Best Practices: Customizing WordPress Sites
Thanks to WordPress, you don’t have to look too far for ways to take your business to more people. A website or blog is a great way to connect to your customers and potential clients. WordPress gives you any number of options to do just this. What’s more, the site is constantly upgrading on what it has to offer both in terms of themes and in terms of security. Customizing WordPress sites is important – the defaults are not setup the best for you.
It helps you create a space for your own site, allowing you to stand out in a crowd. The amount of effort taken to make a website your own, shows your commitment to creating something of quality. This will bode well for your business, product or service too. Attention to detail also creates a sense of involvement for the reader of the website. Here’s how you customize your WordPress site.
The easiest way to customize your WordPress theme is to change the style sheet. Since each theme comes with a CSS file, this is simple to do. You can change the entire theme if you so choose. This includes, headers, images, colors, typography, calendar, lists and structure. Work on each aspect individually and ensure that they all go together in the end. Use the CSS file and the individual aspect file to help you do this. For instance, you’ll find picture, header file, search box and navigation in the header div.
Take the ‘About’ page seriously
Seeing how the whole purpose of the customization process is to create a connect with the audience, it makes sense to take more time with the About Page. Bring in a picture, tell your story but don’t go overboard. The idea is to show your true side so that the customer can feel confident in your products.
We recommend Thematic, the open source theme framework that gives you a wide range of grid layouts, plugin styles and areas to fill with widgets. Being open source, you have a lot of help too. Or Sandbox that works with CSS and is great for beginners.
Work on the comments
A simple way to differentiate yourself from the rest is through the author comments style. Try a highlight author comments plugin that does the work for you. Your comments are shown in a different style and for this, all you need to do is give WordPress a sample of the CSS style you’ve used in other posts.
Create an avatar
No one wants to see your website and see an outline of a torso where a face needs to be. Gravatars, or globally recognized avatars are great when you need to create an identity of your own. You can use it not just on your site, but also in forums, communities and other online spaces you might want to inhabit. This 80 X 80 pixel image needs to be created by the user and you can decide the ratings of the choices given to you and whether or not the avatar displayed in the first place.
These are just a few of the ways you can customize your WordPress website. As you gain more experience and learn the ways of the platform, you can do more to claim this space as your own.
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