Learning how to customize WordPress is not as difficult as you many think it is.
With so many themes out there it is fairly easy to find a new theme for your WordPress blog. But if you just can’t seem to find a theme that is quite right, you can always take matters into your own hands and learn how to customize WordPress yourself.
Keep in mind that if you have downloaded a theme you will have to check with the theme creator to make sure they approve your customizing the theme. Most will have no problem with it as long as the theme contains the link back to their site, but you want to check to be sure. If all else fails, you can always customize the default WordPress theme.
Now today I am going to go over customizing the graphics in the WordPress theme. This is the easiest way to customize a WordPress theme and make it your own. I believe in keeping things as simple as possible. As long as you like the layout why get into restructuring the whole site? In keeping with our simple theory, we are going to find the current graphics used on the theme and change them up to fit our new theme.
You will want to find the image files for the theme you are using. This will be simple to do if you installed the theme manually. If you installed the them automatically using WordPress then you will need to find the theme and download it to your hard drive.
Once you have the theme on your hard drive you will want to browse to the image folder. The image folder will most likely be located in an image folder within the theme folder. Each theme creator can name this folder whatever they choose, but most creators will name it ‘image’ or ‘img’.
In this folder you should be able to find the header, background, icon, footer and any other graphics files that are used on that theme. Make a copy of these images so you don’t alter the originals and copy them to a work folder on your hard drive. For me it is easier to make a copy of the image files and use them as my base. I already know they work with the theme and they are the correct dimensions I need and there won’t be any second guessing on my part.
To edit these files you will need a half way decent graphic editing program. If you have Adobe that is great, if not you can download GIMP for free. Once you have your graphics program fired up the first thing you should do is add a layer to the image to start your work on a ‘fresh canvas’.
From this point on it is basically putting your design skills to work. If you have other images you want to replace the images with you can just copy and paste them onto the new layer. There are no limits to the options you have when editing your graphics. I could go into detail here but graphic design is a whole tutorial in itself.
Once you have edited your graphics and are happy with them, it is time to reveal your customized WordPress theme.
There are two ways you can install your new customized theme.
You can manually upload your new graphics by using a FTP program. You will want to make sure you upload the graphics to the correct folder and overwrite the original images.
You can copy your new files into graphics folder of the original theme on your hard drive and then log into WordPress blog and install it automatically. If you already have the original theme installed, you may need to remove it to install the new one or rename the theme on your hard drive.