Customizing WordPress to fit what your company needs may seem like a daunting task. It might be because of all the tools used to customize and the options to add new features. You could also be telling yourself that you need to know coding language to achieve the image of the website you have in your head. Although these overwhelming feelings are normal, it is time to take the next step. Overcome these WordPress fears and make your website exactly how you want it.
WordPress is a website builder that can help translate the personality of your brand over to your website. Your website has an impact on your brand. You can tweak an already existing website or build your own. Whatever you choose, WordPress is a commonly used website. It can be used by anyone with all levels of experience from beginner to expert. In fact, WordPress is the number one website builder. That is why 40% of websites are run through it. That’s a lot of websites! It makes it easy to learn how to customize and make your website your own.
How to Customize WordPress
If you are wanting to get the most out of WordPress, knowing what you can customize can save you time. If you are wanting to customize your WordPress account, with the right tools, you can make it happen. WordPress is very user-friendly. Changing different parts to fit your brand can be done easily once you know the basics.
Customize Screen Options
By default, your WordPress screen settings can seem like a lot is going on. You can change how this appears by going to “screen options” at the top of your dashboard. You can then decide what widgets you want to appear by checking the boxes. After selecting the widgets you want to appear, your dashboard should look refreshing. You can move around the boxes and stack them vertically or put them in a column. However you prefer to look at your page, you can make it look the way you want.
Add Your Logo
If you have a logo, you will want to add it. This is a part of your branding process to get people to recognize where they are. Under “customize” you can edit your header. There will be a selection where you can add your logo. This will appear as the icon for the tab of your website.
A theme is the design or layout of your website. By having a theme, you can customize it. By default, your website comes with a theme. You might like it and want to change little features about it, or you might want a totally new one. If you want a new theme you have several options:
- Select a theme from the WordPress theme directory
- Download a third-party theme
- Create your own
Whatever option you choose, you can add customizations to all of them. Don’t worry, when you switch your theme, all your content is still there. This includes your images, posts, and pages. If you have customized menus, widgets, or CSS, it is always a good idea to check those when switching your themes.
If you are wanting to start with small customization changes, these little effects can make a big difference.
- Change colors and fonts
- Use different page layouts (if available)
- Change the header and footers
- Select another theme from WordPress
You can find where to change these aspects of your website in the Customizer on your WordPress admin bar. Once you start playing around with your theme, you might feel that the theme doesn’t do what you want. If you have tried tweaking the colors and layouts of the theme and it still isn’t what you want, think about adding some different elements to your website. If you are wanting to go beyond the basics, there are many ways to advance how you customize your WordPress Theme.
How to Customize a WordPress Theme
When you customize a WordPress theme there are a variety of routes you can take to achieve the vision you have in your head. No matter what route you take, to start customizing your website you will need to be logged in to your WordPress account when you visit your website. After making sure you are logged in, you will be able to edit your site.
You might be able to change your website to what you want in the Customizer. You are given a variety of options to be able to tweak the theme. By clicking customize in the admin bar and then selecting appearance, you can then start to customize your theme. Different themes have different features. This means if you found the right theme, but not all the qualities you like, you can change some of those qualities by using the Customizer.
Install a Plugin
A plugin allows for more functionality to be brought into your website. These can include features like adding social media buttons, navigation menus, or contact forms to your website. Plugins won’t change the overall design of your website. Don’t install a plugin if you are looking for the design to change. Unfortunately, plugins can stuff up your website, making it run slower than it should. If you are looking for an all-in-one plugin, consider using a page builder. WP Page Builder is a plugin that can add a lot of functionality to your website. It has tools that include:
- The ability to add a variety of features to your website with a simple to use “drag and drop” page builder
- Able to edit in real-time
- It won’t clog up your website to make it slower
- Includes many add-ons like video pop-ups, forms, or feature boxes
These are themes that have the basics taken care of for you. To use it and make the theme your own, you can add child themes to your website. The framework themes can help establish your own style. This theme is like building a house. It has the structure done, but the child themes make the website special. Although frameworks might be difficult for the average user, they can be a great way to build your website. It allows you to add personality or change as your brand grows because of interchangeable child themes. It is best to talk with people who know what they are doing if you are wanting to use this method. If you already have a website set up and are wanting to relook at its setup, you can consider using this for updating your website.
Under the appearance tab, you will find the theme editor. Theme editor allows you to go directly into the coding of your website. This is something only developers should touch. We recommend you stay away from trying to edit or paste code here. You can crash your website if done incorrectly. Your changes also don’t automatically save. Even if you know how to write code, be careful with how you use this feature. WordPress even gives a warning before entering this part of editing your website.
Editing Code Directly
If you know coding language, then you have the most control over how your website can be customized. With coding, you can direct exactly how your website looks. Be careful with this one, because even though you have the most control, it is also the riskiest. If you made your own website without using a third-party theme, feel free to edit. Otherwise, if you are wanting to edit a third-party theme, consider using a child theme so you don’t lose changes next time you update your theme. If some of these words are new to you, don’t play around with copying other coding and trying to place it on your website. You can still achieve the look you want with other kinds of features.
However you want to add customization to your website, Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website to be user-friendly. Increasing SEO gives your brand more attention because you want your website to rank high on result pages. Having good SEO allows your website to climb search engine results pages. To make sure your website is user-friendly, you can add menus that help users better navigate around your website. You might also check your page speed and other on-page SEO.
Start Building the Website of Your Dreams!
Do you have a vision in your head, but don’t know how to get there? SEO Design Chicago can help your vision become a reality. If you’re looking for a helping hand and want to be fully trained on WordPress we can help guide you. We also have a team of experts that can build your website for you. No matter what you choose, we want your business to be successful. We would love to be a part of your journey.
- Can Customizer edit any theme?
- How do you use a child theme?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress?
- How to get my theme to look like the demo?
- How to use WP Page Builder?