(This article assumes you have a live WordPress website. Not quite there yet? That’s okay! We can get you up and running with WordPress Hosting.)
WordPress makes building a website as easy as possible. But, learning how to customize WordPress sites can take time, since it has so many features. The Dashboard interface is where the magic happens and we’re going to explain where and how to modify your site. So, follow along and get familiar with the tools included in WordPress. The next time you need to make changes to your Theme, you will already know what to do.
Using the Customizer
One of the most useful tools in the WordPress Dashboard is the Customize tool. This can be accessed by going to Appearance then Customize in the navigation menu. It is important to know that the list of options there will differ based on the Theme you are using. But, most will include options for changing your site identity, colors, menus, widgets, homepage, and CSS. Read this guide to familiarize yourself with the WordPress Customizer.
Widgets are an easy way to add new things to the sides of your website, also known as the sidebars. Add things such as Google maps, a calendar, audio files, images, or even text with a Widget. Keep in mind that the available widget sections are different on each Theme. So, if you are unable to add a Widget to the area, you may have to try a different Theme. The following guides will help you learn how to work with widgets in your WordPress site.
- Finding and Installing Widgets in WordPress
- Deactivating Widgets from the Sidebar in WordPress
- Removing the Sidebar Links/Widgets in WordPress
Modify the Stylesheet in the Theme Editor
Another way to override the look and style of a WordPress site is to make a “Child Theme”. Then, you can edit the Child Theme to make changes and leave the original Theme files intact. This is ideal for many situations since Theme updates or changes will not override the changes you made. So, create a child Theme and you can begin making changes to the look of your Theme.
If you are having a lot of trouble with the Theme, or it is simply not meeting your expectations you can always choose a different one. Since the tools available in the Customizer will differ based on the Theme, a different Theme may have the options you are looking for.
Now that you know how to customize WordPress Themes, go ahead and build that perfect website for your blog or business.