by Drew Conroy
Posted on February 6, 2019
Note: This post is from our video tutorial on WordPress Themes
Open your WordPress Dashboard, then go to “Appearance” on the left
side panel and then “Themes”. Every Wordpress installation comes
with some themes already installed and one activated.
If you want to activate any of the other theme’s currently
installed, just click the activate button. The “Activate” button
along with the “Live Preview” shows up when you hover your cursor
over a theme.
If you want to search or upload a new theme, click the “New” button
at the top. You can search by “Featured”, “Popular”, “Latest”,
“Favorites” and “Feature Filter”. Then enter your search in
the search box to the right.
Once you find a theme you like, click the “Install Button”. Then click “Activate” to activate the theme. That’s all there is to it.
You can also upload a theme from your computer by using the “Upload
Theme” tab at the top left.
That, consisting of the layout, colors, styling and more. We are
currently using the 2017 theme that is up to date with a header
video and featured rich images. The target with this theme is on
The theme’s panel can be accessed by hovering you cursor over
“Appearance” in the left sidebar, then selecting themes from the
flyout. You can edit, customize, activate, remove and install
themes from this panel.
The theme that is currently activated will have the text “Active”
in the lower left hand corner. If you click on a theme it will bring
up more details about that theme. Such as the title, author,
description and tags. It also gives you the option to make changes
to your theme with links to the “Customizer”, “Widgets”, “Menus” and
The arrows on the top, let you go through the current themes you have installed. Buttons labeled “Activate” and “Live Preview” are along the bottom. If you click on the “Live Preview” button it will bring up the “Customizer” with a ‘live Preview’.
The Live Preview lets you view the current theme you are on and
make edits as you view them in real time. After you have made the
changes you want, you will need to click the change button to switch
your current theme to this one, and to make the edits stick.
However, we are not going to that. We are going to stay with the
The customizer on the left gives you options edit the site
identity, colors, header image, background image, menus, widgets,
homepage settings, and CSS. You can also make edits by clicking on
any one of the pencil icons on the page. We will go over those a
One thing to keep in mind is these are the options for this theme.
They may vary from theme to theme. Starting with the active
theme, there is a button with “change” next to it, to change the
theme. If we click it, we can then activate another theme or search
the WordPress Repository for another theme to install.
When we click on “Color”, we get the choice of color schemes which
are light and that’s the default, dark and custom. With custom, I am
able to change the font color. The “Header Text Color” can be
The “Header Media” feature lets you up upload or
embed a video. You can upload an image as well. You could upload
multiple images for the header. Then use the “Randomize Suggest
Headers” feature to have them randomly rotate.
We can add a new image or hide the current one by clicking the
“Hide Image” button. As you can see, the image is now gone. Notice
there it is still a copy listed under “Suggested”. If you decide you
want it back, just double the image under “Suggested” and that will
bring it back.
Next on the list is “Menus” and this should look familiar. We went
over “Menus” in video #13. Here you can create, edit or delete
anything on your website that has to do with the “Menus”.
Just like with the Menus, we recently went over “Widgets” in the
last video, video #14. However, we mostly worked with the “Widgets”
from the “Widget Panel” not the customizer. We did not use
this theme in the “Widgets” video, we used the 2016 theme. We are
using the 2017 theme in this video.
There are some differences, for instance: “Blog Sidebar” was just
called “Sidebar” in the 2016 theme. It’s still the same location,
showing the widgets on the right side of the page. In this
theme we have “Footer 1” and “Footer 2” with the widget area along
the bottom of the page. In the 2016 theme they are called “Content
Bottom 1” and “Content Bottom 2”.
In this theme, 2017, they only appear on posts. However, if you
want them on your pages there is plugin called “Page Sidebar for
Twenty Seventeen” that will take care of that for you.
To use the customizer for “Widgets”, it’s actually pretty easy. Select “Widgets” from the Customizer panel. Then select the location you want to add a “Widget”. Either, “Blog Sidebar” or “Footer 1” or “Footer 2”.
Let’s start with “Blog Sidebar”. You can see the Calendar Widget
has already been added. When clicking the down arrow on the right we
get the options to add a Title, and then click the “Done” link when
your finished. We can also delete this widget and reorder, if we had
more listed. When you click the “Add a Widget” you see a list of
several Widgets to choose from.
Let’s add the “Recent Posts” Widget. To add it, simply click
on it. From there, you can add a Title, select the number of
posts you want to show, and check off the box if you want the date
for each post to show up. Then click “Done” when you are finished
and the “Publish” button at the top of the page.
To view this page from the front end, click the X in the left upper
corner. Hover your cursor over the little house and right
click to Open a Link in New Tab. Then select blog. Remember,
the Widgets will only show on the Blog Page until we install the
“Page Sidebar for Twenty Seventeen” Plugin.
To get back to the Customizer, just click the “Customize” tab from
the Admin Bar on top.
Your “Homepage Settings” will most likely not be
set since we have not went over Permalinks yet. Under “Your Homepage
Displays” make sure “A Static Page” has been ticked. Under
“Homepage” there is a small arrow to the right. When you click that
it will open up a drop-down menu, then Select “Home”. If you do not
have a Homepage created yet, not a problem.
Click the text link “Add New Page” to add a page. Enter in
“Home” then click the “Add” button. Next, under “Posts Page”, if you
do not see a page named “Blog” in the drop-down menu, repeat the
The “Theme Options” give you the choice of 1 or 2 columns. When the
two-column layout is assigned, the page title is in one column and
the content is in the other. Verses one column that has everything
You can select pages to feature in each area from the dropdowns. An
image can be added to a section by setting a featured image in the
page editor. If you leave a page section empty, it will not be
For instance, if you want to add a new page, just click the “Add
New Page” text link and then name it. I will enter in Holidays for a
name. Then click the “Add” button. You will have to go back into the
editor to add content to the page. But if you scroll down you can
see the heading was added for the page.
Lets select the “About” page for the “Second Section” and then set
a “Featured Image”. We need to go to the Editor to add a “Featured
Image. I will click the back button then “All Pages” and the
Down to the right click the “Set Featured Image” text link. Select
an image, and click the “Set Featured Image” button. Then “Update”.
If we take a look at the website from the front end you can see the
“Featured Image” is in place. Let’s go back into the “Customizer” by
clicking the “Customize” button at the top of the page.
We are going to jump back up to “Site Identity”
because for some reason I overlooked it. You can upload a logo and
add your site name and tagline. Make sure you check off the box for
“Display Site Title” and “Tagline” so they show up on the page. You
can upload a Favicon which is what you see in browser tabs, bookmark
bars, and within the WordPress mobile apps.
Next on the list we have CSS which is short for cascading style
sheets. If you know CSS this would the place to add it.
Otherwise, if you do not know CSS then just ignore it.
Finally, the “Pencil Icons” give you another way to edit the “Site Identity” where you can edit the “Title”, “Slogan”, “Logo” and “Favicon”. You can also edit the site “Navigation Menus”.
Note: This post is from our video tutorial on WordPress Themes
Make sure to check out our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on our YouTube Channel.
Have a Great Day!