Strong visual elements can distinguish your site from others and help to establish your identity, whether you have a personal blog or company website. Is your site brand-new, or have you been around for a while but want a new look that better represents you or your business? Here are five changes you can make to refresh your site.
1. Add your personal or business logo
Need ideas? See more examples of logos.
For more on creating your own logo, check out Canva’s logo maker.
When visitors come to your site for the first time, you immediately need to make an impression and tell them who you are. Displaying your own logo — whether it’s your company’s official logo, a symbol that represents you, or a design you made — is one way to establish your brand.
The District Café & Eatery, a restaurant and coffee house in the heart of the Historic District in Savannah, Georgia, displays its black-and-white logo — with a horse and carriage of food — at the top of their website. The placement of your logo depends on your current theme (this Savannah eatery uses the Restaurant design, which can align a logo on the top left, center, or right).
Many themes support the site logo feature. Try it out by adding a logo in your Customizer (My Site → Customize → Site Identity). The ideal dimensions for a logo image are listed in your theme’s support documentation.
2. Reinforce your identity with a site icon and a profile photo
Make sure that two images are up-to-date: your site icon (also known as a blavatar or favicon) and profile photo (also referred to as your avatar or gravatar).
Your site icon is unique to your site — it’s an image shown on WordPress.com, in your visitor’s browser tab when they’re viewing your site, in widgets like Blogs I Follow, and as a home-screen app icon when your site is saved to a phone. It represents your site across the web and across devices. Some people use a version of their logo, like Sydney-based travel blogger Katie Mayor at Wild Spin of the World.
Others may display a different image, but it’s often consistent with their brand’s visual identity. Add or update your site icon in My Site(s) → Settings → General.
For more inspiration, read the stories behind some people’s profile photos.
Your profile photo also represents you online — it appears alongside your blog posts, next to your comments on other sites, and in related widgets, like the Authors Grid Widget, as seen on The Female Gaze, an online journal.
While a site icon is associated with a specific site, a profile photo is associated with your WordPress.com account. It distinguishes you from other contributors on a collaborative blog, and if you post on multiple sites, your profile photo represents you on each. Add or update your profile photo at wordpress.com/me.
3. Display a memorable tagline
Explore more taglines for inspiration.
Another quick way to promote yourself or your business is by adding a tagline: a motto that means something to you, a company slogan, or a short phrase that offers context about your site. Depending on your theme, your tagline may appear in your sidebar or under your site title, as seen on the blog Fun After Fifty.
Add or update your tagline in My Site(s) → Settings → General.
4. Use a personalized header to set the tone
A custom header strengthens your visual identity. We’ve explored how headers can completely transform a theme, making a site as unique as you. Looking at the sites A Ride Less Ordinary, Mandy Lea Photo, and Wags Wild Adventure, you can see how three headers change the look and feel of the same theme, Natural.
Many of our themes support custom headers. Add or update yours at My Site(s) → Customize → Header Image. The ideal dimensions are listed in the Customizer, and if you don’t have your own banner-sized image to use, you can choose one of the suggested images in the panel.
5. Add a custom background to match your vibe
For a different look, consider a custom background, which can have a dramatic or subtle effect depending on the color, pattern, or design you choose. Nneya Richards at ’N A Perfect World includes a faint map-inspired background at the top of her travel and lifestyle blog. Evoking exploration and adventure, the design is prominent but not distracting, and matches the topics that she blogs about.
Avoid busy patterns, super-bright or neon colors, and designs that make it hard to read your text. Backgrounds should tastefully enhance your site — not make readers want to click away.
Many of our themes support custom backgrounds. Add or update yours in My Site(s) → Customize → Colors & Backgrounds.
One final tip: you don’t need to adopt all of these techniques! Experiment with a few of these options to find the right balance. The next step is then taking the primary elements of your brand’s visual identity and incorporating them across your social platforms to create a uniform online presence.
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