How to Configure Your WordPress Theme

October 29, 2013

Themes will allow you to create a unique look and feel for your blog or website. Themes in WordPress can be installed by uploading it to your site and selecting it. Which means you can change how your site looks with just a few clicks. However, our knowledge about themes shouldn’t end here. Developer, or not, we need to understand how it is structured, and how it works.

Installing a theme is pretty straightforward. Official WordPress themes can be downloaded in the admin area and custom built themes can be installed by uploading the zipped format in the Install themes tab of your admin area. However,  if you want your theme to be customized further, here are some things you can do:

Navigate to Appearance – Customize in your dashboard. Now you will get the customizer sidebar to the left of the page.

Most of the options here are pretty standard. Depending on the theme you’re using, there are different set of options available. For example, Since I’m using Sparkling theme, I can see the option ‘Sparkling option’ (refer above fig).

Site Identity – Edit Site title, Tagline, Favicon

Site Title and Site Tagline : While installing WordPress, it will ask to enter a title and tagline to complete the installation. Usually people enter the name of the site as title , and an advertising slogan as tagline. Site title and tagline plays an important role in capturing audience’s attention. So always use an eye catching title and tagline combination to improve SEO.

How to edit Site Title and Site Tagline :

  • Click on Site Identity menu.
  • Enter title and tagline . You can  preview changes on the right side. (Note: If you want to display only the site title or tagline, just leave the appropriate input box empty. )
  • Some themes don’t show the tagline unless you enable  it. You should see a checkbox underneath the Tagline. Simply check this box to show all the text in your header.
  • Once you’re happy Save & Publish your changes.

(Note: You can also edit website title and tagline through the general settings area. ).

After making changes, click on left arrow to go back to customize menu options.

How to add Site Icon or Favicon :

Site Icon is the tiny image that appear next to your website title in the browser. It helps your users identify your website.

  • To add Site icon,
  • simply click on the select file button and then upload the image you want to use as site icon.( Refer image under ‘How to edit site title & Tagline’). Before uploading create an image with recommended size.
  • Save and Publish your changes.

How to customize logo

  • Under Site Identity you can see select logo button. Click on it. Either select the image from your Media Library, or upload your image into the Media Library and select it. Like I said before upload an image close to recommended size. (Note: Some WordPress themes are more advanced and you may not see ‘select logo button’ under site identity. Instead find it under theme specific options, or header options).
  • When you add a company logo, It is better to hide site title & tagline from header area.
  • Save and Publish your changes.

How to Set your WordPress Homepage

  • Click on Home page settings
  • Go to section “Your homepage displays “. By default, WordPress will show your most recent blog posts on the homepage. 

How to create custom home page and blog page in worpress

How to set up Navigation Menu

Click on ‘Menus’ link on left.

You can see existing menu and menu items(if any) here. You can manage your menu here. But I would recommend you to manage your menu by going to Appearance > Menus from your dashboard.

Refer the article How to Set Up Navigation Menu in WordPress

Manage Widgets

Widgets allow you to add interactive features to your site. Click on ‘Widgets’ on left menu. You can see available widget areas in your theme and each widget items over here.

The number of widget areas depends on the theme you are using.  Alternately you can manage your widgets by going to Appearance > Widgets

Refer the article How to Use widgets in wordpress

Edit header text color and background color/ background Image

Edit your header text color and background colors here. Some advanced themes allow you to modify the colors of multiple areas across your design.