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How To Use WordPress Customizer? (Best Guide)

how to use wordpress customizer

Are you trying to learn how to use WordPress Customizer like a champ?

Welcome to this exciting journey, where we’ll dive deep into the magical world of WP Customizer.

So, what’s the WordPress Customizer, you ask?

Imagine it like having a magic wand for your website.

It’s this excellent feature built right into WordPress that lets you tweak, adjust, and personalize various parts of your website/theme – all in real time.

From changing your site’s title to playing around with the color scheme, the Customizer is like your personal creative playground.

It allows you to make your website truly YOURS without working with code.

Plus, it’s super user-friendly and lets you see the changes live as you make them.

Thus, mastering the Customizer is like giving yourself a superpower to create a website that not only looks fantastic but also feels just right.

Stick around as we explore the ins and outs of the WordPress Customizer and discover how it can transform your website customization experience from “MEH” to “WOW.”

This post covers:

How To Access WordPress Customizer

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and learn how to access this amazing tool.

Trust me, it’s as easy as pie, and I’ll walk you through every step of the way.

Step 1: Log In To Your WordPress Dashboard

First things first, you need to be logged into your WordPress website.

So, type in your website’s URL followed by “/wp-admin” (without the quotes).

It should look something like this: “” Put in your username and password, and voila, you’re in!

Step 2: Find The “Appearance” Menu

how to access wordpress customizer

Once you’re comfortably inside your WordPress dashboard, take a look at the left-hand side of the screen.

You’ll see a bunch of different menu options. Navigate your way to the “Appearance” menu and give it a click.

You’re doing great!

Step 3: Click On “Customize”

Under the “Appearance” menu, you’ll find an option labeled “Customize.” Go ahead and click on that.

You can also just hover over the “Appearance” and then click “Customize.” (No need for that one extra click this way.)

Feeling the excitement yet? You’re just a CLICK away!

And… You’re In!

wordpress customizer page

You’ve successfully accessed the WordPress Customizer. Told you it was easy, right?

Now, before we start playing around with all the cool settings, let’s have a QUICK chat about user roles and permissions.

User Roles & Permissions

In WordPress, not everyone gets an all-access pass to every feature, including the Customizer.

Depending on your user role, you might have full access, limited access, or no access at all.

  • Administrators have the ultimate power. They can access and change everything within the Customizer.
  • Editors and Authors usually have limited access. They might be able to change some settings but not others.
  • Subscribers typically don’t have access to the Customizer at all.

So, if you cannot access certain settings, it might be because of your user role.

If that’s the case, chat with the Administrator of your site, and they can adjust your permissions or make the changes for you.

For new webmasters, here’s how to add a new user in WordPress.

Let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with Customizer’s surroundings.

It’s like opening a treasure box full of customization goodies, and I can’t wait for you to explore it all.

A Grand Tour Of The WordPress Customizer Interface

wordpress customizer interface sidebar and live preview

As soon as you step into the Customizer, you’ll notice a sidebar on the left and a live preview of your website on the right.

It shows you the future of your website as you make changes – in real time.

  • Sidebar: This is where the magic happens. It’s filled with various sections and settings that allow you to tweak different parts of your website.
  • Live preview: This is your canvas, showing exactly how your site will look as you make changes.

Sections & Settings Galore!

wordpress customizer settings

The Customizer is divided into different sections, each dedicated to a specific part of your website.

Let’s quickly glance through some of the key sections:

  • Site identity: Here, you can change your site’s title, tagline, and logo.
  • Colors: Play with the color scheme of your site until it’s just perfect.
  • Header: Customize your site’s header to make a grand entrance.
  • Menus: Organize your site’s navigation like a pro.
  • Widgets: Add some cool features and content to your sidebars.
  • Homepage settings: Decide what your visitors see first when they land on your site.
  • Additional CSS: For the adventurous, add your custom CSS code to tweak everything to perfection.

And that’s just scratching the surface! There are plenty more sections and settings to explore.

Remember, each WordPress theme might have slightly altered features and functions.

Tips For Smooth Sailing

Navigating through the Customizer is a breeze if you keep these tips in mind:

  • Take it one step at a time: Don’t rush! Explore each section one by one to understand what each setting does.
  • Use the search function: Not sure where to find a specific setting? Use the search function at the top of the sidebar to quickly find what you need.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment: The great thing about the Customizer is that your changes won’t be visible to the public until you hit “Publish.” So feel free to experiment and play around until everything looks just right.
  • Use the device toggle: Want to see how your site looks on mobile or tablet? Use the device toggle at the bottom of the sidebar to switch between different views.

Customizing Site Identity

You’ve made it to the “Site Identity” section of the WordPress Customizer. This is where you get to infuse your website with personality and charm.

Think of it as giving your site a name badge and a funky hat so visitors can instantly recognize and remember it.

Changing Site Title & Tagline

customizing site identity

Your site title and tagline are like the welcoming committee for your website.

They give visitors a sneak peek into what your site is all about. And they appear in search engine results.

  • Find the “Site Identity” section: Once you’re in the Customizer, look for the “Site Identity” section and give it a click.
  • Type away: You’ll see boxes for your site’s title and tagline. Go ahead and type in your fabulous new title and a witty tagline.
  • Save & publish: Happy with how it looks? Great! Hit “Publish” to save your changes.

But we also have a full tutorial on how to change WordPress site title.

Adding & Customizing Site Logo

adding customizing site logo

Your logo is like your website’s signature. It’s unique to you and helps visitors instantly recognize your brand.

  • Find the Logo setting: Still in the “Site Identity” section, look for the “Logo” setting (sometimes, “Header & Logo Settings”).
  • Upload your logo: Click on “Select Logo” to upload your logo image. Don’t have a logo yet? No worries, there are plenty of free tools out there to create one! (I even created a tutorial on how to make a logo without Photoshop.)
  • Adjust to perfection: Once uploaded, you can adjust the size and position until it’s just right.
  • Hit publish: When everything looks perfect, hit “Publish” to save your changes.

Managing Site Icon (Favicon)

managing site icon favicon

Your favicon is that tiny image on the browser tab.

It’s small but mighty – helping users identify your site even when they have a million tabs open (like me).

  • Find the “Site Icon” setting: Still hanging out in the “Site Identity” section? Great! Look for the “Site Icon” setting.
  • Upload your Favicon: Click on “Select Site Icon” to upload your image. Remember, this image should be a square and at least 512 pixels in width and height.
  • Crop & save: Adjust the image as needed, then hit “Crop Image”.
  • Publish: All set? Hit “Publish” to save your changes.

And just like that, you’ve added a ton of personality to your website.

You may also be interested in this tutorial on how to change favicon in WordPress.

Note: You don’t have to press “Publish” each time – you can modify the site title, tagline, logo and favicon first and then click it.

Managing Colors & Typography

managing colors and typography

It’s time to add some pizzazz with colors and typography to your site.

This is where your website really starts to come alive, expressing your unique style and making a lasting impression on your visitors.

Changing Site’s Color Scheme

Colors speak louder than words, setting the mood and vibe of your website.

  • Find the “Colors” section: In the Customizer sidebar, navigate to the “Colors” section to add a splash of color.
  • Pick your palette: You’ll find options to change the header, background, and link colors (some themes offer even more color settings). Play around with the color picker or enter a specific color code if you have one in mind.
  • Live preview magic: Watch the live preview as it instantly shows the changes.
  • Save your creation: After finding the perfect combo, hit “Publish” to save your vibrant new color scheme.

Tips For Choosing The Right Font Combinations

tips for choosing the right font combinations

Fonts are like the voice of your website. They tell your story and convey your message.

  • Keep it simple: Stick to 2-3 fonts max. Too many fonts can make your site look cluttered.
  • Contrast is key: Combine a bold header font with a simpler body font for a balanced look.
  • Test readability: Make sure your fonts are easy to read, especially on smaller screens.

While changing fonts is easy, feel free to take a peek at our guide on how to change fonts in WordPress.

Customizing Font Sizes, Line Heights, & More

Now that we’ve picked fonts, ensure they’re dressed to impress.

  • Navigate to “Typography”: Find the “Typography” section in the Customizer (Note: This might be labeled differently or be part of a theme-specific section).
  • Adjust font sizes: Look for settings to adjust the font size of headers, body text, and links.
  • Line heights & spacing: Adjust line heights and spacing to make sure your text is easy on the eyes.
  • Consistency is key: Aim for a consistent look across different sections of your website.
  • Live preview to the rescue: Use the live preview to check your adjustments in real time.
  • Publish your typographic masterpiece: Happy with how it looks? Hit “Publish” to save your changes.

Configuring Header & Navigation

The header of your website is like the grand entrance at a party; it sets the tone and welcomes your visitors.

And the navigation? Well, that’s your friendly guide, helping visitors find exactly what they’re looking for.

Customizing The Header Layout & Design

configuring the header layout

Whether you want something sleek and simple or bold and vibrant, the header is your canvas.

  • Head to the “Header” section: In the Customizer, find the section dedicated to your header – it might be labeled “Header,” “Header & Navigation,” or something similar, depending on your theme.
  • Pick your layout: Experiment with different layouts and alignments until you find the perfect fit for your site.
  • Play with colors & fonts: Adjust colors, fonts, and other design elements to match your site’s personality.
  • Add images or videos: Some themes allow you to add a background image or video to your header – go ahead and try it if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • Check the preview & publish: Use the live preview to ensure everything looks just right, and hit “Publish” when you’re ready to show off your new header to the world.

Managing Navigation Menus

managing navigation menus

A well-organized WordPress menu is like a map of your website’s content.

  • Navigate to “Menus”: Look for the “Menus” section in the Customizer.
  • Create or edit a menu: You can create a new menu or edit an existing one. Make sure to give it a clear name to help you remember what it’s for.
  • Add your items: Add pages, categories, custom links, or whatever else you want to include in your menu.
  • Organize & arrange: Drag and drop the items to place them in your desired order.
  • Assign a location: If your theme supports multiple menu locations, assign your menu to the desired spot on your site.
  • Save & publish: Once everything’s set up, hit “Publish” to update your site’s navigation.

Adding & Configuring Social Media Links

adding configuring social media links

Let’s not forget about connecting with your audience on social media.

  • Find the social media section: This might be in a separate “Social Media” section, or it could be part of your header or footer settings, depending on your theme.
  • Add your links: Enter the URLs for your social media profiles. Many themes will automatically display the right icon for each network.
  • Customize the style: Adjust colors, sizes, and styles to match your site’s look and feel.
  • Preview & publish: Use the live preview to check that everything’s working and looking great, and then hit “Publish” to save your changes.

But you might also want to add social share buttons in WordPress, which usually requires installing a plugin.

Setting Up The Homepage & Blog Page

setting up homepage blog page

Your homepage is the first thing your visitors see, and you want it to be inviting, right?

And just like any good home, you need a space to share your stories – enter the blog page.

Get these spaces set up and sparkling with personality!

Choosing Between A Static Homepage & A Latest Posts Homepage

  • Navigate to “Homepage Settings”: In the Customizer, find and click on the “Homepage Settings” section.
  • Decide on your homepage style:
    Static Homepage: Want a stable, unchanging welcome mat? Choose “A static page” and then select the page you’d like to use as your homepage.
    Latest Posts Homepage: Prefer to greet your visitors with your newest adventures? Select “Your latest posts,” and your homepage will automatically show your most recent blog posts.
  • Save: Once you’ve made your choice, hit “Publish” to save your settings.

Customizing The Blog Page Settings

  • Find the right section: Depending on your theme, blog page settings might be under “Homepage Settings,” “Blog,” or something similar.
  • Play with the layout: Choose how you want your posts to be displayed. Grid? List?
  • Adjust display settings: Decide if you want to show the full text of your posts or just a summary, and tweak other settings until it’s just right.
  • Save your masterpiece: Happy with your blog’s new look? Hit “Publish” to save your changes.

Tips For Optimizing The Homepage For User Engagement

  • Clear & compelling headline: Make sure your homepage has a clear and compelling headline that tells visitors what your site is all about.
  • Easy navigation: Ensure your navigation menu is easy to use.
  • Highlight key content: Use your homepage to highlight key content or products. Make it easy for visitors to find your best stuff!
  • Include a call-to-action: What do you want visitors to do next? Sign up for your newsletter? Check out your latest blog post? Make it clear with a call-to-action.
  • Keep it fast & mobile-friendly: Ensure your homepage loads quickly and looks great on all devices.

Configuring Widgets & Sidebars

configuring widgets and sidebars

Widgets and sidebars are handy and interactive decorations of your website.

They add functionality, provide helpful information, and can even add a bit of life to your pages.

What Are Widgets & Sidebars?

1. Widgets: These are small blocks that perform specific functions on your website. Think of them as mini-applications that can display everything from recent posts, a search bar, categories, and more.

2. Sidebars: This is the space on your website, usually on the side or at the bottom, where you can place your widgets. It’s like a display shelf for your widgets!

Adding, Removing, & Configuring Widgets

  • Find the “Widgets” section: In the Customizer, navigate to the “Widgets” section. This is where the magic happens!
  • Choose a sidebar or widget area: Your theme might have different sidebars or widget areas available. Click on the one you want to customize.
  • Add a widget: Click “Add a Widget” and browse through the list of available widgets. Found one you like? Click on it to add it to your sidebar.
  • Configure your widget: Each widget has its own settings. Click on the widget in the sidebar to expand its settings and make it your own.
  • Remove widgets if needed: Changed your mind? Click on the widget, and then click “Remove” to take it off your sidebar.
  • Rearrange as you like: You can drag and drop widgets to rearrange the order in which they appear.
  • Save your setup: Happy with your new widget setup? Click “Publish” to save your changes.

For a more in-depth process, follow this guide on how to add a sidebar in WordPress.

Best Practices For Sidebar Customization

1. Keep it relevant: Only add widgets that add value to your site and are relevant to your content.

2. Don’t overcrowd: Too many widgets can make your site look cluttered. Keep it clean and simple.

3. Usability test: Make sure your sidebar looks good and works well on all devices.

4. Update regularly: Keep your widgets up to date and swap them out to keep things fresh and interesting.

Customizing Additional CSS

customizing additional css

Are you ready to add a personal touch to your WordPress site with some custom CSS?

However, if you’re not familiar with coding, it’s better to ask a WordPress developer to make it happen for you.

What Is The Additional CSS Section?

1. A special place for your custom styles: The “Additional CSS” section in the WordPress Customizer is like a secret garden for your styling codes.

It allows you to add your own CSS rules to tweak and fine-tune your site’s appearance without changing the theme’s original files.

2. Real-time preview: The best part? You get a live preview of your changes as you type. It’s like seeing your site transform right before your eyes.

We already covered six ways on how to customize your WordPress theme’s CSS.

But you may also want to check how to customize your WordPress theme in general.

Basic CSS Knowledge For Customization

1. Understanding CSS syntax: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is all about rules. Each rule has a selector and a declaration block.

The selector points to the HTML element you want to style, and the declaration block contains one or more declarations separated by semicolons.

Each declaration includes a CSS property and a value, separated by a colon.

2. Knowing common properties: Familiarize yourself with common CSS properties like “color,” “font-size,” “margin,” “padding,” and “border.” These are the building blocks of your custom styles.

3. Start simple: Begin with simple changes. Want to change the color of your headings? Find out their CSS class and start experimenting.

Examples & Tips For Custom CSS

  1. Changing font color:
  2. – Example: `h1 { color: #333333; }`
    – Tip: Use a color picker to find the exact color value you need.

  3. Adjusting padding:
  4. – Example: `.content { padding: 20px; }`
    – Tip: Adjusting padding can give your content more breathing room.

  5. Adding a border to images:
  6. – Example: `img { border: 1px solid #000000; }`
    – Tip: This gives a neat and finished look to your images.

  7. Test on different devices: Ensure your custom styles look good on both desktop and mobile.
  8. Start with small changes: Experiment with small changes and gradually move to more complex styling.
  9. Don’t forget to save: Once you’re happy with how things look, hit “Publish” to save your custom CSS.

Previewing & Publishing Changes

You’ve tweaked, styled, and personalized every corner, and now it’s time to preview, save, and showcase your masterpiece to the world.

Ready to take the final steps together?

Previewing Changes In Real-Time

1. The Magic of the Customizer: One of the coolest things about the WordPress Customizer is that it shows you a live preview of your changes as you make them. You tweak on the left, and voila! The changes appear on the right.

wordpress customizer device preview

2. Test on different devices: See those little device icons at the bottom of the preview panel? Click on them to see how your site looks on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Because hey, we want to look good everywhere, right?

Saving Drafts & Scheduling Customizations

saving drafts and scheduling customizations

1. Not ready to go live? No problem! If you need to step away or want to think about your changes a bit more, click on the gear icon next to the “Publish” button and choose “Save Draft.” Your changes will be safe and sound, waiting for you when you’re ready.

2. Ready, set, schedule! Got everything perfect but want to unveil it at the perfect moment? In the same gear menu, choose “Schedule” and pick the date and time that suits your grand launch.

Publishing Changes & Reverting Back If Necessary

  • Go Live with confidence: Once you’re 100% happy and ready to show the world, hit “Publish.” Your changes are now live for all to see!
  • Oops! Need to go back?: Changed your mind or spotted a typo? Don’t sweat it. You can always go back into the Customizer, make your tweaks, and hit “Publish” again.
  • Use revisions: If you need to revert to an earlier version, you can click on the clock icon next to the “Publish” button to access your revisions. Find the version you want to go back to, select it, and restore.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Did you hit a snag? Don’t you worry! We’ve all been there, and I’m here to help you troubleshoot and get back on track.

Let’s tackle those common issues together and keep the good vibes rolling.

Common WordPress Customizer Issues & Solutions

1. Changes not reflecting? Clear that cache!:
Sometimes, browsers hold onto old data, preventing you from seeing your latest changes. Clear your browser cache, and you should see your updates shining through.

2. Customizer not loading? Let’s check your plugins:
Occasionally, WordPress plugins can conflict with the Customizer. Try deactivating your plugins individually to see if that resolves the issue. Found the culprit? Look for an update or an alternative plugin.

3. Is your theme up to date?:
Ensure that your WordPress theme is up to date. Sometimes, themes can cause issues with the Customizer if incompatible with the latest WP version.

4. Server resources running low?:
If your website is on a hosting plan with limited resources, it might struggle to load the Customizer. Consider upgrading your hosting plan for a smoother experience.

Tips For Maintaining The Performance Of The Customizer

  • Keep everything updated: Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins. Updates bring improvements, new features, and important bug fixes.
  • Choose quality plugins & themes: Opt for well-coded and well-supported ones. They play a significant role in the performance of your website and the Customizer.
  • Less is more: Deactivate and delete any plugins you are not using. Keep your WordPress clean and tidy.
  • Consider a caching plugin: Caching plugins can improve the performance of your site, including the Customizer experience.
  • Regular backups: Always back up your site before making significant changes. If anything goes wrong, you’ll have a safety net to fall back on.

Conclusion: Master WordPress Customizer!

We’ve had quite the journey exploring the wonderful world of WordPress Customizer, haven’t we?

Quick Recap:

  • Getting started: We learned how to access the Customizer and ensured we had the right permissions.
  • Navigating the interface: We explored the different sections and settings, picking up tips for efficient navigation.
  • Adding personal touches: From tweaking the Site Identity and Typography to configuring Widgets and CSS – you’ve personalized every bit.
  • Preview & publish: You’ve mastered the art of previewing, saving drafts, and publishing your masterpiece.
  • Troubleshooting: And when things got tricky, you tackled issues like a pro!

Now’s the time to experiment and find the perfect look for your site. Remember, the Customizer is your best friend for website customization.

A gentle reminder: always save your changes and back up your site before diving into major updates. Safety first!

FAQs About Using WordPress Customizer

What is the WordPress Customizer?

The WordPress Customizer is a built-in tool that allows you to modify various aspects of your site’s appearance and functionality in real-time. You can change site settings like colors, fonts, layout, and widgets while viewing a live preview of the changes.

How do I access the WordPress Customizer?

You can access the Customizer from your WordPress dashboard by navigating to “Appearance” > “Customize.” This will take you directly to the Customizer interface where you can start making changes.

Can I add new controls to the WordPress Customizer?

Yes, developers can add new controls to the Customizer through custom code or plugins. This allows for extended functionality tailored to specific needs, such as adding options for custom headers, backgrounds, or theme-specific features.

Is it possible to preview changes on different devices using the Customizer?

Yes, the Customizer includes options to preview how your site will look on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. You can switch between these views while customizing to ensure your site looks great on all devices.

Can changes made in the Customizer be undone?

Changes made in the Customizer can be undone by simply clicking the “Cancel” button if you haven’t published them yet. If you’ve already published the changes but need to revert, you must manually undo them or restore a previous version of your site if backups are available.

About Author

Rok decided to put his original approach and vision into action by starting ULTIDA, thanks to his extensive experience with web development and design since 2011. Working with 100s of clients made his subconscious mind think of nothing but themes, HTML, plugins, mockups, etc.