WordPress is a natural choice for most users looking for a suitable platform for building a website because of its open source and easy to use character. A number of convenient features associated with the CMS attract a large number of people including existing owners who take help from services that migrate website to wordpress. While the intuitive nature of its user interface makes building a website or conducting modifications an effortless task, it is essential for users to possess knowledge about its features and functioning. Some useful information is being provided here for people looking to customize WordPress website.
Step by Step Guide to Customize WordPress Website Elements
There are three aspects of personalizing a website, the first being the content, the second being the appearance and finally the third being the custom functionality and we will take a look at all facets separately.
1. Managing And Editing Content
Adding content is an effortless task in WordPress, with the CMS providing an intuitive admin dashboard for the purpose. WordPress started off as a blogging platform before evolving into a versatile content management system and it can explain why managing content is so easy.
Go to the admin dashboard and look at the menu on the left side, the option for “Posts” is right at the top. Clicking on it will show a list populated with all the post with their titles, author names, categories, tags and the dates on which they were last modified. The “Add New” tab can be used by people looking to post content.
Selecting the option takes a user to the next page where there is a window for posting textual content, format it in the desired manner and even add media elements.
It also has a very convenient scheduling feature which lets people set a time for the post to become visible to website visitors. The post can be classified under a selected category and the names of all the categories can be set by the user who also has the liberty of editing the content whenever he/she wishes to do so. There is also a facility to preview the changes before making them live beside a feature of adding tags to all posts so that they can be included in relevant searches by search engines.
Most interfaces will have a homepage, “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages besides a blog. When a theme is used for creating a website, sample layouts for most of these pages are included in the theme which makes it very easy to add new pages. The task can also be conducted through the admin dashboard. Locate the “Pages” option in the admin dashboard menu and select it to create essential pages for the website. Always remember that pages do not have categories or tags but they can have sub-pages (called child) and posts can be displayed on pages but not vice versa.
Once the pages are created, the next step is to make changes in the settings so that the WordPress core program understands the nature of each page.
This can be done through the “Reading Settings” which can be accessed through the admin dashboard by clicking the “Settings” tab. Here, choosing the static page option and then selecting the relevant choices from the “Front page” and “Posts page” dropdown and saving the changes by clicking the button in the bottom left corner will do the needful.
Menus are essential for providing a satisfactory user experience and let’s take a look at how to add them through the dashboard. Go to Appearance> Menus and create a new menu by selecting the relevant options and adding pages, categories, and custom links.
2. Modifying Design
People looking to customize WordPress website must also know about the methods to modify the design elements but they must possess knowledge about CSS and PHP to complete the process successfully. Let’s take a look at how design can be modified.
Using Theme Customizer
The open source platform relies upon themes to design a website which are pre-built templates which can be used for creating an interface. WordPress has included a theme customizer in its package which can be accessed by Appearance> Customize in the admin dashboard. The author of a theme can use the customizer change elements like colour and layout while previewing all the changes in real time.
Using Appearance Editor
The admin dashboard also provides another method to edit a theme in the form of appearance editor. Take the path Appearance> Editor to access it.
It will make all the code of the selected theme visible to the user who can then make the relevant changes by accessing the files from the right side panel of the editor. All the template and stylesheet files can be modified through this method but users must ensure that they possess complete knowledge about PHP before moving ahead with the task as any error will ruin the whole theme.
3. Custom Functions In Themes
Themes are one of the biggest advantages of WordPress and there are numerous pre-built templates that can be used for creating websites. A lot of them have been categorized according to industries and occupations and possess features which are essential for websites catering to those fields. A user must try to look for templates that have been specifically created for his/her business vertical as it will have the required custom functions. If such a theme is not available then, a general multi-purpose template can be employed and plugins can be used to add the desired functionalities which is again a very easy task which can be done through the dashboard.
The information presented here will be helpful for people looking to customize WordPress website in a convenient and easy manner but the intuitive and ever-evolving nature of the platform means that a user can find even new ways to complete the process.
Brandon Graves is a WordPress expert working as an HTML to WordPress developer with HireWPGeeks – WordPress development services provider. He is passionate about writing useful updates for WordPress users. Follow him on Google Plus to get instant updates from him.