WordPress- Advanced theme customization

Going through the 20 or more wordpress sites that I have done recently, the most common way to get to the advanced theme options is appearance>(your theme name) ¬†options. This is usually right under appearance>menus. A couple of the themes instead have the name of the theme right in your admin bar on the left, for example the Mio ecommerce theme is right above appearance in the side bar. Although they are all different, they have most of the same functions, I’m going to go over some of the titles of these functions and what they do to your site.

Header-Here is where everything in the top section of your site will be. Most have either an image uploader or color background or both. It’s important if you want to put an image in the header, this is where you would upload it. Most times they will give you the dimensions that are recommended for the image so that it looks the best. Most header images span the width of the page. You should create the header image you want in photoshop or other image editing software and use the dimensions they recommend. ¬†Favicon is the little image next to your URL in the top bar of your browser, if you want to upload a favicon. Tagline or sitename would put whatever you want in the header as far as text, sometimes you might just want your title in text at the top. Logo is a great place to upload your logo, if you have one, so that it’s prominent right at the top. They sometimes give you color adjustments as well of the header, background or even the color and font of your tagline or site name.

 

Background image- If you want to upload a background image or texture to create a nice canvas for all your content to be on. Sometimes a color is just as nice, most times though it will just be around the outside of your content and not behind the actual words and images on your page.

Widgets- This is one of the most important settings in how your site will layout. They give you options on where you want widgets(these are the boxes on the side or below your content that you can put almost anything you want in). Whether you want sidebars on both sides or just left or just right. Widgets in the footer, sometimes they give you options for widgets in the header. It all depends on your theme. Just remember you can always change this setting if you want your widgets on the other side or no widgets at all and just a nice wide content page. Some themes let you decide which pages you want widgets on, if you want a homepage with sidebar widgets and blog posts without them you can do that in some themes. As a default when you create posts and pages they will all be set up to have the same sidebar widget locations. Later when I discuss page creation you will learn how to make each page set up different.

Colors- Most themes have some kind of color “arrangements” , the reason i say this is you can change colors but often times you might change content color and you cant see it because of the background color, so they give you color schemes or light and dark options that will adjust your text as well as the background. Colors in navigation is your menu bar, link color is your link text, text color is your words and many more options. If you dont know what it changes go ahead and change it and see what it does to your site, you can always change it back. Just take note of the previous color.

Menus- Some themes have multiple places that you can have your navigation menu enabled or disabled. If they have these options it would be here. When you go to appearance>menus it will give you options at the top as well for these menu locations and if you have made custom menus(which you should) it will let you select which menu to put in which location.

Social Media- If its important that you link your social media to your site you may want to do it in this fashion. Put in your facebook, twitter, google plus, instagram or whatever is hip at the time in this area and it will automatically put the icons on your site. If they arent where you want them or would like them in other locations I will show you in my Vital Widget blog coming soon on which plugin i recommend to accomplish this.

Slider- Some themes give you stock image slider options here. Instructions on how to enable the slider and size of images should be here. Again if you dont like the stock slider there are plugins galore to get this done as well. Seems like every site has a slider and its great for the aesthetics of your site.

Footer- This is where you change the default powered by wordpress or theme to your site if you choose. My site 2014. Also it may have some options about putting widgets here, or color schemes.

Others- Css-code additions, SEO-keyword help, Google analytics-if you have google analytics code put it here or….Head-custom code goes here, like google analytics code.

If you come across something and you dont know what it does just drop us a line we are always happy to answer questions. Mention your problem to us on twitter.com/evolvedesignweb or post at facebook.com/evolvewebdesign and we respond there as well.

We have been going through the stages one by one to get your site up and running of course you can skip any of these and come back or just play around yourself. We are just trying to go in an order that will help you establish the groundwork for your site and then build content and extras onto it so its ready to go. Next article will be on fine tuning your sites look before we start adding content. Menu creation and adding of items to the menu as well as the header image and logo vs color and sitename and tagline.