Advertisements

The Super Simple Guide to Customizing Your WordPress Theme

I’ve had several people ask how I created my blog theme here, who I paid, etc. And I’ve decided to reveal my “big secret” – it took me 20 minutes to customize my blog theme. I’m serious, granted it took me at least 20 minutes to choose my base theme but after that I spent the same amount of time customizing it and it was done. So – do you want to know how to do it?

  1. Choose your base theme. This was definitely the hardest part for me, I selected at least 15 themes from the WordPress.com database and eventually settled on Clean Home by Mid Mo Design. It’s a free theme but it had a simple design and one killer feature I was looking for – a background separate from the main content background. This is how I’ve got the grey logo behind everything, and white behind my text.
  2. Choose your colour scheme. If you’re not 100% confident on your ability to choose colours then try to stick to a neutral theme. This is why my blog is grey and white with just a hint of blue. I originally had my heart set on purple (it’s my favourite color) – but decided that it might be “too girly” and possibly drive some visitors away from my blog. I like to use Adobe Kuler to play around with the colors and see how they look.
  3. Create a tileable background or choose a background colour. This was the second hardest part. I actually created my header first as I wasn’t sure about the colors so I did quite a bit of playing around there. If you’re going to make a tileable background I would recommend opening photoshop, making a square canvas and going from there. Check out the dimensions of the image WordPress will want you to upload. In my case it was not a square, so I had to tile the image across the width myself. If you want to keep things dead simple then simply choose a background colour. You can find all of this in Admin->Appearance->Background.
  4. Create a header. Check out the dimensions WordPress wants for the header in Admin->Appearance->Header and open a canvas that size in photoshop. Play around with the fonts but keep things in black and white until you’ve decided on the font and spacing – then feel free to go a little nuts with the colors.
  5. Create a favicon. The Favicon is the little box you see next to the post title in your tab/window headline. I simply scaled down the background logo, (to 15x15px) and added some color but you could choose something else. Upload your choice in Admin->Settings->General and voila! Your own Favicon.

I will confess to having used Photoshop for many years and a little experience with design. If you’re in doubt then keep it really simple and just pick one key color and keep the rest in shades of that and/or grey.

Do you have any questions about blog design?

Advertisements