Maintaining appearances

You have selected a theme, and it is installed and activated. Now you want to tweak it some to make it uniquely yours. Maybe you want a custom header or footer. Maybe you want to experiment with color schemes. If you are the person in your division or interest group who has administrative privileges to your site, you have basically three options to make this happen:

  1. The WordPress Customize feature
  2. Theme Options
  3. Frameworks tools

Customize site menu

Customize site drop-down menu

“Customize” feature: To access this tool, you have to be logged in, but you cannot be at the dashboard. So you get to it this way: 1) login to your site 2) while you are logged in, “visit” the site, as in go to your home page. 3) From the drop-down menu under your site’s name, select “Customize.”

Theme options.

Theme options are accessed under “Appearances” on the dashboard.

Theme options: Many themes – even free ones – come with built-in utilities that allow you to make adjustments to your theme. Typically these include the same kinds of things the built-in WordPress “Customize” feature includes (such as header and footer modifications and background image options), but also may include color options and layout options. You access “Theme options” under “Appearance” on the administrative dashboard.

Framework menu

A portion of the main menu in the Genesis framework

Frameworks tools: A number of high-end themes are designed with “hooks” to be used with a WordPress theme “framework.” Typically, you pay for a license to use the framework, and you may also pay for a “child” theme. These framework-based themes, such as Woo Themes or Genesis themes from Studio Press often have a very robust version of “Theme options” that plants itself as a separate dashboard item. Depending on the theme and the framework, you may have a great deal of flexibility in customizing the appearance of your theme.