Picking a theme you love is the first step; customizing it is the second step. There are many ways to inject more “you” into your site, from uploading custom headers to adding an upgrade that allows custom colors, fonts, and more.
Custom header, anyone?
Many themes allow you to upload a custom header. Headers can be anything from a favorite photo to a slick, graphically designed banner.
Not sure what we mean by “header”? Check out this example: the first image is the standard header for the Natural theme. Below it, you can see how the sites A Ride Less Ordinary, Mandy Lea Photo, and Wags Wild Adventure have used a custom header to change the look of the Natural theme.
Not sure where to get good images? Here’s a list of places you can get good quality images for free:
When you’re ready to make your own header, check out our overview on Pablo and Canva (two free image editors you can use to create headers) and our primers on creating blog header images with Canva or with PicMonkey.
Note: not every theme supports custom headers — if your theme doesn’t you can always pick one that does.
Got your header image? Great, it’s time to upload it. Go to My Sites → Customize → Header Image. You’ll be able to browse your computer to find the file, then click Add new image:
If you’re happy with the preview, click Publish:
Custom fonts and colors
Once that’s done, go to My Sites → Customize to begin experimenting with custom fonts, colors, and CSS.
From there you can browse and preview typefaces like Gentium Book Basic, Libre Baskerville, Merriweather, and Ubuntu. (We offer over 30 free Google Fonts!)
To pick your fancy new fonts, go to My Sites → Customize → Fonts. You can choose two fonts: one for headings (think post and page titles, widget titles, and headlines inside posts and pages), and one for body text. To pick a font, click on one of the default font names to see all the available fonts. Keep your eye on the live preview on the right-hand side of the screen to see how your site will look with its fancy new fonts. Not sure which fonts pair well together? Here’s some advice.
Once you’re happy with the way everything looks, click on Publish. It may take a few minutes for the changes to be seen on your blog, although typically changes appear immediately. You can come back at any time to play with your fonts some more as long as your have an active upgrade.
You can have a lot of fun with custom fonts. We encourage you to experiment, but offer a few guidelines:
- Size matters — make sure all your fonts are readable on-screen.
- Fonts have feeling and emotion. Some are strong and bold, others are delicate, elegant, or whimsical. Think about matching the feelings of your fonts to your blog’s personality.
- Readability is always key, so save the more embellished options for your title and headers, and pick something cleaner for regular body text.
We also interviewed some WordPressers who’ve done an exceptional job using fonts to personalize their blogs; you can benefit from their wisdom.
You can do a good deal of customizing with headers, and custom colors adds another level of personalization by letting you change the overall color scheme of your blog. You can view and apply color palette suggestions and background patterns or create your own unique color palette for your site. Score!
To begin experimenting with your site’s color scheme go to My Sites → Customize → Colors & Backgrounds. You’ll see individual color options, suggested palettes, and available background patterns.
Next up, learn all about creating posts and pages, working with images, other media, and creating menus to help readers get around your site. Head to Get Published.