LESSON #36: Customizing WordPress

By | March 21, 2009

(Part 4 in a series of 4)

In the previous three lessons, I’ve been covering WordPress. We started off with by installing WordPress. Then we talked about the best way to configure WordPress. And then in the previous lesson we talked about WordPress themes and plugins.

Today we’re going to take it a step further and look at how to customize a theme to meet the needs of your business…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • You can edit theme files online or offline. Either way, be sure to keep a backup of your theme offline.

  • The CSS Stylesheet is responsible for much of the look and feel of the site. Within this one file you can change fonts, colors, sizes, layouts, and have those changes instantly take effect throughout your entire site.

  • I prefer to edit files offline using Notepad++ (see Lesson #28 for basic HTML editing skills)

    See video for examples of…

    -Editing the colors, fonts, and other style in the CSS Stylesheet
    -Adding an AdSense ad to the sidebar
    -Editing the footer to take away a credit/footprint
    -Changing the graphics

    Action steps:

    1) If you’re not happy with the look or function of your WordPress site, customize it!

    Remember, if you need help there is a massive support forum at: http://wordpress.org/support/

    In the next lesson, I’ll be talking about making money with your blog.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂 And if you’ve customized your WordPress theme, be sure to show it off to us!

    Have a great day!

  • 165 thoughts on “LESSON #36: Customizing WordPress

    1. Scott Freeman

      Here is my new site, just customized a couple of days ago. Since my product is children’s books, I think it needs to be very graphics driven with original illustration. However since the purchasers will be parents, it still needs to appeal to adults, looking professional, yet without looking like a bank website. http://www.bigpicturepublishing.com

      PS: Eric & Micah – I’m still awaiting a reply from Lesson #26 in the comment section, before I upload Filezilla…


      1. Micah

        Hello Scott,

        Yes, I believe that you have a very good vision for your website. You might want spend some time researching some websites of other successful children’s books/series.

        Here are a few links I found for you:

        These are all appealing and colorful, reflecting the themes that pull us into the stories that we’ve come to know.

        Due to more recent problems with malware, we recommend ONLY downloading Filezilla from the download links on https://filezilla-project.org/

        They do appear to have added some annoying junk. If you choose “Advanced Installation,” you will be able to uncheck the boxes, to avoid installing unwanted items.

        Then, be sure to read the next screen carefully. Choosing “decline” was the appropriate option, to avoid installing one final extra item.

        Java updates have become just like this as well. It’s a good reminder to pay close attention, whenever installing any software on your computer, no matter how trustworthy the source!

    2. Jerry

      For multiple domains within the same host, do you install wordpress in each domains root directory or can any of it be share

      1. Micah

        Hello Jerry,

        Yes, you would install separately on each domain. Many hosts offer one-click WordPress installations!

    3. Suzanne

      I want to edit the style.css. When I went into editor in my theme, I saw the code, however there was a warning.
      Do I copy and paste the code into this styling box and then edit it? Seems like another step instead of using the editor.


      To make it easy to update your theme, you should not edit the styles in this file.
      Instead go to Appearance > Theme Options > Styling > Custom CSS and enter your custom CSS there.
      Any style attributes declared there will override the ones in this file and will not be lost during theme update.

      You have been warned!

      1. Micah

        Hello Suzanne,

        You could still edit the file manually. But, there is greater chance for errors that could damage the appearance of your site, if you aren’t experienced with CSS.

        It looks like the CSS for your chosen theme, has features that will let you edit aspects from within the Styling area of the admin panel.

    4. Sandra

      I just wanted to show off my site that I have been working on since April. I haven’t truly launched it yet–having trouble figuring out how to launch something when you don’t have a list yet! 🙂 I do have a free ebook on there and it has autoresponders etc.. I have written a lot of content–things I know personally and things I’ve learned from others. I had a pretty successful offline business a few years ago and saved our house when my husband lost his job. Since then I’ve learned a lot about online marketing. My major issue is the list. So, I’m taking it slow, trying to post on blogs etc.. and have set up a Facebook page which I’m starting ads on next week. We shall see! Anyway, I’d love to know what you all think about my site. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from the products and services I’ve invested in from Eric and his pals. The site is workathomejobsformoms.info. Also, I got that domain name before I did the training on SEO. So, I’m going to try to get a .com to re-direct to it soon. Thank you!

    5. K F Orison

      it’s a very good lesson . But there is something burning inside of me , I bought e-books from your company on 7 June , 2016 upto now the e-books have not been delivered to me . And I don’t want to give a bad review about you . Thanks

      1. Micah

        Hello K F,

        We’re glad to see you found the helpdesk, and were able to access your purchase.

    6. Marc M. Demers

      Hi Eric,

      I need some more teaching on CSS, hope some other lessons are covering it.

      Thanks again for your great job.




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