is used for all types of websites. We are referring to WordPress.org, not WordPress.com.

The FREE Arc theme includes the official Arc logo.  You can easily add the name of your Chapter, and a slogan underneath the Chapter name. The colors of this theme are coordinated with the national website, but in lighter shades. There is a custom 404 error page. There are several choices for page layouts available. There is a flexible multi layered drop down menu built in.

See it live, the Downriver Arc Chapter is using it. Or take a look at an alternate layout here.

Three Options to Get Started

  1. If you are already familiar with WordPress (or have someone on staff who is) just follow my Quick Guide below.
  2. If not, then you will need to learn all about WordPress, see my More Detailed Instructions, and of course, use Google search to answer any questions you have.
  3. Contact me to set it up for you, and customize, and for lessons on how to use the site.

Quick Guide

  • Purchase a domain name if you don’t already have one.
  • Purchase web hosting if you don’t already have it.
  • Install WordPress.
  • Install the Prototype theme.  You can find it here.
  • Download the Prototype for Arc theme here.
  • Install the Prototype for Arc theme into the themes folder in your hosting account.
  • Activate the Prototype for Arc theme.
  • Enter your Chapter name.
  • Enter your slogan.
  • Create your Pages.
  • Choose Categories.
  • Create your Posts, assign them to Categories.
  • Install whatever Plugins you need.
  • You are done !!!

More Detailed Instructions

  1. Purchase a domain name if you don’t already have one. I use Dotster.com. I’ve heard good things about Namecheap.com. Network Solutions is well known but charges about three times what everyone else charges. GoDaddy advertises heavily, but I’ve heard the founder & CEO of Godaddy kills elephants for fun on his vacation time. Seriously, Google it.
  2. Purchase web hosting if you don’t already have it.  You will need a WordPress friendly hosting company, preferably with C-panel and Fantastico. I use Hostgator. You can get a discount from them if you use my link, here.
  3. Once you have a hosting account, set the DNS for your domain name to the codes you get from the host.
  4. Install WordPress through Fantastico.
  5. Install the Prototype theme.  You can find it here.
  6. Download the WordPress Theme for Arc Chapters here, and install it, activate it.
  7. Enter your Chapter name, and tag line.
  8. Create a new user with Administrative capabilities. The name will show on the website as author for Posts, so don’t use a nickname here. Delete the admin user as a security precaution.
  9. Learn about Pages, Posts, and Categories. Learn the differences. Read all about it at WordPress.org, look under Docs, and it’s FREE.
  10. Create your Pages. I recommend no more than 5 to 7 Pages, and you should use short Page names. For example, About Us, Volunteer, Donate, Calendar, Contact Us.  Then go to Appearance, Menus to create the menu and show Page links.
  11. Create your Categories. Go to Appearance, Menus to create the menu and show Category links.
  12. Create your Posts, assign each Post to at least one Category.
  13. See below for recommended Plugins.

But I want photos on our Website

Yes, you’re right, websites do need photos. WordPress allows you to upload photos and insert them into each Page and post. I advise you to start taking digital photos at every opportunity and add them to your website.

About Plugins

Plugins offer more flexibility, additional functions, and they are FREE. Find them all at WordPress.org, under Extend/Plugins.

Essential Plugins

  • One Click Plugin Updater, allows you to add a Plugin by url. Find it here. Install this first.
  • WordPress Database Backup, do not skip this one. Get it here.
  • A contact form. This allows site visitors to send you an email without publishing your email address online. There are several choices.
    1. Clean Contact, download it here.
    2. Contact Form 7, get it here.
    3. Enhanced WP Contact Form here.
    4. Fast and Secure Contact Form, here.
    5. Contact Coldform is here.
  • A Mobile plugin, there are several to choose from. They allow your audience to see the site on cell phones and other hand held devices.
  • A Print plugin, allows site visitors to print an article from your website without wasting their printer ink on picytures or unclickable links. I like this one, WP-Print.

Not essential, just very nice enhancements

  • Widget Context. Allows you to choose what sidebar Widgets will show on Posts and Pages. Find it here.
  • A Flickr plugin, there are several to choose from. Use it for photos, then add the photos to your site. Or create slideshows, or a gallery of photos.
  • A social media plugin, there are several to choose from.
  • Google Fonts, so you can use fancy fonts, currently there are over 250 to choose from.