Performancing Metrics

Ways To Customize A WordPress Theme

Repost This

A screenshot of the default WordPress theme.

WordPress has rapidly become one of the most popular content management systems on the web. This has a number of advantages for users – the main one being rapid development of both the core platform and additional themes and plugins – but also means many sites end up looking the same. Customizing a WordPress theme can be an easy way to make your site stand out. There are a number of methods for theme customization, with some requiring little or no knowledge of programming. Here are four of the most popular methods.

1. Editing CSS

The most direct way to customize a WordPress theme is to edit its underlying CSS code. You can change almost all appearance settings by editing a theme’s CSS file. It’s relatively straightforward to change the color scheme or font style by editing the relevant code in a theme’s “style.css” file. This file can be found by going to “Appearance->Editor->style.css.” While you shouldn’t edit code if you know nothing about CSS, some basic knowledge is all you need for minor customization. For example, if you want to change the background color of a theme, look for the following code: body { background-color:#FFFFFF;} By changing the color HEX, in this case #FFFFFF, you can customize the background of the theme to any color. While editing colors and fonts in CSS is simple, changing the structure or layout of a theme requires greater knowledge. Each element of a page, such as and can be assigned a class. In CSS a class can be assigned a width, height and variety of other characteristics. This makes it possible to edit the size, location and appearance of each page element using CSS.

2. Theme Control Panels

Many modern themes come with control panels that allow users to change basic settings, such as background color, without editing code directly. This is one of the easiest ways to customize a WordPress theme. The downside is that you’re limited to the options provided by the theme’s designer. Common options include background color, font and homepage layout. Advanced themes may provide options for customizing image sliders, advertising sections and background images. Layout can also sometimes be changed using a theme’s control panel. This is much easier than editing CSS code, and also allows you to assign layouts to different types of content.

3. Widgets

Widgets were originally only used in the sidebar of WordPress themes, but many modern themes now support widgets on the homepage. This is a simple way to customize the layout of your WordPress site without needing to edit code. Widgets are also often more flexible than a theme’s control panel. To access widget settings, go to “Appearance->Widgets” and look for a widgetized Homepage. Some themes come with specialized widgets for the homepage, such as custom sliders. There are also a huge range of free plugins that add new types of widgets to your homepage.

4. Masking a Theme

A new method for customizing a WordPress theme is to apply a “mask.” This technique has been introduced by ThemeMask, and makes it simple to edit the background, footer and header of a WordPress site. Masks use a CSS and jQuery overlay technique to add new images to a WordPress theme. Instead of a simple background color customization, these images are designed to completely change the look and feel of a WordPress site. One of the main benefits of masks is that none of the changes are permanent. Unlike editing CSS code directly, a mask can be added or removed in seconds, and existing content isn’t affected. It’s also easy to install masks, and you don’t need to know PHP or CSS to use them. Masks come in a variety of different designs, ranging from niche-specific imagery to more generic designs. The downside to masks is that each is designed for a specific theme. This has a number of benefits, including that masks can be specifically designed to complement the layout of a theme. It does, however, mean that a mask can’t be used with multiple themes.

Brian L. is a WordPress enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in developing WordPress thmes. Having been quietly working on a new project for 1 year, he is now back in the WordPress industry with a brand new ThemeMask products to be offered to the community.

Repost This

Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.


Comment with Your Facebook Account

Comments

  1. Darnell Jackson ) says: 4/26/2013

    This is a good start I would always encourage people to try and customize the header and footer and try to create a new page template so that you can make better landing pages.

    It makes a huge difference in conversions.

    Reply

  2. Brian L. says: 4/29/2013

    I agree. Most premium themes have built-in page templates specifically made for the landing page. A landing page normally has simple header design so it is not too difficult to make one to cater for your needs.

    Reply

  3. SFP says: 5/22/2013

    This is a good start I would always encourage people to try and customize the header and footer and try to create a new page template so that you can make better landing pages.

    It makes a huge difference in conversions.A landing page normally has simple header design so it is not too difficult to make one to cater for your needs.

    Reply

Content


Receive the top stories from BloggingPro and the Splashpress Media network every week, right in your Inbox. Relevant and timely content is yours for FREE!