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?
Not sure what we mean by “header”? You can learn more about custom headers in this support document.
Not sure how to get started? Check out some header inspiration.
Not sure where to get good images? WordPress.com offers two, built-in, free photo libraries that you can browse through. You can learn more about finding free images in our support document, and here’s a list of some 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. (Just to note that these three articles are a bit dated and the tools may function a bit differently that what is covered here. Until we’re able to update these resources, they still offer a good introduction to these options.)
Note: not every theme supports custom headers — if your theme doesn’t you can always pick one that does. But also note that there are different ways of creating custom headers within pages or templates even on themes that don’t specifically support a custom header settings.
Got your header image? Using a Classic theme? Great, it’s time to upload it. Go to My Sites → Appearance → 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 Save Changes at the top of the Customizer sidebar:
(The example above is using the Baskerville theme.)
If you’re using a Hybrid theme, you can add an Image block or Cover block at the top of each page to add a header image. This will work better with some Hybrid themes than others, because in these themes the “header” is primarily the location for your Site Title, Logo, and Menu and there aren’t many options to rearrange the layout. The header image you add to a page will then display below this information. So be sure you’re using a theme that works well for the look you’re going for, such as the Rockfield theme (remember you control what image and menu items you add, so this isn’t just a “food” theme):
If you’re using a Block theme, you’ll work in the Site Editor to select a “header” pattern (or create your own from scratch) to design the exact look you want. These themes give you complete control over the blocks you include and the way they’re arranged by editing the “header” template part within templates:
Custom fonts and colors
There are many customizations that you can do on any plan within WordPress.com for fonts and colors. Some features may require an upgrade to a paid plan. To install custom fonts you’ll want to use a plugin, which requires an upgrade to the Business, or eCommerce plan. To use custom CSS you’ll need Premium or higher.
But on any plan, you can explore the default, built-in options to see what’s possible — and it’s a lot!
The process of customizing fonts and colors will depend on your active theme.
For Classic themes, you’ll go to My Sites → Appearance → Customize to begin experimenting with custom fonts, colors, and CSS.
For Hybrid themes, you’ll use the Global Styles feature in the page editor.
Changing fonts here will apply the font to the published site, but will not be visible in the editor directly. You’ll go to My Sites → Appearance → Customize to begin experimenting with colors and CSS.
For Block themes, you’ll go to My Sites → Appearance → Editor to access the Styles section via the half-moon icon in to top right corner, to begin experimenting with custom fonts and colors.
You’ll go to My Sites → Appearance → Additional CSS to add custom CSS.
Fonts are set in pairs, one for headings and the other for the base font.
- Heading Font: Choose a font to use for all of the headings on your site. Common examples of heading text includes post and page titles, widget titles, comment headers, and headlines inside posts and pages.
- Base Font: Choose a font to use for the main body text and for the menus on your blog.
Once you are satisfied with your font selections, save your changes. Not sure which fonts pair well together? Here’s some advice.
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.
(Once again, while the linked articles are bit dated, they still provide valuable information that is relevant today.)
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 the applicable section as per your theme type above. You’ll see individual color options, suggested palettes, and available background patterns provided by your active theme.
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.