How to customize WordPress themes?

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WordPress themes are the backbones of your websites, right? I mean how your website looks are one of the most important metrics you’d come across. Cause at the end of the day, “User Experience” is what gets you ranked. And that you can solve by knowing How to customize WordPress themes.

I’m not saying that customizing your WordPress themes would get you on the top of Google search results. But yeah they would improve your site’s user experience, which in turn will affect, even if a little, to boost your SERP rankings.

So that’s the reason I’m writing this piece to show you the process of customizing WordPress themes, and explain to you how to edit a WordPress theme. If you are confused about WordPress Themes and what theme you should use, see this post telling you a way to choose the best WordPress Theme.

But before that, let me walk you through some basics on the topic.

What are WordPress Themes:-

WordPress themes are the layouts, the design of your website, coded primarily with PHP in order to enhance or modify the look and feel of your websites.

Now there are two basic kinds of themes:-

  • Parent Themes.
  • Child Themes.

Parent themes are the basic framework, on which the child themes are built. Having a parent theme is specifically beneficial as it allows you to modify your child theme, without the need to make any serious changes to the parent theme.

The child theme can be edited or modified by you, and you don’t need to modify the Parent theme for it, what this does is if something goes wrong, you don’t have to be scared of loosing the layout completely, because you’ll only be modifying the child theme and not the parent theme.

Also the child theme let’s you modify the “looks” of the theme, without compromising on  the other factors of the theme. Like the SEO/ Speed/ Compatibility etc So yeah having a Parent-child theme framework is beneficial. Also take a look at installing Tumblr Theme for Tumblr Blog.

How to Customize WordPress Themes:-

Okay so by now you know how to choose the best WordPress themes, and also what they are, right? Let’s get down to the fun part, the part where I explain to you how to customize WordPress themes.

Most WordPress themes, come built-in with the customizer. What these means is, you don’t need to get into codes or anything to know how to edit WordPress theme. Instead you can do it directly from the dashboard.

So login to your Dashboard, and click over Appearances> Customize button

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This would open up the theme customizer.

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Now you can customize your WordPress theme from here. All the themes would have a similar layout. Some might have a slightly different options set, meaning the header might be placed inside another option or something, but this is the basic process. It’s always the same.

The Site Identity is what let’s you customize, change, edit the Site Title, Descriptions, and Favicons. (Keep in mind, Favicons are not the same thing as “logos”!)

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Once you click on it, you’ll be greeted with the simple options of changing the most basic information about the website.

The Header option comes next. This is what let’s you change the website’s logo, and Description of the header, in short anything that appears in the header can be customized from here. It’s pretty straightforward, you just upload your logo, and click save.

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The next is the Layout option. Keep in mind that the contents of this option might vary according to your theme. The layout option will always be there, but maybe the supported layouts might vary.

But the basics remain the same, you click on the layout options, and it’ll let you choose from the available layouts for your website.

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Social options too is an “optional” option! Means it might or might not be present, but if it is present, it’s what let’s you add your Social media profiles to the website. Like your Facebook Fan page, Google Plus profile etc.

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So that’s it, just keep clicking the options and they would let you customize your WordPress theme as you wish.

Editing WordPress Themes From The Source Code:

Unless you’ve atleast some experience with PHP and HTML, I recommend you stick to the above method to customize your WordPress themes. But if you do have the experience, I’ll give you a basic insight into the primary files you might want to edit to create your own CHILD THEME!, you can also check out this review on generatepress.

Yeah that’s possible! And it’s not extremely hard!

Files You’re Would Have to Edit:-

  • functions.php
  • Style.css

Once those files are edited, you might want to get your hands on the theme files. The primary theme files, like the index.php, header.php and all the rest of the files.

I can’t “teach” you how to customize a theme from the source codes, but I can show you how to edit those files.

Go to your Dashboard > Editor.

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And on the right side, you’d see all the files listed neatly. You just have to click on the file you want to edit, simple as that.

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Once you click on it, it would open up in the editor at the center of the screen. And this is where you can customize the theme based on your coding and creativity skills.

Final Words:-

So that’s it folks on How to customize WordPress themes, I’d recommend you to stick with the in-built customizer if you’re not a pro level WordPress Dev.

Or if you want to try your hands at the source-code editing, I’d suggest you take a WordPress Backup before proceeding. But the bottom-line is, that’s how solve editing WordPress themes problems! Not a lot of rocket science there, yeah WordPress is advanced enough. In case you are running out of PHP memory in WordPress, see this to increase php memory limit in WordPress.

I’d appreciate if you hit the share button. It might help someone out there.

evanderek

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