Customizing WordPress themes is not so difficult but whenever you make a core file modification, you need to make sure that you have a back-up installed. You never know what happens and you might lose the modifications that you did in the past and that are ok.
Whenever modifying WordPress themes, it is recommended that you use Child Themes. That allows you to basically be 100% sure that you do not make a mistake.
Understanding What A Child Theme Is
A child theme can be described as being an exact copy of your original theme. You basically get to use 2 themes on your blog. Only one is selected, which is the main theme. When you want to try some modifications, you would modify the secondary theme, the Child Theme. By doing this, you can easily see how a new font would look like, if a layout change is a good idea and basically anything that you want without any risk. If you want to read more about Child Themes, you can find good information here.
How To Start Modifying
You need to start everything by backing-up your theme if you did not do so already. You never know when you can make a mistake and modify the main theme instead of the child theme.
Next, you need to install your child theme. You can do so by simply going into your hosting through FTP and creating a new folder with the name “Theme-Child”. Now you can start making changes.
Changing The Theme
The only thing that you need to do now is to modify your Child Theme files. In the event that you see that the modification is suitable and you like it, you can apply the same to your main theme. If you do not like it, just go back to the original Child theme files. You can upload the file you just modified through the WordPress Editor section through FTP. If you have problems in editing everything properly through HTML or CSS, it is better to consider a service provider near where you live. For instance, if you reside in Belfast, an experienced web design company in Belfast has to be contacted.
What Can You Modify?
You can modify basically anything. Most people will want to do CSS change but different layout modifications are also popular at the moment. If there is something that you can modify for your main theme, you can make the adjustments through the child theme.
Advice On Making Modifications
We already mentioned that you have to back-up everything, just in case. Besides this, you should also:
- Have CSS or HTML/PHP knowledge. If you do not have such knowledge, it is actually better to change nothing and use managed hosting services instead of regular hosting packages.
- Never hurry! It is important to stay focused on the change that you make.
- You need to understand WordPress theme coding.
- Always double check to see if you are modifying the child theme or the main theme.
Using JetPack For CSS Changes
The most common WordPress modifications are done to the CSS coding. In this case, it is a good idea to use the Jetpack Plugin because it has a built in CSS sheet modification element. You can basically easily modify the CSS of your pages. If you want to modify more and not just CSS, the Child Theme should be used.