If you are working on WordPress, as most of us that develop websites are, you might be searching for information on how to customize my WordPress theme. So here you have it – How to customize my WordPress Theme.
WordPress is the platform used by 40 percent of all websites, so it is definitely the most popular content management platform to build a website on out there.
What Is A WordPress Theme?
A WordPress Theme is basically a collection of files that controls your website’s functionality and appearance. This includes fonts, colors, style, functionality of your menus, and how your audience navigates through your website to find your content.
There are literally thousands of Themes to choose from. Some of them are free and others are paid.
If starting out, start with something simple.
Never mess with the theme editor where the code is stored if you don’t know what you are doing, otherwise, you can break your theme. Luckily as a member of Wealthy Affiliate, if I do mess this part up, they are there to revert my site back to what it was before. This helps a great deal if you are not sure of all the technicalities of how a site works.
Make sure once you have chosen your theme, you must remember to keep it up to date. Your dashboard will alert you to any pending updates and it is as simple as clicking on a button.
How To Choose A WordPress Theme
Once you have installed your website and you are at the stage you need to choose your theme, it can be quite overwhelming as there are just so many of them.
Try going down the list and clicking on the heart icon of those you think will suit your website. The ones you favored will then be available to help you pick from a smaller list. You can also click on the demo button so that you can see what the website will look like with that theme loaded. The details button is also great if you want to see how popular a theme is or when it was last updated.
The great thing about WordPress themes is that if you get sick of them or want to change them up you can without damaging any of the content on your site.
Generate Press is a great theme to start off with as it is easy to use, and also has a lot of bells and whistles. It also loads quickly which is what you want for your website.
Once you have downloaded your theme, your website is live. You will need to go in and fix it up and customize it to suit your website.
If it is the first time you are getting into the website, you will need to delete the placemark content. There will usually be a random comment and welcome world post, but you can simply delete these.
How To Customize My WordPress Theme
The customizer makes it easy for us to change the look of our website without having to know anything about code. The more you practice ‘how to customize my WordPress theme’ here the better you will get.
You get to your theme customizer by clicking on appearance in your dashboard.
Whatever you do here will run throughout your entire website. So you can change themes without the worry of losing your content. Only the look will change according to how you customize it.
If you decide you want another theme, go to themes and you can install a new one easily and simply customize it to your taste.
Once you click on Customize you will get to a screen like this one below.
As you can see, on this particular website I am using the Heiro theme. To change it you simply click on change and choose a new one.
Most of the Themes have a list very similar to this one, and the more complicated ones may have one or two more. Generate Press is easier to navigate and has a few fewer than this one.
Everything you change will show on the right so you can see what it will look like on your website. It won’t change however unless you press Publish.
Let’s run down the list.
In general, you get to upload your logo for your website if you have one and upload your favicon, which is a small image that shows up when the user types in your website address.
There are also various others in this them like uploading your Apple Touch Icon, which I generally leave blank.
Here you can choose how you want your content to display on your website. Some people like to display the entire post and others just an excerpt with a read-more at the bottom.
This lets you choose whether or not you want to show featured images on your posts and pages.
Here you can change the font of both your headings and the text on your website. Here again, go for a font that is easy for your visitors to read.
This is where you name your site and add your tagline. As you type you can see on the right side what it is going to look like. It only goes live once you hit publish which also saves it. So you can really have fun experimenting and seeing how everything works and will look before making it live.
You have a choice to hide or display your tagline.
There is usually also a section here if you would like to create a logo. I normally use Canva to do this.
In this section, you can choose the color scheme for your website. This section can be fun to explore, but remember you need to make it easy on the eyes of your visitors, and simple and plain is normally the best choice here.
Here you can change the look of your menu and where you would like it situated on your site. These are the headings you see below the name of the website on this one, but you can put them anywhere you like on your own website. Some marketers like to put them down the side or at the bottom.
You can also customize what pages you would like to appear in your menu from this tab.
These are modular elements that enable you to add a specific feature to your website. Widgets can be added to different areas of a website, such as a website’s sidebars or footer areas, and they’re an inherent part of WordPress’ design and layout customizations.
Here you can choose whether you want your home page to have a list of blog posts or another home page of your choice.
I highly recommend you leave this section alone unless you know how to code.
Here are some other headings you may see, depending on your theme of choice.
The container lets you change the width of your website. Remember a narrower website is easier to read for your visitors.
This lets you change the colors of your website. Try not to make it too colorful, as this is confusing and busy for your visitors. Simple as a rule is always better.
Here you have some options to make your header wider across the whole website or more narrow over your content.
So now you can go ahead and experiment and hopefully this has helped you when it comes to ‘how to customize my WordPress Theme.’