Personalize Your Blog with the New Custom Design Upgrade

Today we’re excited to bring you Custom Design, a powerful new tool that combines easy to use, code-free font selection from Typekit and a beautiful CSS editing interface with world-class support from our famous WordPress.com Happiness Engineers.

You’ll find both new features—Fonts and CSS—under Appearance → Custom Design in your dashboard. Custom Design costs just $30 a year, and both features include a free preview so you can try them out first.

Example of Custom Design landing screen.

Fonts Made Super Easy

The Font Editor provides a visual preview of your blog with over 50 gorgeous premium Typekit fonts—from foundries like Mark Simonson, exljbris, FontFont, and the League of Moveable Type—and allows you to easily modify the size and style of your fonts. It works with all themes, no coding skills required!

Example of choosing fonts with the Font Editor.

We worked closely with Typekit on this new tool—incorporating their long experience with delivering beautiful fonts on the web—to create the best experience possible. With the Custom Design upgrade comes the ability to manage all your Typekit fonts settings from within your dashboard; you no longer need to make a roundtrip to Typekit and back to update the fonts on your blog.

If you are already using Typekit fonts on your blog, you are grandfathered in—meaning your fonts will continue to display as they do now but you’ll have limited editing and functionality. To take advantage of all the new features, we encourage you to upgrade to Custom Design.

CSS Backed by Expertise

Our popular CSS editing tool received a visual refresh with its merge into the Custom Design upgrade. If you know your way around a cascading style sheet, you can use the CSS Editor to really put a personal touch on your blog and create an entirely new design.

CSS editor in action.

If your site already has custom CSS enabled, it will continue to work as it does now, and visitors will see no changes to your design. Furthermore, you’ve been upgraded to the new Custom Design package for free, so you now have full access to all the new features, including the Font Editor.

Along with the CSS Editor updates we’re making the WordPress.com CSS forum officially supported by the WP.com Happiness team. Bring your CSS customization questions to the forum and you can get expert help.

From your feedback—and by seeing your cool customizations in use all over WordPress.com—we know that design tools on WordPress.com are put to good use, so we hope you love this new upgrade. Fonts are now incredibly easy. We’re now helping you craft your CSS. Let’s make something beautiful.

If you’d like more details on the new upgrade, head over to Custom Design.


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Lance Willett

108 Comments

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  1. Lee Devine

    What a great way for novice bloggers, like myself, to use different fonts.

    Like

  2. Wilder Tweedale

    Great, great idea; that empowers the user to not have to run out and hire a designer to make such small fundamental customizations. Good job WordPress.com!

    Like

  3. Jennifer Avventura

    Great new feature, gets out cc.

    Like

  4. Vivian J. Paige

    Woah! CSS support? Awesome!

    Like

  5. Pranab

    Although I am happy with the kind of design I have right now, it seems like a fantastic upgrade and especially the fact that the forum is getting the full attention of wp.com’s engineers is yet another awesome thing!

    Keep ‘em coming!

    Like

  6. Midnight Orgasm

    Only for those who can afford.

    Like

    • Ian Stewart

      If the Custom Design upgrade looks too steep we still have over 100 beautiful free themes — and many more on the way — with their own style and personality. Many, like the just-released Twenty Eleven, have their own custom design options that let you tweak your blog’s look to your liking.

      Like

  7. Margie

    I really like the idea of font customization. There are many themes I would like to use, but I reject them because of the font. I think many bloggers underestimate the importance of easy to read fonts in the body of their posts!

    Like

  8. X-Evolutionist

    Thanks bunches, guys! I’m going to try it out on my test blog in a second. (I’m too chicken to dink around and mess up my current css yet).. X

    Like

  9. Eric

    Fantastic addition! Customizing fonts would allow us to make our blogs more unique.

    Like

  10. Mary

    I like love any idea about customization. I may consider this!

    Like

  11. Sven Seebeck

    Totally liking this feature. Been using Typekit and Custom CSS already and this is a wonderful addtion.

    Like

  12. InGeneralMe

    New upgrades on design sound great , I’m very happy with the way my blog looks , but it’s nice to have cool options right !!?!

    Like

  13. John Hayden

    Bravo! Typefaces can have an amazing impact on the look and feel of any communication using the written word. Type can change the mood from happy to sad or from frivolous to serious. Thanks so much!

    Like

  14. professorpatch

    Amazing! I don’t get the codes at all, so this makes all the problems vanish! If I can figure out how to work CSS, that’s just another bonus. Thanks WordPress!

    Like

  15. Franz Patrick

    I played around with the free trial and it’s great! It’s so easy to use. I just bought a new theme (Traction) and I wanted to change the font around. I’m most likely going to try this.

    I do have a question, though. If I get Custom Design, will I be able to play around/have full access with the CSS coding or is that separate?

    Like

  16. Casey

    Cool feature, but I just can’t bring myself to pay for all these new shiny upgrades on a free hosting service that limits the capability of my blogs. It’s starting to feel very much like the free WordPress.com is slowly being killed off while still restricting WordPress. If you start taking the limits on your service away, and allow us to run a full-fledged working WordPress platform, then I’m all for paying for these upgrades.

    Like

  17. thewaffler100

    Nice! I’ll give it a whirl!

    Like

  18. airway

    Good news! The “old way we used to setup TypeKit before was a bit anti-user-friendly. This one is great.

    Like

  19. wellnesswisdombyalicemccall

    Wonderful! I’m with Margie — there are lots of blog designs that I liked more than the simple one I ended up picking. So many seemed to have tough fonts to read – and since a large portion of my readers are 50+ being easy to read is really important in my blog.

    Looking forward to expiermenting with this in the near future!

    Like

  20. Rookie Photographer

    Cool. CSS support forum. That’s added bonus for me.

    Like

  21. Monica Morong

    Wow, this is great news. I am in the process of sourcing a custom WordPress theme designer for my new web site, but perhaps I can try out WP’s Custom Design instead and save some cash! Glad to hear it’s user-friendly and intuitive.

    Like

  22. willowsharp

    Wowers, I am a totally un-coded tech-phobe, so you WordPress folks are wonders in making the world of cyberspace…almost understandable (albeit at a basic level).
    Thanks for all your work behind the scenes, look forward to learning more about how to negotiate the WordPress world ;-)

    Like

  23. maxmiaggi

    A good feature! I will try it. :)

    Like

  24. Kerry

    Awesome, I love that you are officially going to be providing support for CSS, the volunteers need all the help they can get!

    Like

  25. kchofmannsuperdad

    Cool, will take advantage!

    Like

  26. Lyn Deutsch

    Great!

    Like

  27. the domestic fringe

    This is great!! Love the options.

    Like

  28. Beth, just being me

    Looking forward to checking this out!

    Like

  29. Fadhly Mhd

    Nice!!

    Like

  30. Mikalee Byerman

    REALLY looking forward to trying this out — anything that makes the experience less cumbersome is a good thing, as I want to be able to focus on my writing!

    Like

  31. garlicfriesandbaseball

    Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Now if I could only get it to work with my Word Documents I’d be set! Good job again as usual WP!

    Like

  32. Tobias Mann

    It don’t feel its worth thirty dollars, for you to take away free Typekit support. The font changing part should be a free option. While the interface is a fantastic feat you need to drop the price to an impulse buy. $10 for the font options, $20 for CSS, $30 combo for those who need both. The majority of people aren’t going to use CSS.

    Like

  33. My Camera, My Friend

    Nice, but I can’t afford it, yet.

    Like

  34. Taufik

    amazing update, great work guys :D

    Like

  35. Sandra Pawula

    I love the idea of official CSS support in the forum and I love my CSS Upgrade. Do I really need Typekit too if I can change my fonts with the CSS Upgrade? I’ve found that blogs with Typekit tend to load very slowly. Not quite sure why you married these two upgrades and whether that’s truly beneficial or simply a higher cost. But I appreciate being grandfathered in and the discount for the next round very much!

    Like

    • Sheri

      In addition to the CSS editor, the WordPress.com Custom Design upgrade includes a popular set of Typekit fonts which can be managed directly inside your WordPress.com site admin pages. If you combine the Custom Design upgrade with a Typekit account from Typekit.com, you get access to the Typekit.com kit editor and the entire Typekit font library. So if you’re happy with the fonts in the WordPress.com Custom Fonts page, you don’t need to have an additional Typekit.com account.

      Like

  36. kimlephuongngan

    It’s really cool, thanks. I’ll try it now.

    Like

  37. Kojiki

    Wow, thank you so much for this! WordPress rocks!

    Like

  38. her

    *Reads about personalizing blog with custom designs.* Happy, happy, happy, “like” times a billion!
    *Reads that it’ll cost money.* Face droops. :(

    Like

  39. cher8

    Looks really great!

    Like

  40. nlsthzn

    I can see how this can be a big plus to serious bloggers… for myself and all the would-be bloggers the free stuff is more than sufficient :)

    Like

  41. Crystal

    Yay!! Another step toward greatness.

    Like

  42. troy

    Thanks for the update :)

    Like

  43. Tom Baker

    Great new service. Amazing WordPress.

    Like

  44. iamcjthepk

    This is pretty cool! :)

    Like

  45. db

    $30 is not a great deal but in some countries online transaction is very difficult. In my country PayPal is not allowed, and a credit card is hard to get.

    Like

  46. Intelligent Challenge

    That’s JUST what I’ve been hoping for. No time to play around with CSS. Consider yourself $30 richer. :-)

    Like

  47. victorworang

    Good offers, but I know that there are some nice themes for free with awesome designs, and also more easy to use. :)

    Like

  48. ilyasafsoh.com

    Amazing. :D

    Like

  49. Kislak Tax & Notary Services

    Great job, I purchased it 5 minutes after trying it out. Thanks WordPress!

    Like

  50. Aslam Shaikh

    Wow, nice change, I like it.

    Like

  51. obsidianfactory

    I wish some of those features were free — though the upgrade is appreciated.

    Like

  52. 7des7iny

    Good to see the custom design available!

    Like

  53. poeneil

    Woo, amazing. I am gonna try it.

    Like

  54. Inna

    Another awesome thing from WordPress. :D

    Like

  55. Linc

    I love that WordPress is constantly working to make its service better for it’s users. Kudos to you!

    Like

  56. Andrew

    I really do love customizing my fonts into my own personal way that I like. But, the only thing that’s holding me back is the money I have to pay.

    Like

  57. Pingback: customize your blog? | colderweather
  58. Word Lily

    While this is a nice upgrade (the preview before you pay is very nice), I myself am quite disappointed in this change. I’ve seen it coming for several months now: WP is starting to nickel and dime us with [paid] options. And in this case, after first giving them to us for free. As a TypeKit user, I went in to check out the new Fonts options. Typekit offers so many more fonts! My current font isn’t available via the WP dashboard.

    Most of the time I feel that WP does a good job of going over and above its users’ expectations, but in this case, they slipped up. If I want to mess with my fonts, I’ll just go self hosted. That’s cheaper than this upgrade.

    Like

  59. vicvega66

    Will I ‘upgrade’ for 30$/ £20 per year? Nope, it’s far too expensive, especially considering Blogger and LiveJournal charge nothing for customising CSS sheets, they are ad supported though so I suppose that makes a difference.

    Like

  60. tobaccocommon

    Does 30 dollars cover all the sites you have on a WordPress.com blog or just one? WordPress.com is great and a big thanks for always evolving!

    Like

  61. Russell

    Good stuff. I’ll be using this feature.

    Like

  62. hudnett1

    Good deal – thanks.

    Like

  63. Aidyl

    I love these new features! When I’m typing a document using Microsoft Word, I keep changing the fonts. I was disappointed when I couldn’t change what font my blog had without getting a Typekit account. Thank you so much!

    Like

  64. Elestyn

    Looks awesome!

    Like

  65. maureenlermer

    This is totally amazing really. Makes blogging interesting. Thanks.

    Like

  66. Kit MacConnell

    Great job, WordPress. I’ve been hoping for something like this. ^^

    Like

  67. Kale

    Awesome!

    Too bad it’s not for free. Ah, well, we can only have so much free stuff.

    Like

  68. lkoseoglu

    I guess I will get to learn how to do this…EVENTUALLY!!!!!

    Like

  69. amrinz

    Good, but not free.

    Like

  70. Magalie

    The interface looks great & easy to use, but it feels weird to pay for fonts when the feature used to be free. And paying for CSS when Blogger does it for free? Also confusing. Would totally jump on board if it was free though! :)

    Like

  71. Pingback: WordPress.com now offers fancier fonts with Typekit | WPCandy
  72. leonie

    Well, it’s great and everything but it’s kind of expensive and I’m the kind of the blogger that doesn’t write everyday, and I’m only 12 so I’m not going to waste my allowance in that! Sorry.

    Like

  73. John Todaro

    Not free …but certainly reasonable.

    Like

  74. Brandon

    Cool stuff!

    Like

  75. Ashley

    Nice to hear, but just wondering why there’s a charge for this when you can do it for free on Blogger? It’s frustrating that you have pay if you want any customizations in WordPress.

    Like

  76. ixplizit

    Design costs just $30 a year. No thanks. For this money I can rent my own server and do everything I want.

    Like

  77. Blogger

    This is a good upgrade! Thanks! :-)

    Like

  78. bgcamroux

    Excellent! Just wish the $30 covered up to, say, two or three blogs. I’d like to be able to play with the CSS on a test blog before rolling it out in my main blog. Or maybe it’s possible to transfer the upgrade from blog to blog…? I guess that could get quite confusing and become a PITA for the developers.

    Like

    • Lance Willett

      For testing on multiple blogs we recommend entering the CSS code and using the free preview feature. You can preview font changes for free, too.

      Like

  79. batteriescharger5

    Woo, amazing. I am gonna try it.

    Like

  80. j2kun

    So I’m glad that you guys are making tools for changing the appearance of the blogs. But at the same time, I’m kind of disturbed that we should have to pay to pick between a serif and sans-serif font, and to pick between -1, 0, and +1 for font sizes. I’m not saying anything about the huge varieties of TypeKit fonts and the nice previewing mechanism you provided. I just think that users should be able to do the most basic font changes for free, even if it is just the difference between choosing between default serif and default sans-serif. Putting aside how much I love the way my blog looks with Museo headers, all I really need is that basic functionality, and 30$ is too steep for just that.

    Like

  81. luaydpk

    Good. I love it! And I want to learn more.

    Like

  82. macslideshow

    It’s awesome. I hope I can make my own theme with this cool tool.

    Like

  83. gatehouse13

    WordPress you do so much lovely stuff for free that I have no problem paying for nice twiddly bits and this is certainly one of those. Great job and really looking forward to playing with those fabulous fonts.

    Like

  84. auliarahman

    Wow. Awesome.

    Like

  85. zoraisme

    Too expensive…

    Like

  86. Sopheak.P

    I need to wait until I have a job.
    But I like these features.

    Like

  87. laprofeciabiblica

    Important step toward the right direction…

    Like

  88. scrib64

    I like it!

    Like

  89. Leslie @ MEfurbish

    This is fantastic! Just what I have been looking for!

    Like

  90. The Press Junkie

    I’m with Casey! It was all good play with until you scroll to the bottom and realize there is a $30. And that wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t hosting 3 separate blogs on your server. $30/year for all registered blogs = more reasonable. But when you look at it, it’s really just $3.00 a month and there is NO designer out there who will even change the background color of your site for that price. *shrugs shoulders* Whatever works!

    Like

  91. The Gateway Blog

    Love it! and might go for it ……

    Like

  92. latino777

    I’ve not long joined so I’m happy this has happened now – anything to help make the blog stand out a bit more.

    Like

  93. Sharon

    I agree these are nice features but 30 per year seems kind of steep for what it is.

    Like

  94. Jing Hu

    WordPress is getting better and better! :) This is such great news.

    Like

  95. mikeyblogsall

    I like this update.

    Like

  96. Anny

    Perhaps a bit pricey? Ah well. Aside from that small hindrance, it’s a nice option.

    Like

  97. krisenvorsorge

    Good move. I think I can use this for my blog!

    Like

  98. Moco Scribe

    Amazing development, I love it!

    Like

  99. bridgetsworld

    Great! I just started and something good is happening! :) I love the idea of new fonts!

    Like

  100. kenneth@buddha jeans

    There is definitely a useful tool to get a more personal look and at the same time you do not need to use the toolkit with fonts that was difficult to figure out where they was in certain formats. At least me who has been only blogging for 4 months now, but I love it. Thanks for giving me a new hobby as work. ;)

    Like

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