WordPress.com users show their creativity not only in the content they publish, but also in how they design their sites. We always enjoy seeing how bloggers transform popular themes like Oxygen, Pilcrow, or Imbalance2 to create sleek, tailor-made sites.
Today, let’s take a closer look at the Theme Customizer, a key tool for anyone looking to spruce up their site, whether it’s a few small tweaks or a major makeover.
What is the Customizer?
Imagine you want to try one of our newly-introduced fonts, or were inspired to add a custom header. Normally, you’d make the changes in the dashboard, save them, reload your blog, and see if you liked the results. If you didn’t, you’d repeat the process until you were satisfied.
The Customizer makes it simple and easy to test new looks for your site. Every change you make here is simultaneously reflected on the page you’re on, but won’t change your settings unless you click “Save.” It’s like a fitting room for blogs.
You can open it in a snap: just hover over your blog’s name in the admin bar, and click on Customize. You will next see the same page you were on, with the Customize panel (shown to the right) displaying all available customizing options.
This panel features both free theme options, like a custom header and custom menus, and others that are included in the Custom Design upgrade, like custom colors and custom css. (It’s particularly useful if you’re considering upgrading, but don’t want to make a commitment without testing out potential changes.)
Curious about using the Customizer? Here are three of the features you’ll want to try out.
A time-saving free feature, the Site Title panel makes it a breeze to decide whether your header area should include a site title and a tagline, one but not the other, or neither.
You can type in your text and see it immediately appear on the screen. Uncheck the Display Header Text box, and your site title is gone.
Whether you’re using a custom header image or not, the differences will be striking. Here are three options, from the most text-heavy to the sparest:
A smart color palette will easily elevate your site’s look. With the Customizer’s Colors panel, you can test out endless combinations across all areas of your site, from headings to footer.
You can use colors not only to optimize the readability of your text, but also to create a look consistent with your blog’s other branding elements. If you’ve already activated the Custom Design upgrade, all you need to do is click “Save” once you’re happy with your choices.
Otherwise, opting for the upgrade will allow you to use your chosen color scheme immediately (have no fear: the settings will be saved while you complete your purchase).
Click on the thumbnails below to see how different color schemes completely transform the feel of the same page:
What if you’d like to give your new design a test run, without making a long-term commitment? What if your blog changes colors seasonally, and you don’t want to forget the different palettes you’ve created? What if you switched themes, but now wish to return to your previously customized one?
Snapshots are here to help. With the Custom Design upgrade, you can record all your current customizations before making any changes. All you need to do is click the camera icon at the top of the Customizer. Add a snapshot title and an optional description, hit the “Create” button, and you’re set. Your current choices will be saved for future reference within the Customizer.
Then, if you decide to return to your previous design, or simply want to compare two different looks, you can navigate between your different snapshots, preview as many as you wish, and click on “Apply” once you’ve found your desired look.
A few simple tweaks can inject new life into any blog. With these Customizer features, you no longer need to guess what your site will look like, or worry about lost settings. You can let your imagination lead the way.
Have a minute for a quick poll on customization?
- Click here to tell us what you think.
Interested in customization? You might enjoy these related posts:
- Customization Made Simple
- Personalize Your Site with Custom Colors
- What a Difference a Header Makes! Three Theme Customizations
- One Theme, Three Ways: Customizing Coraline
- One Theme, Three Ways: Customizing Pilcrow
Nov 11th at 10:07 pm
Thank you, I’m starting my first blog and I need this kind of useful information.
Nov 11th at 10:29 pm
Thank you. That’s a big help!
Nov 12th at 3:24 am
I changed my theme and it works great with new colors. Thanks mate
Nov 12th at 4:37 am
I like the customizer, but it doesnt add in my social links. Is there some help on this?
Nov 12th at 7:39 am
Not sure if I’m just overlooking it, but which theme are you starting with to do that customization? Thanks Ben
Nov 12th at 12:18 pm
Very helpful…gave my site a nice look n feel..it matters.
Nov 12th at 1:04 pm
Reblogged this on Portal of Delusion and commented:
This is one of my favorite WordPress.com features. You should totally play around with it if you haven’t yet.
Nov 12th at 4:17 pm
Thanks for the information shared, very helpful.
Nov 12th at 6:45 pm
I also want to thank you for the recent post about trial blogs and the private tab until ready for publishing. I’ve wanted to start another blog but was hesitant until I felt confident it was exactly what I wanted. It was nice to hear your encouragement to pursue it and mark it private until ready. Learning about these new customizing tools makes it a lot less work and time to build, which was another reason for my hesitance. My current blog took a lot of time to customize and I wasn’t ready for all the work another one entailed regarding design, fonts, and colors. All of this makes it so much easier. Thank you again.
Nov 12th at 7:21 pm
Great features for customization, I like it a lot!! I would put in though the option for bold type on the text, and the option for no background for the post. Is that a possibility?
Nov 13th at 1:22 am
I’ve tried these features before, but when i save it, my blog doesnt change its appearance. Am i missing something?
Nov 13th at 4:33 am
I just upgraded so that I can customize. I look forward to using these features.
Nov 13th at 10:37 am
This would be nice if it were free. I know the customization is cheap but there are people out there who for some reason or another can’t pay for these nice adjustments and that’s just sad. I wish that there were also more free themes as well. Recently, aside writr I haven’t seen any new themes so I hope there are new free themes.
Nov 14th at 3:19 pm
I love the new features on customizing my blog.
Nov 14th at 7:15 pm
Reblogged this on At Times I Wonder! and commented:
Great article on customizing your WordPress site!
Nov 15th at 7:15 pm
You might want to mention that to use it you need to pay to upgrade.
Nov 15th at 7:42 pm
This is great! I love that WordPress gives us the option of full customization. It really gives everything a smooth feeling and makes you comfortable with the site.
Nov 16th at 1:59 am
I never used Snapshot in Customizer before. So thanks for the explanation!