When it comes to building a successful website, design and aesthetics play a crucial role in attracting and engaging visitors. While WordPress offers a wide range of themes to choose from, personalizing your website’s look can take it to the next level. By customizing your WordPress theme, you can create a unique and visually appealing website that aligns with your brand and captures the attention of your audience.

In this WordPress theme customization tutorial, we will explore the various ways you can personalize your website’s look. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced WordPress user, this tutorial will provide you with step-by-step guidance on how to make your website truly yours.

We will start by understanding the fundamentals of WordPress themes and the different types available. You will learn how to choose the right theme that suits your website’s purpose and target audience. From there, we will dive into the world of customization options within the WordPress Customizer, allowing you to modify colours, typography, headers, footers, layouts, and more.

To take your theme customization to the next level, we will explore the use of custom CSS and WordPress theme customization plugins. These tools will empower you to make advanced modifications and add unique features to your website. We will also discuss best practices for WordPress theme customization, including creating a child theme, backing up your files, and testing your changes.

Overview of WordPress Themes

WordPress themes serve as the foundation for your website’s design and layout. They control the visual appearance and functionality of your site, providing a cohesive and consistent user experience. Themes determine the overall look, including the colours, typography, and page structure of your website.

There are a wide variety of WordPress themes, each catering to different purposes and industries. Free WordPress themes are readily available in the WordPress theme directory, while premium themes can be purchased from third-party marketplaces. You can choose from a range of styles, such as minimalist, corporate, portfolio, blog, eCommerce, and more. Understanding the specific needs of your website will help you select a theme that best suits your requirements.

When selecting a WordPress theme, consider factors such as design aesthetics, responsiveness, compatibility with plugins, ease of customization, and support options. Evaluate the theme’s demo and read user reviews to get an idea of its performance and flexibility. It’s also important to ensure that the theme is regularly updated and well-maintained by the developers to avoid security vulnerabilities.

Additionally, consider the specific features and functionalities you need for your website. Some themes come bundled with additional tools like page builders, WooCommerce integration, advanced customization options, and SEO optimization. Assessing your website’s goals and requirements will help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect theme.

What are the Different Ways of Customizing WordPress Themes?

A. Customization options within the WordPress Customizer

The WordPress Customizer is a user-friendly and intuitive tool that empowers you to customize various aspects of your theme’s appearance. It provides a centralized interface where you can make real-time changes and see how they affect your website’s design. Here are some key customization options available within the WordPress Customizer:

  • Site Identity: The Customizer allows you to set your site’s title and tagline, upload a custom logo or favicon, and define the site icon (also known as a favicon). These options help establish your brand identity and make your website visually recognizable.
  • Colours and Background: You have the flexibility to modify the colours of different elements in your theme, such as text, links, headings, backgrounds, and more. You can choose from a colour picker or enter specific colour codes to match your branding.
  • Typography: The Customizer provides options to select fonts from the available font families and adjust their sizes, weights, and styles. This allows you to create a consistent and visually appealing typography hierarchy throughout your website.
  • Header Options: You can customize the header section by uploading a custom header image or setting a background colour. Additionally, you can control the visibility and position of elements such as the site title, tagline, and navigation menu.
  • Footer Options: The Customizer allows you to customize the footer area by adding widgets, copyright information, social media icons, or custom text. You can choose the number of footer columns and configure their content to enhance user engagement.
  • Menus: WordPress offers a built-in menu management system, accessible through the Customizer. You can create custom menus and assign them to specific locations within your theme, such as primary navigation, secondary navigation, or footer menus.
  • Widgets: The Customizer also provides options for managing and customizing widgets. You can add, remove, or rearrange widgets in various widget areas of your theme, such as sidebars or footers, to enhance the functionality and appearance of your website.

B. Modifying the Theme’s Colour Scheme and Typography

The colour scheme and typography of your WordPress theme play a vital role in creating a visually appealing and cohesive design. The WordPress Customizer offers robust options to modify these elements, allowing you to customize the look and feel of your website. Here’s an in-depth look at how you can modify the colour scheme and typography of your theme:

Colour Scheme

  • Primary Colors: The Customizer enables you to select the primary colours that define the overall theme of your website. This includes options for background colours, header and footer colours, button colours, and more.
  • Text and Link Colors: You can customize the colours of your website’s text, links, and headings. This allows you to create a visually pleasing contrast and ensure optimal readability.
  • Background Colors: The Customizer allows you to set the background colour for different sections of your website, such as the main content area, header, footer, and sidebar.


  • Font Selection: The Customizer provides a range of font options, allowing you to choose the fonts that best represent your brand. You can select different fonts for headings, body text, navigation menus, and more.
  • Font Sizes and Styles: Customizing the font sizes and styles helps you establish a consistent typographic hierarchy. You can adjust the size, weight, and style (such as bold or italic) of different elements to create a visually balanced and harmonious design.
  • Line Heights and Letter Spacing: The Customizer also allows you to modify the line heights (the vertical spacing between lines of text) and letter spacing. Fine-tuning these parameters enhances the readability and overall aesthetics of your website’s content.

C. Customizing the Header and Footer Sections

The header and footer sections of your website provide valuable opportunities to customize and make a lasting impression on your visitors. The WordPress Customizer offers a range of options to customize these sections, allowing you to tailor them to your specific needs and branding. Customizing the header and footer sections of your WordPress theme allows you to establish a unique and professional online presence.

By incorporating your logo, customizing the navigation menu, and adding relevant call-to-action buttons, you can enhance brand recognition and improve user engagement. Here’s a closer look at how you can customize the header and footer sections of your WordPress theme:

Header Customization

  • Logo and Site Title: The Customizer enables you to upload your logo or define a site title that represents your brand. This customization option ensures consistent branding across your website and helps visitors easily identify your brand.
  • Navigation Menu: You can create and customize your navigation menu within the Customizer. This allows you to control the placement, style, and content of your menu, ensuring smooth and intuitive navigation for your visitors.
  • Header Layout: The Customizer provides options to modify the layout of your header section. You can choose from different header styles, such as a centred logo with a navigation menu below, or a logo on one side and the menu on the other.
  • Call-to-Action Buttons: If your website requires specific call-to-action buttons in the header section, such as a “Contact Us” or “Subscribe” button, you can add them through customizer options or using a suitable plugin.

Footer Customization

  • Widgetized Footer: The Customizer allows you to add widgets to your footer area, creating a widgetized footer. This enables you to include useful information, such as recent posts, social media links, a newsletter signup form, or copyright information.
  • Footer Columns: You can choose the number of columns in your footer and customize their layout. This flexibility allows you to create a visually appealing and well-organized footer section that complements the overall design of your website.
  • Custom Text: The Customizer also provides an option to add custom text in the footer section. You can include a brief description of your business, your contact information, or any other important details you want to display.

Adjusting the layout and page templates:

The layout and page templates of your WordPress theme determine the overall structure and arrangement of your website’s content. The WordPress Customizer provides options to adjust the layout and customize page templates, allowing you to create a visually pleasing and well-structured website. Here are some key aspects to consider when adjusting the layout and page templates:

Layout Options

  • Full-Width or Boxed Layout: The Customizer allows you to choose between a full-width layout, where the content spans the entire width of the screen, or a boxed layout, where the content is contained within a specific width.
  • Sidebar Position: If your theme supports sidebars, you can select the position of the sidebar (left, right, or no sidebar) for different pages or post types. This flexibility enables you to tailor the layout to suit your content and design preferences.

Page Templates

  • Default Template: Most WordPress themes include a default template for regular pages. This template typically consists of a header, content area, and footer. The Customizer allows you to customize the elements within this template, such as adjusting the spacing, typography, and colours.
  • Custom Page Templates: Some WordPress themes offer additional custom page templates with different layouts or functionalities. These templates can be useful for creating unique pages, such as landing pages, portfolio pages, or blog archives. The Customizer allows you to select and customize these templates to fit your specific needs.

E. Adding custom CSS for advanced modifications:

While the WordPress Customizer offers a range of customization options, you may sometimes require more advanced modifications to achieve your desired design. This is where custom CSS comes into play. Custom CSS allows you to apply your own styles to specific elements of your WordPress theme, giving you precise control over the appearance and layout. Here’s how you can leverage custom CSS for advanced modifications:

Accessing the Custom CSS Section

  • Many WordPress themes provide a dedicated Custom CSS section within the Customizer interface. Look for an option like “Additional CSS” or “Custom CSS” to access this section.
  • Alternatively, you can use a custom CSS plugin, such as “Simple Custom CSS” or “Customizer Custom CSS,” to add your CSS code.

Writing Custom CSS Code:

  • Identify the specific elements or sections you want to modify. This can include fonts, colours, spacing, backgrounds, borders, or any other aspect of your theme’s design.
  • Use CSS selectors to target the desired elements. Selectors can be based on class names, IDs, HTML tags, or their parent-child relationships.
  • Write CSS rules to define the styles you want to apply. This can include properties like font family, colour, margin, padding, background colour, and more.
  • Preview your changes in real-time within the Customizer to ensure they have the desired effect.

Best Practices for Custom CSS:

  • Use specific CSS selectors to target the desired elements without affecting unintended parts of your website.
  • Add comments to your CSS code to document your modifications and make it easier to understand and maintain in the future.
  • Test your CSS modifications across different devices and screen sizes to ensure they appear as intended and maintain responsiveness.
  • Keep a backup of your custom CSS code in case you need to revert to a previous version or troubleshoot any issues.

Using Theme Customization Plugins:

In addition to the built-in WordPress Customizer, there are various theme customization plugins available that can enhance your ability to personalize and modify your WordPress theme. These plugins offer additional features, options, and flexibility, making it easier for you to achieve the desired look and functionality for your website.

Here are a few examples of popular theme customization plugins that can enhance your WordPress website customization experience:

  • Elementor: Elementor is a powerful page builder plugin that allows you to create custom layouts, design beautiful pages, and customize your theme’s appearance using a drag-and-drop interface.
  • Beaver Builder: Beaver Builder is another popular page builder plugin that offers a user-friendly interface and a range of customization options. It enables you to design custom layouts, add content modules, and modify your WordPress theme’s design without coding.
  • Divi Builder: Divi Builder is a visual page builder plugin that comes bundled with the Divi theme. It offers a wide range of pre-designed templates, modules, and customization options, allowing you to create stunning layouts and personalize your website.
  • Visual Composer: Visual Composer is a feature-rich page builder plugin that provides a frontend editor, drag-and-drop functionality, and a variety of design elements and templates to customize your theme.
  • SiteOrigin Page Builder: SiteOrigin Page Builder is a free and flexible page builder plugin that integrates seamlessly with most WordPress themes. It offers a simple drag-and-drop interface and a range of customization options to create unique layouts.
  • Customizer Plus: Customizer Plus is a plugin that enhances the default WordPress Customizer by adding additional customization options and features. It allows you to modify typography, colours, backgrounds, header/footer layouts, and more.
  • Kirki Customizer Framework: Kirki is a powerful customizer framework that provides developers and theme designers with a set of tools to create advanced theme options. It allows you to add custom controls, sections, and panels to the WordPress Customizer, giving you greater control over theme customization.


WordPress offers a range of options and techniques to customize your theme and personalize your website’s look. By understanding the fundamentals of WordPress theme customization and utilizing the available tools and resources, you can transform your website into a unique and visually appealing online presence. Whether it’s tweaking colours and typography, modifying layouts, or adding custom CSS, the ability to tailor your theme to your specific needs is within your grasp.