Thanks to purposes like WordPress, you now not must be a skilled developer to launch a great-looking, useful web site.

WP’s core is open-source and fully free to make use of, you’ve hundreds of plugins to select from that may add unimaginable performance to your website, and there are various themes providing every kind of designs.

However, utilizing a theme as-is gained’t minimize it if you wish to create one thing distinctive. That’s why you’re desirous about discovering out extra in regards to the customization choices WordPress themes offer you. Let’s see if we might help.

Table of Contents:

  • When Will You Need to Customize Your WordPress Theme?

  • Customizing a Theme Via the WordPress Dashboard

  • Editing Your Theme Files

  • Customizing Your WordPress Website through a Child Theme

  • Customizing Your WordPress Website With Page Builders and Frameworks

  • Conclusion

When Will You Need to Customize Your WordPress Theme?

Creating Content Management System (CMS) templates is a good teeth-cutting challenge for upcoming designers and builders making an attempt to construct a portfolio, so there’s no scarcity of free choices that look wonderful. If you’ve the funds for a premium theme, you’re downright spoiled for alternative.

However, with off-the-shelf designs, there’s a chance that two web sites may look just about equivalent, which isn’t superb. You’re unlikely to draw a base of returning prospects in case your website appears precisely the identical as your competitor’s. You need a singular design that stands out.

One manner to do that could be to create your individual customized theme. However, such a posh process is past the technical abilities of most WordPress customers. Even for many who can do it, it’s an excessive amount of work.

Creating a theme will not be a process you possibly can tick off and overlook about, both. You want to ensure it works properly with all new variations of the WordPress core and the plugins you utilize. This may quantity to loads of updating, debugging, and optimizing.

A extra smart strategy could be to take a ready-made theme and customise it.

But How do you go about that?

There are a number of choices.

Customizing a Theme Via the WordPress Dashboard

Developers know that web site house owners need distinctive designs, so themes often include fairly a couple of customization choices out of the field. You can entry them underneath the Appearance > Customize menu contained in the WordPress dashboard.

You’ll see your website’s homepage subsequent to a menu on the left containing all of the present theme’s customization choices.

Editing Your Theme Files

Your theme consists of recordsdata written primarily in PHP, CSS, and JavaScript. With free themes, you get full entry to the recordsdata, so if you understand the aforementioned programming languages, there’s nothing to cease you from modifying them straight, implementing new design options, or altering present ones.

The recordsdata can be found within the /wp-content/themes listing inside the web site’s doc root. You can edit them there, although WordPress offers you a good simpler choice – by the dashboard.

Go to Appearance > Theme Editor, and also you’ll have the ability to entry each file of each theme put in in your WordPress website. You don’t must download the recordsdata, entry them through the command line, or use a textual content editor. Everything you want is obtainable contained in the dashboard.


From the menu on the appropriate, you possibly can select which file you need to edit, and in the principle window, you see the precise code. Once you hit the Update File button, your modifications are saved on the server, and the code you’ve added is lively. Sounds fairly simple, however there are one or two issues it’s best to keep in mind.

For one, along with some fairly superior coding abilities, you additionally must have an excellent understanding of how WordPress themes work. They are likely to have a construction which will appear difficult to folks unfamiliar with it, so some analysis beforehand ought to positively assist.

In addition to this, you could need to create a full backup of your website earlier than you make any modifications to the theme’s recordsdata. Don’t overlook that your edits can be utilized instantly, and potential errors may lead to something from damaged design components and alignment points to downtime for the whole website. The skill to shortly restore issues again to regular is important.

Then, you want to take into consideration whether or not it’s best to make these modifications in any respect. When you first entry the Theme Editor within the WP dashboard, WordPress shows a popup warning you of the potential penalties of manually modifying your theme’s recordsdata.


It tells you that your edits may find yourself breaking your web site informs you that any modifications you make now could possibly be wiped by a possible theme replace sooner or later.

To keep away from dropping work, many website house owners merely don’t replace their personalized themes, however that is hardly one of the best ways to unravel the issue. Your theme is an integral a part of your web site, and you have to preserve it up to date always. If you don’t, you danger compromising the location’s efficiency and safety.

So, what’s the answer, then?


Customizing Your WordPress Website through a Child Theme

Experts advise that if you wish to customise an present WP theme, you’re higher off creating a toddler theme first after which modifying it as a substitute of the dad or mum one. But what precisely is a toddler theme?

A baby theme works with its dad or mum, a customary WordPress theme, to render the location on the customers’ shows. In our case, its goal is to comprise the customizations whereas leaving the underlying performance to the dad or mum.

A baby theme has two major recordsdata:

There are detailed on-line tutorials telling you what you want to put in these recordsdata to make the kid theme work with its dad or mum. With that accomplished, you can begin including template recordsdata along with your customizations.

When you’re accomplished, WordPress will use the modified template recordsdata out of your youngster theme and can solely fall again on the dad or mum for the performance.

This strategy implies that when the dad or mum theme’s builders launch an replace, you’ll nonetheless get the most recent performance- and security-enhancing options with out dropping your customizations.

Customizing Your WordPress Website With Page Builders and Frameworks

If all that appears too difficult for you, you could need to take a look at the accessible web page builders and theme frameworks.

On the face of it, they current a best-of-both-worlds resolution. You get just about all of the customization choices you’ll ever want and a straightforward interface to manage them.

Elementor is without doubt one of the most widely-known web page builders for WordPress, although there are various different comparable add-ons which you can set up free of charge from WP’s official plugin repository. With them, you get instruments to construct new sections of your web site (like touchdown pages, for instance), and also you additionally get to customise the location’s look through a drag-and-drop interface.


Frameworks are a bit totally different in that you just often begin with a predetermined design and work on prime of it. You mainly get a theme with higher flexibility and a extra intuitive customization interface.

Any issues with these options?

Well, these plugins’ performance usually comes from modules – add-ons that you want to set up as a way to implement particular options in your design. If you desire a fully distinctive look, you may end up reliant on these modules, that are not at all times low cost.

Furthermore, whereas these plugins do allow you to create a correctly advanced design, the extra code they generate may generally sluggish your web site down.


The theme is instrumental in forming the all-important first impression and can in the end have an effect on a customer’s choice to work together along with your web site. Setting up a singular consumer expertise can provide you a aggressive edge, however earlier than you attempt to customise your WordPress theme, ensure you’re conscious of what kind of job you’re coping with precisely.


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