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How to customize your WordPress themes in easy steps- Complete guide 2020

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You must have started with the WordPress website, but still, there might be a frustration for incompleteness. You know that there are plenty of customization options available on WordPress. However, being unable to use them efficiently can affect your page performance.

In this article, we will provide you the uncomplicated and undemanding steps to enhance the customization of your WordPress website themes.

Read our guide Top 18 Free WordPress Themes and how to install guide (2020)

How to Customize Your WordPress Theme 5 Step by Step Ways min

Why should you customize your theme?

Theme customization is different from installing a plugin. A plugin is additional software that performs a specific function that you want. Customization of the theme on WordPress is the way the website appears and looks. Make yourself clear of what you want for an additional function and website beautification.

You can edit the functions.php file in a theme but, that would become dysfunctional in the future when you change your theme. In such a case, you require to add the functions and codes in a plugin software file.

Complete list of customization options

This is a list of all the possible changes and manipulation to be done on a WordPress theme. You can opt for any of these depending upon the situations suitable for you.

  • Install a plugin to add additional specific functionalities to your website.
  • Change and resize the color and font of your theme on the WordPress admin page using the customizer option.
  • While working on a page builder theme, you can use the different specificities offered by it to customize your theme.
  • For a specific theme that goes well with the purpose of the website, you can directly edit the code of the theme.
  • Using create a child theme, you can edit the code of a third party theme.
  • If a Framework theme is installed on a WordPress website, you could use the available child themes to customize it along with the default customization options on the admin page.

You may wish to edit the code via options available in a plentiful amount-You could use block editor, customizer, and direct file editing options.

Theme customization via admin screens on WordPress

Simple design and layout changes can be made by admin screens. The customizer option on the admin page lets the user do small changes that will affect the theme look. The editor also allows certain subtle changes to the WordPress theme.

Theme customization via Customizer on the Admin page

One of the most convenient and feasible methods of theme customization on WordPress is to use the customizer option. 

There are two ways to access the customizing option. First, you can click on the customize link present at the top of the screen on your admin page while you have logged in to your website.

The other option is to click on the “Appearance” option and then choose the “Customize” option from the admin screen. From here, you will be leading to the customizer page.

Theme customization via Customizer on the Admin page min

There is a limitless number of themes available on WordPress. You must have also chosen the theme during the time you set up your page. Now this section will help you to design the features like header image, category colors, design options tab, social media, and many more.  You can make changes to the page layout and the design of your site. Depending on what features can be added or removed from the chosen theme, you could choose the best appearance for your site.

Theme customization via the theme editor

Go to the admin screen and click on appearance and then click on the theme editor to access the theme editor file. The file lets you make direct changes to the theme by editing it. Sometimes any direct change into the WordPress theme file can get reflected on your live website.


The changes in the file might not get updated in the future. For such a situation, you can use a child theme.

Read 12 Best Code editor for editing WordPress files (2020)


Try to edit the code in your theme using HTML editors. Writing the code in CSS or PHP format can be a bad idea because if you have downloaded a third-party theme, the changes would not be included in the update file in the future. Another reason is that changes can break your website.

Theme customization via Page Builder and Frameworks

Most of the WordPress themes have easy customization options, and changes can be made via the Customizer available on the admin page. There are different types of themes available on WordPress. One such theme that works very well is called Frameworks. These are an extended version for or better customization and advanced designing.

Another interesting plugin that helps in designing the website in a user-friendly environment is called page builders. Both of these methods are significant in building wonderfully attractive pages.

Theme customization via page builder

they are too much into the trend for designing themes due to the feasibility it offers to the users. The simple to use interface lets the user design the theme easily. The page builders let you edit and modify the posts and pages with the drag and drop interface. No coding or editing in the files is required. They provide a lot of flexibility in designing pages with different layouts.

Theme customization via page builder-min

All you have to do is install a page builder plugin that is compatible with your theme and then use the options available to design your site the way you want.

There are several page builders available that you can find easily on WordPress.

Read 9 Best Drag-and-Drop WordPress Theme Builders (2020)

Theme customization via Frameworks

Another efficient and alternative method for customizing the theme is Frameworks. It’s a collection of themes. It is used to work together with other themes to build a WordPress website.

Theme customization via Frameworks min

There is a single parent theme that is called a framework, and multiple themes called the child themes can be used to customize the main theme Framework. There are many theme frameworks available on WordPress, which allow heavy customization via the simple drag and drop interface that was available in page builder also.

Read our guide How to create a child theme in WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide (2020)

7 Best tips for optimum customization of WordPress themes

So if you’re all set to begin planning the customization of your theme, you might be wondering if the changes you should make would result in the best. These are the essential tips that you must follow while making the changes or otherwise, you could break your site and make it susceptible to cyber-attacks and even lose your code.

1. Customize without coding and editing the code

The best possible way is to avoid coding for any mishappenings with your website. If the customizations are available via Customizer on the admin page, then this is the most secure method for editing the theme. You must only edit if you are skillful with CSS and PHP, and you know how to do it in a secure environment.

Read a guide on How to edit WordPress code? (CSS,HTML): A Guide for Beginners

2. Use a local development site for developing changes

It is the most crucial step to remember while making any changes on the WordPress website. Never start to code the theme directly on your working website. Always use a local site and copy the content from your live site there. Working on a local site will cause no effect on the live site and would be quicker too.

2. Use a local development site for developing changes min

Local versions are helpful even if you are coding on the Customizer. Once you are all set with the testing on the local version, then you can publish that code on the live site.

Read Learn ways to protect your WordPress website from breaking it unintentionally

3. Use version control to track changes

While working on making changes to your theme, you might want to use version control to keep track of the changes you made.

You can use GitHub to track the changes you make. You can easily track down the changes without making any manual edits.

4. Test your changes efficiently

Before you publish the changes and make it visible on your live website, you must see if the customization is as per your need. For fulfilling this purpose, you can gain access to a staging site that allows you the testing before activating it on the new version of your theme. You can simply make a copy of your live site on the staging server and then upload and activate your updated theme. You must test everything thoroughly and make sure it works properly on your live site.

5. Responsive themes are impressive

Always remember that the changes you make on your WordPress website are not limited to either desktop or mobile phone. People accessing your site via a mobile phone must be able to view it in a proper layout.

Always check that your updated theme or changes are equally available on different sizes of screen.

5. Responsive themes are impressive min

The responsive theme makes a good impression on the search engine rankings and conversion rates. You can use a tool called BrowserStack to see how your website appears on different devices. Or you can use developer tools in your browser and the responsive views in the Customizer.

Read What are WordPress tags? How do they help with SEO?

6. So much can be too much!

Please remember the purpose of customizing a theme is to make it attractive to more number of visitors. But, if the theme is too customized it can cause some troubles.

Always keep in mind that different types of people will visit your website. Ensure that the color scheme is not too bright or the font size is not too small to read. People with disabilities might find it difficult and hence, reduce interaction with your website. You can use an accessibility checker to test your site if it is accessible enough to everyone.

7. Maintain the WordPress standards

Keep the coding of your WordPress theme website following the standard coding guidelines laid by WordPress. If your code meets the quality of WordPress code, it could lead to the consistency and relevance of your website. To avoid any coding mess, you must make sure you follow them. Always add 2-3 line comments near the coding changes you make in the file for others to interpret why were the changes made.

Read Best Ways to Secure a WordPress Website (2020)


In this article, we bring you the different methods to add customization options to your WordPress theme. These are the simple steps to follow and create the best websites. The tips at the end are going to help you avoid any blunder mistake. 

Read 50 Common WordPress Errors with Solutions You Should Know About

For optimum utilization of WordPress features and to enhance your WordPress website, you can visit our website to read more on WordPress maintenance and security.

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