The Ultimate Guide to Customising WordPress Themes for Your Unique Brand
Customising your WordPress theme can help make your website stand out and reflect your unique brand. In this post, our website designers and developers in St Helens will provide a step-by-step guide to customising your WordPress theme.
1. Choose Your Theme
Before customising your theme, choose a theme that best fits your website’s needs and your brand’s aesthetic. Look for a theme that is customisable, flexible, and optimised for speed and performance.
If you’re looking for a website built for speed, you should use a fast, lightweight theme as the parent. To help, you can check out our blog on the top 10 fastest themes for WordPress websites.
2. Create a Child Theme
Creating a child theme allows you to make changes to your theme without affecting the original theme’s code. This ensures that your changes will not be lost when you update the theme. To create a child theme, create a new folder in your WordPress themes directory and add a style.css file and a functions.php file.
For more advanced users, you may prefer to build an entirely custom theme. Learn more with our guide on custom themes vs child themes.
3. Customise the Header and Footer
The header and footer are two of the most visible elements on your website. Customising these elements can help create a cohesive brand experience. To customise the header and footer, use CSS and HTML to change the layout, colours, and fonts.
4. Customise the Homepage
The homepage is the first thing visitors see when they land on your website, so it’s important to make a good impression. Customising the homepage can help create a unique brand experience and showcase your most important content. You can customise the homepage by using widgets, adding custom content, and using builder plugins to create custom layouts.
5. Customise the Fonts and Typography
Typography plays a crucial role in creating a cohesive brand experience. By customising the fonts and typography on your website, you can create a unique look and feel. You can use Google Fonts or other font libraries to find fonts that match your brand’s aesthetic. Then, use CSS to customise the typography on your website.
6. Customise the Colours
Customising the colours on your website is an important aspect of branding. Use colours that match your brand’s aesthetic and create a cohesive look and feel. You can use a colour palette generator like Coolors to find colours that work well together. Then, use CSS to customise the colours on your website.
7. Customise the Navigation Menu
The navigation menu is an important aspect of user experience. Customising the navigation menu can help create a more intuitive user experience and showcase your most important content. Use CSS and HTML to customise the layout and design of the navigation menu.
8. Add Custom Content and Widgets
Adding custom content and widgets to your website can help showcase your unique brand and provide useful information to your visitors. You can add custom content using the WordPress editor, or use plugins to create custom layouts. You can also use widgets to add functionality to your website, such as a social media feed or a contact form.
9. Optimise Images and Media
Images and media can make your website more engaging and visually appealing, but they can also slow down your website’s loading time if not optimised correctly. To optimise images and media, compress them to reduce file size and use lazy loading to only load images and media as visitors scroll down the page. You can use plugins like Smush to compress images and enable lazy loading.
10. Add Social Media Integration
Social media is an important aspect of modern marketing, and integrating social media into your website can help increase engagement and drive traffic. You can add social media icons to your website’s footer or header and add social media sharing buttons to drive engagement on your blog posts.
11. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking website traffic and user behaviour. By setting up Google Analytics on your website, you can gain valuable insights into your audience and how they interact with your website. It is easy to manually add Google Analytics to your website, but for eCommerce websites, we recommend installing the WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin. This plugin will automatically track shopping behaviour, conversion data and revenue which can be displayed in Google Analytics.
12. Add a Custom 404 Page
A 404 error page occurs when a visitor tries to access a page on your website that doesn’t exist. Adding a custom 404 page can help keep visitors on your website and guide them towards other relevant content. You can create a custom 404 page using the WordPress editor or use a plugin like 404page to easily create a custom page.
In conclusion, customising your WordPress website can help create a unique and memorable brand experience for your visitors. By following these additional steps, you can optimise your website’s performance, integrate social media, track website traffic, and provide a better user experience overall. Customising your WordPress website is an ongoing process, so continue to experiment and refine your website to create the best possible experience for your visitors.