Customizing WordPress for a New Website

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and it’s suitable for virtually any use. It’s versatile, easy to use and has a large community supporting it. If you’re looking for a content management system that’s easy to customize, then you can’t go wrong with WordPress.

However, there’s more than one way to customize WordPress. Sometimes, you may want to completely change the way the platform works or provides features. You may also want to add more functionality to the platform or remove some of its limitations. This article will discuss some handy tips on how to completely customize WordPress for a new website.

Take Advantage Of Premium Themes

WordPress comes with dozens of themes that can be downloaded from the dashboard. Generally, these themes are made available for free, but you can upgrade and pay for premium versions. The premium versions add more features and are usually more complex than the free versions. They may also include advanced JavaScript techniques that make them more compatible with different browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox).

If you’re completely unfamiliar with themes or want to switch to a different platform (e.g., Shopify) to build your site, then you can use WordPress’ built-in themes to get started. However, if you’re planning to fully customize WordPress, then you may want to consider investing in a premium theme.

Understand Themes’ Structure

When you purchase a premium theme, you’ll receive documentation that guides you through the process of setting up your theme. One of the most essential things you need to do is to understand how the theme’s structure works. As a general rule of thumb, you should always edit the themes’ markup (HTML) and CSS rather than trying to figure out the template’s logic (PHP).

For example, many themes include a “header.php” file that’s used to display your website’s branding and navigation. Simply edit the file’s contents to display your preferred branding and navigation.

Additionally, many themes’ documentation includes a detailed “functions.php” file that guides you through the template’s various features. This is a great place to add your own JavaScript code to enhance the template’s functionality. You can also use PHP to conditionally display content based on user actions (e.g., log in, sign up, etc.).

Customize The Dashboard

You can use your WordPress dashboard to administer several websites or blogs. When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a menu on the left that lists your sites. From this menu, you can customize the appearance and functionality of your WordPress websites or blogs. To make changes to a specific site, click on the site’s name in the dashboard’s sidebar.

You can add, remove, or rearrange modules in the dashboard’s left menu. A module is a portion of the dashboard that displays content that’s related to a particular topic (e.g., blog posts, videos, etc.). The modules in the dashboard are completely customizable and you can use them to display content that’s related to various blogs or websites that you manage.

Use Shortcodes

One of WordPress’ great features is its extensive shortcodes library. A shortcode is a code that creates a “shortcut” to a function or action. For example, [wpseo_shortcode]creates a shortcut to the function “shortcode_function” which displays content from WooCommerce. Simply put, shortcodes make it easy to create dynamic content on your site without having to write a lot of code.

Additionally, using shortcodes can make it much easier to style content in a manner that suits your brand or theme. For example, [wpseo_shortcode]creates a shortcut to the function “shortcode_function” which formats content using the WooCommerce schema. This means that all of the content on your site will follow a uniform style that makes your content look more polished and professional.

Use Plugins To Extend Functionality

WordPress comes with a number of built-in plugins that can help make your site more functional. These plugins can perform a wide array of tasks including displaying social media feeds, enabling users to subscribe to your site’s content, etc. To learn more, check out our blog’s news section which we update frequently with useful WordPress plugins.

If you’re looking for a content management system that’s easy to use, then you shouldn’t pass up on WordPress. Furthermore, if you’d like to learn more about how WordPress’ various components work together, then you can download and install the official WordPress documentation. With WordPress, everything is organized into easy-to-understand groups (e.g., templates, widgets, etc.) that make it simple to add functionality to your site. And last but not least, the WordPress community is extremely helpful and friendly, which makes it much easier for beginners to get started.