Back to Support Design Your Site Customizer


The Customizer is found by navigating to Appearance → Customize in your site’s dashboard. The Customizer is primarily used by classic themes to make changes to your site’s appearance. This guide will explain the most common options found in the Customizer.

Theme Support

Most of the settings listed in this guide apply to classic themes. Sites using modern block themes will still have some options in the Customizer, with a message at the top of the screen prompting you to visit the Site Editor where you will have full control over your site’s appearance.

How to Access the Customizer

To access the Customizer:

  1. Visit your dashboard.
  2. Go to Appearance.
  3. Select Customize.
Appearance is opened in the dashboard, with Customize highlighted.

At the bottom of the Customizer screen, you can hide the Customizer controls, or, view your site in a desktop, tablet, or mobile simulator.

Click the X in the top left corner to exit the Customizer and return to your dashboard.

The Customizer is shown.

The Pencil Icon

Some elements in the Customizer preview window will have a pencil icon next to the element. This is a shortcut to the Customizer controls for editing that specific element. These icons appear only to site owners and administrators, not to the general public.

Customizer - Pencil icon

Customizer Options

Site Identity

Navigate to Customize → Site Identity to find the following options:

Homepage Settings

In the Homepage Settings menu, you can change which page visitors see when they first access your site. These settings are also found in Settings → Reading.

If you don’t see Homepage Settings, it means your site has no published pages yet. You can set your site to private, and still publish your page without worry that people will see your site and the page you just published.

Your latest posts

A classic blog style, where posts show in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest).

A static page

A fixed, or static, site page. Many themes use this option to display featured content. You can also use this option if you do not want to have a blog page.

Select your Homepage from the list of pages you created through Pages. Then, select your Posts page if you want to have a page that shows blog posts.

Click the Add New Page button to create a brand new page that you can edit later.

Customizer - Homepage Settings

Additional CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a language that controls the appearance of HTML elements on a web page. Custom CSS can be added to sites with the Premium plan or higher.

Modern block themes give site owners full control over a site’s appearance. Therefore, there is a much smaller need for CSS on these themes, compared to classic themes.

Additional Options

Additional options may appear depending on your theme. See the following guides for more details on common Customizer options:

Some options found in the Customizer will be different based on different themes. For example, themes that are designed for portfolios may have an additional Portfolio menu for customizing how your portfolio displays. Others will have Theme Options for specific customization options for that theme.

Third-party plugins and themes may also add options to the Customizer. Refer to that plugin or theme’s documentation to learn more about those options.

Save Your Changes

When you make a change to any Customizer settings, the Save Changes button will be clickable and a gear icon will appear next to it. You can choose from the following options:

  • Save Changes: Click this button to publish changes to the live site immediately.
  • Save Draft: Save the Customizer changes without publishing them to the live site. The button will then say Draft Saved in grayed-out lettering.
  • Schedule: You can publish the changes at a future date and time.
  • Share Preview Link: Once the Customizer is saved as a draft or scheduled, a preview of the changes can be shared with collaborators by sharing the link provided.
Customizer - Save Changes Actions

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