While picking the first good looking theme that catches your eye and then adapting it to a normal website may seem like a brilliant idea at first – it can save you some time in the short term – it may end up weakening your website and hinder its development.
If you’re ready and willing to put your time, money, and effort into creating a top-notch product or service, shouldn’t you do the same for your website?
With a custom site, you can make sure your site stands out from the crowd – because it doesn’t have standard restrictions on how it looks and functions. Use a content management system (CMS (opens in new tab)) as in WordPress (opens in new tab)you can customize Storm and make your site second to none – or at least with no resemblance.
Although most WordPress themes (opens in new tab) With a built-in system that allows you to configure their layout, colors and overall design, there are several ways to do this. So, to learn how to customize a WordPress theme (and why you should do it in the first place), keep reading this guide.
What is a WordPress theme?
Simply put, just like a theme is a tool that can change the look of your website, WordPress themes are not only powered by WordPress, it is also the most popular CMS on the planet.
Therefore, a WordPress theme will change the styling of your website, including the color system, typography, layout, and overall visual design. In more technical terms, it’s a zipped folder that contains files that include a combination of page templates written in PHP and some CSS style sheets.
Once you have created your WordPress site (opens in new tab)you’ll notice that it installs the default theme – however, you can change it at any time.
Also, if you’ve built your website and then decide to change its theme, it’s smarter to customize the theme and adjust it to your liking than to switch it to a new theme, breaking your website or some of its elements.
How to choose a WordPress theme for your website
If you’re wondering how to choose the right theme for your WordPress site, here are some tips and tricks.
First, make sure you are using the correct version of WordPress (located at WordPress.org (opens in new tab)) instead of that WordPress.com (opens in new tab) Because it has severe limitations – for example, you can’t access every WordPress you’ve ever created.
Next, make sure the theme’s styling isn’t overly complicated – keep the design simple to make your site easy to use. Also, choose a theme that can be easily customized and unique – you may want a website that fits perfectly with your online projects.
Also, since you need a website that looks good on all devices (desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.), you must choose a WordPress theme with a responsive design.
To ensure lightning-fast performance of your future WordPress site (besides choosing a good web host (opens in new tab) provider), you’ll want lightweight when it comes to theme size.
Finally, since WordPress is known for having a ton of powerful plugins, from search engine optimization (SEO) to web security, it’s wise to have themes that are compatible with the plugins you plan to use.
How to customize WordPress themes?
You can customize your WordPress theme in a number of ways, which may vary depending on the theme you use. Also, if you add plugins to your website, you’ll get more customization options.
However, most WordPress themes come with a built-in system that will make this process as easy as possible – so no need to work through lines of code – that is, unless you want to.
Below are the three most common methods you can use to customize your website, two of which are very easy to start.
Customize WordPress Themes with Visual Composer
Customize your WordPress theme with WordPress’ free drag-and-drop website builder (opens in new tab) Known as Visual Composer is probably the most efficient method, as it offers a wide variety of customization options – including themes.
It leverages an intuitive, user-friendly user interface (UI) and drag-and-drop functionality to allow you to build beautiful websites without technical skills. You just download Visual Composer and integrate it into the theme you already use and start changing everything you want.
While it’s one of the most beginner-friendly website builders we’ve seen, if you happen to get stuck somewhere, Visual Composer’s official website has plenty of step-by-step guides.
It’s also compatible with other plugins and offers some great features like a theme builder – so you can create your custom theme from scratch.
Customize WordPress themes with the theme editor
If you’re tech-savvy and want to show off your coding skills, you might want to use the theme editor to customize your WordPress theme. It lets you open files from all installed themes and lets you tweak the theme’s code conveniently from the dashboard.
First, go to your WordPress dashboard and find the “Appearance” button in the left drop-down menu. Here you can edit the theme’s style.css (appearance) and functions.php (its features and functions) files. You can also add custom CSS, which you can further edit via the built-in CSS editor – you can see a live preview of all changes.
We should note that changes made in the original theme file contain several serious risks: once a third-party provider updates it, you may accidentally break your site or lose your theme. Even WordPress itself will warn you that problems may arise if you choose to use its theme editor.
Customize WordPress themes with Theme Customizer
If the theme you choose doesn’t support full site editing, you can still use WordPress’ legacy theme customizer. This is the easiest way to make minor (but possibly major) changes to the theme you’re using.
The range of customization options varies by theme, as all options are added by the theme authors themselves.
To make these changes, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Appearance” option in the drop-down menu on the left. Then select the “Customize” button and wait to be taken to the theme customizer where you can adjust the theme.
When you’re done, don’t forget to click the “Save and Publish” button before leaving the page.
If you’re a newbie, your safest bet is to opt for the built-in theme customizer, or Visual Composer if you’re feeling extra brave today. Meanwhile, tech-savvy users can view the source code – however, nothing should be changed without careful consideration.
Also, remember to customize your WordPress theme in an easy way – visitors to this site will love it.