Choosing your theme
Your site theme controls the visual layout and appearance of your site.
There are over 350 themes for you to choose including:
- Themes that can’t be altered and are “use as is”.
- Themes that are “extremely customizable” allowing to change font types, font color and background color.
Every newly created site has the same default theme which you can easily change using the Appearance > Themes area of your dashboard.
Here’s an example of the look of a newly created site:
Here’s an example of a site using a customized theme:
Almost all themes include the ability to:
- Upload custom image headers.
- Add a background image.
- Display comments on pages.
Features worth considering when choosing a site theme include:
Site themes normally include a:
- Header – the area at the top of a site where the site title, graphics, and possibly navigational links appear.
- A content area – for your posts or page. Posts are where you normally publish the latest update or new article on a site. They are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order with the most recent post at the top of the page.
- Sidebar area – for your widgets
Themes come in several standard layouts:
- Single column with no sidebar (widgets are located at the bottom of the site)
- Two Column – normally a wide column for content and narrower sidebar
- Three Column – with sidebars side-by-side on one side of the site or either side of the wider content column
- Four Column – one content column and three sidebars. The content column is often the same width as the other columns. This type of layout tends to be cluttered looking and less suited to reading lengthy content.
Two or three column are the most commonly used layouts.
When considering layout you need to think about which side(s) do you prefer the sidebar to be located? Also, make sure you check out the width of the site and the post area.
The site title is displayed in the title bar of a web browser and in the header of most themes.
Your site title is one of the first things a reader sees when visiting your site. Choose a name that reflects the purpose of your class site and your students can relate to.
You change your title as follows:
1. Go to Settings > General.
2. Change the Site Title.
3. Click Save Changes.
The concept behind a site tagline is to create a memorable phrase that sums up the tone and premise of a site.
Ideally, all sites should have a tagline since they instantly tell first-time readers what your sites all about and whether you write posts in topic areas that interest them.
You change your tagline as follows:
1. Go to Settings > General.
2. Change the Tagline.
3. Click Save Changes.
CUSTOM HEADER IMAGE
Being able to upload your own custom image header means you can add your “own personal touch” to your site.
You can use a custom image header as a work around for site themes that don’t include taglines. All you need to do is add a tagline to your image header using an image editing tool.
Most themes allow you to upload a custom image header.
You upload your own custom image header as follows:
1. Go to Appearance > Customize
Or click on ‘Customize‘ under the active theme.
2. Click on Header Image in the Customizer to reveal the theme’s header options.
- If you don’t see the Header section in the Customizer it means the theme doesn’t support the use of a custom header image.
3. Click on Add new image.
4. Choose an image from your media library or upload a new image from your computer.
- Only .jpeg, .gif, and .png files can be used for image headers.
- For best results, we recommend you resize the image to the exact dimensions recommended for the theme before uploading by using an image editing software.
5. Click on Select and Crop.
6. Click on Crop image.
7. Your new header image should appear in your site preview window.
8. Click Save & Publish on the Customizer to activate the new header on your site.
Some site themes have links to pages hard coded into the navigation tabs at the top of the theme.
- You can remove links to pages in the top navigation using a custom menu (via Appearance > Menu).
- Add links to pages in your sidebar using the page widget (via Appearance > Widgets).
When choosing your theme remember that if color scheme makes your content hard to read you will lose readers. Balance your personal preferences with readability since ultimately you want people to read your content.
Don’t just look at the overall color — remember to check closely the color of: the header; the background; post text and links; post titles; headings in posts; widget titles and links.
While most of the standard CampusPress theme's color schemes can’t be altered i.e. “use as is” there are a few themes that allow you to change the theme’s color.
Most themes don’t have extensive customization options and are “use as is”.
However, there are themes that are “extremely customizable” allowing to change font types, font color and background color.
With these types of theme you normally customize them via their Appearance > Theme Options page.
The Simpler CSS plugin enables you to modify the theme’s fonts, colors, border and backgrounds by adding custom stylesheets to your site. Refer to our editing CSS support page for more information.