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WordPress

Customizing Themes in WordPress

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Depending upon the theme that you use, you’re going to have a certain amount of customization that’s built into it. So you can make small changes, customize it, and make it look your own.

Optimizing

This is currently what the theme I’m using looks like. First of all, you’ll notice it just has text there in the header, as well as this image that came in from the theme itself that I probably want to replace.

Let’s take a look at this. I’ll go back to my Dashboard, and I can go into Customize since I just installed it—but I can hover at any time over Appearance and go down to Customize. Click on that, and there’s my list of choices.

Not every theme is going to have all of these choices. Some will have fewer, some will have more, and they won’t necessarily all be the same. There will be certain things that are similar.

For example, Site Identity. That’s the site title and tagline. Hopefully, you’ve seen this at least twice before—once when we were installing, and once in our General Settings

Of course, we can change this at any time. This is great for our SEO data. Right now, that’s showing up here because I haven’t replaced the logo yet.

I can do this—it’s not in my Media Library, so I’m going to upload it. There’s my logo. I’ll choose that image. Now it previews what the logo will look like in my site.

I can keep working, or publish this if I want. I’m going to publish this. Go back—there it is on my website. I’ll refresh, and there’s a change.

We have several different changes. One of our options is the ability to change a header image; we can work on our menus and widget through here (if you’ve seen that from earlier videos). My homepage settings— those are my Reading Settings (again, from a previous video). Most of these choices will allow us to have additional CSS. What that means is if you or someone that you hire know CSS, you can make small changes to your theme without having to find a new theme because this theme is only 90% of what you want. A lot of people will pick a free theme and make slight changes to it by creating additional CSS. That CSS is separate from the theme, so that you can get rid of it—it doesn’t affect the theme. Also, if the theme gets updated, it doesn’t affect your additional CSS.

One of the other features that you might want to use is a site icon. That’s the icon that shows up in the Title Bar of your browser. I’m going to upload a file again. I’ll select that. The thing about this is, it has to be a square image, and it has to be a specific size: 512 pixels wide and tall.

You’ll notice it shows up here in my Title Bar. Again, I’ll publish this and refresh it. Now, it replaces the generic icon of the browser with an icon from my logo. You’ll notice a lot of companies do that.

One of the things that you don’t see an option for is typography. You don’t have a choice of fonts. You’re going to find a couple of different things—as I said earlier, different themes are going to have different customization choices. If you love this theme, but don’t like the fonts used, that’s when you might want to start looking at plugins.

This is how we customize the themes that we’re using in WordPress.

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