How To Customize a WordPress Theme.
If you’ve already chosen and installed your WordPress theme., the next step is to customize it and give it a unique look.
Customizing a WordPress theme involves several steps and tweaks, including using the customizer to change fonts. or colors.
If you are unfamiliar with the setup process, you can hire someone to do it for you. However, with a little tutorial, it’s easy to customize your WordPress theme yourself.
Should you customize a WordPress theme?
The theme you choose for your site determines the look of the site, including how the content is displayed.
If the theme fits everything you want for your website, you don’t need to customize it. However, there are a few things, like the logo, header, footer, and colors, that you can quickly change before launching your site.
For changes that are more about how your site will perform rather than its design, you can install a plugin. for additional functionality. However, you need to consider if you want to keep the same functionality in case you switch themes. in the future.
How to customize a WordPress theme
You can customize your WordPress theme using a theme customizer, theme editor, page builders or theme frameworks, using a child theme, or by editing your WordPress theme code.
How to customize your WordPress theme using the theme customizer.
The Theme Customizer is a WordPress feature that allows you to make simple, design-oriented changes to your website. It offers customization options such as fonts, colors for links or buttons, and more.
You can access the theme customizer by going to the appearance settings in the toolbar and choosing Customize. Or go to the admin panel and click the “Configure” link.
In the theme customizer, you can also add a logo, social media buttons, or edit the header and footer sections to change the design and layout of your site.
To add a logo, choose Appearance> Customize> Site Identity, and then choose Change Logo to insert your own logo.
You can also change the site icon (favicon) on the same screen by going to the Site Icon section just below the site title fields. Click Change Image to insert your own site icon.
Note. The customization options depend on which theme you are using.
How to customize your WordPress theme using the theme editor
The WordPress theme editor allows you to access and edit your theme files directly.
You are not advised to edit files in your theme, even if you know how to write CSS or PHP.. In fact, when you try to access the editor, WordPress will alert you to action due to the consequences of directly editing pages, some of which may be irrevocable.
Any changes to the theme editor that disrupt your site are not traceable and does not change the previous version of the theme file. Also, if you update your theme, you might lose any changes you made.
Better to use a staging site where you will test your site and a code editor to edit files on the live site.
How to customize your WordPress theme using the Page Builder plugin
With the page builder plug-in, you can customize your site’s design using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface. Page builders also provide the flexibility you need to quickly design and lay out pages.
Once you’ve installed the plugin in your theme, you can use the options available to customize your site to your liking.
You can use Elementor., a popular page builder that offers a drag-and-drop interface so you can edit your pages and posts while simultaneously previewing your changes in real time.
How to use the theme framework to customize your WordPress theme
Theme frameworks consist of a parent theme (framework) and various child themes that help you customize the theme to your liking.
A popular example of a theme framework is Divi.. This framework offers customization options and a drag and drop interface to help you redesign the child theme later on.
How to customize your WordPress theme by editing your theme code
If you have some programming knowledge and experience or are familiar with editing CSS or PHP., you can customize the theme by editing the theme code.
Before doing this, make sure you edit your code according to the WordPress coding standards. to avoid clutter on your site and ensure high-quality and consistent code.
If you write new code or make any changes to the theme, leave comments to help you remember what you did if you decide to work on the code again sometime in the future. These files include:
- A stylesheet, or style.css, which contains all the code used to style your site, including colors, fonts, layout, and more.
- A functions.php file containing code that registers functions such as widgets, featured images, and other theme elements that make things work in your theme. If you don’t know how to edit CSS or add code to your functions.php file, use the plugin. This way you won’t blindly add bad or messy code to your site.
- Theme template files are also part of your WordPress theme and they define the type of content that WordPress will display on a page, post type or archive.
Again, you need to be careful and know how to edit the theme template files, as making changes to them can break your site.
Test your changes on a staging site or local installation before editing on a production site. It is safer to test on a staging site to make sure everything is working before making changes to the live site.
Note. If you are unsure how to edit your theme code or cannot do it securely, use the customizer or make changes elsewhere in the admin panel.
How to customize a WordPress theme with a child theme.
If you are editing a custom theme related to your website, you can make changes directly to the theme. For third-party themes., creating a child theme ensures that you don’t lose the changes you made when you update the parent theme.
The child theme inherits the same functionality as your parent theme, making it ideal for testing changes without breaking the original theme.
- To create a child theme, go to wp-content / themes in your WordPress installation folder and create a new folder.
- Open Notepad or another text editor and paste the code as shown below to create the stylesheet, and then save the file in the child theme folder you created. Template: twenty seventeen tells WordPress that this is a child theme of your current theme, and the last line of code will import the main theme’s stylesheet into the child theme.
If you go back to your WordPress admin under Appearance> Themes, you will see the child theme you just created. Click the Activate button to start using the child theme to customize your site.
Create a unique WordPress theme
Customizing a WordPress theme is not that difficult if you are familiar with WordPress. However, some technical aspects like editing code can break your site, especially if you don’t know how.
When customizing your theme, remember to use version control to track changes., make the theme responsive., and make sure your changes don’t affect accessibility for people with disabilities.
Are there any other methods you use to customize your WordPress theme? Share with us in the comments.