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How to Customize Your Wordpress Theme?

Published on 2/27/2011 by

Now that you’ve installed your new Wordpress theme, it’s time to make a few alterations to the basic theme design that will help to set your blog apart from the rest of the Internet.  Unless your Wordpress theme was designed especially for your domain, there are likely other bloggers out there using the very same theme as you, so you’ll want to give your blog a unique look. How can you do that?

Customize the header

The header image is the graphics file at the very top of your blog.  The header image may be a logo, picture, block of color or a combination of the three. 

Import the header image into your favorite graphics editor and plan out how you’ll rework the image to give your website a look all its own.   You may wish to:

  • Add a profile picture of yourself.
  • Design a logo.
  • Add a tagline or your company slogan.
  • Create a background image.
  • Write out your contact details.
  • Change the color scheme.

The header will be the first thing that your visitors see when arriving at your domain, so you’ll really want to make it sing!

Create a gravatar

Wordpress comes with a gravatar called mystery man, which is basically the outline of a head that shows up each time you make a comment on your blog.  A big part of getting noticed online is being able to set yourself apart from the crowd.  One way to do this is to design a custom gravatar and register it, along with your email address, at Gravatar.com.  Once you’ve done that, each time you make a comment on any blog across the Internet using the email address you’ve registered, your custom image will show up along with your comment.  This is an excellent way to help brand yourself and your domain name.

Custom gravatars may be your picture, logo or a design you’ve created. 

Work on your sidebars

Wordpress widgets make simple business of customizing the sidebar of your blog.  To access the widget area of your Wordpress blog, go to dashboard>appearance>widgets.  From here can manually drag and drop various widgets to and from your sidebar, like:

  • Contact details.
  • Business hours.
  • Email newsletter subscriptions sign-up area.
  • Social media icons.
  • Popular posts.
  • Most recent posts.
  • Popular comments.

Your sidebar is another area of your blog that is prime real estate, so be sure to put your most important information in that area.

Work on your about us page

In order to make a connection with your readers you’ll need to share some of yourself with them.  The about ussection of your blog is a great place to do this.  Be as detailed as you can in explaining who you are, why you’re writing, and what you’re all about.  Don’t be shy!  People want to know who they’re listening to.

These are a few basic steps you can take to personalize your Wordpress theme.  As you work more with your blog, you may also wish to:

  • Change the default footer.
  • Customize the 404 page.
  • Add social media streams.
  • Organize your archives.
  • Change the background image.
  • Create a custom favicon.
  • Add custom bullets.

There’s no limit to the amount of changes you can make to your theme, so play away until you find a look that reflects well on your blog’s theme and you.