So far on our journey to build the Niche Super-Site we have discussed:

Now that is done, and we are ready to make things look nice. Caroline covers the Prosense template — which is great. I really like Prosense because it is clean, easy to use, and ready for Adsense. I am not crazy about the way that Prosense jams ads into the top of single posts (a personal taste thing). So, I am actually going to recommend that you use the k2 template for two reasons:

  • I plan to take control of Adsense placement
  • K2 supports a banner graphic natively
  • It is widely used and well supported in general

Note that it is possible to take control of Adsense placement in Prosense easily with just a little php programming. I just really like K2. Note that the latter point above about wide distribution means that plugins often (but not always) play well with k2.

You can get the k2 theme from www.getk2.com (where else?).

COREL Paint Shop Pro Photo x2 EnglishAs I mentioned, one reason that I use k2 is built-in banner graphic support. What I recommend is that you search for a copy write-free image that is related to your niche. Once selected, size and crop the image to 950×200 pixels (the default size for k2). If you are a graphics guru, you can do some manipulation of the header with your tool of choice. For example, I use Paint Shop Pro to resize, crop and edit banner images. It's really nice and has lots of advanced features.  It's not the cheapest image software on the block, but it's not the most expensive either.

You can install the k2 theme by downloading it to your hard drive, uploading it to the wordpress/wp-content/themes directory and unzipping and installing (the latter from the WordPress admin interface.) The banner you create can be uploaded from the Presentation menu. As you can see on HistoryOfElvis.com, I have updated the banner to include a picture of Elvis. Nice and clean, it is my belief that little touches like this will set your site apart from all of this MFA (Made For Adsense) sites out there.

Once you have k2 installed with a banner graphic, you can drag some widgets to display comments, pages, posts and feeds into the rightmost column. I'll be reserving the middle column for ads (Adsense and Amazon for sure) and some affiliate links.

Tomorrow we discuss adding some plugins (including my favorite, phpBay).

See you then.

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