How to Customize a WordPress Theme? (4 Easy Ways)

Last Updated: 19 mins By: ThemeGrill Author

Wondering how to customize a WordPress theme? Then, you’ve come to the right place. 

WordPress lets you build amazing websites without coding knowledge. However, the best part of creating a WordPress website is its customization features.   

Even after finding the best theme, you might want to change some parts of it to fit your site’s requirements. 

And when you customize a theme for your site, you can set a tone and identity to differentiate your site from others.  

So, in this article, we’ll teach you how to customize a WordPress theme via four methods.

But, before that, let’s briefly discuss why you may want to edit WordPress themes.  

Why Customize WordPress Theme?  

WordPress themes have various niches to fit the particular style of the website. But, even after choosing a theme based on your site’s niche, some elements might not fit your site.  

Hence, you can modify the theme to your preference.

Customizing a theme can benefit your site in the following ways:  

1. Makes Your Site Stand Out from Others  

As we mentioned earlier, not all but some themes are built to fit a specific niche.

But even such themes tend to look and feel similar to one another. So, you can learn how to customize WordPress themes to differentiate your site from your competitors.  

2. Gives Your Site More Structure  

To make your site top-rated, it must have an excellent user experience and design with a managed structure. It’s possible when you customize your site to enhance the user experience.  

So, customizing a site can boost your site’s effectiveness and also add more structure!  

3. Attracts Visitors  

While customizing a theme, you can modify colors, fonts, layout, and more to match your site’s brand.

So, with the proper customization of elements, you can influence your site’s audience and attract more visitors.  

You can even set a trademark to leave an impact based on your site’s visuals! 

How to Customize a WordPress Theme?  

You can learn how to customize a theme in WordPress using various methods. Here, we’ll be discussing the four most common and effective methods.  

You can use any of the methods explained below, depending on which suits you the best!  

1. Using Full Site Editor for WordPress Theme Customization

Full Site Editing (FSE) is a new and magnificent feature of WordPress that lets you create and edit your entire website using blocks.  

It’s a whole new type of editor introduced in the WordPress 5.9 version. You need the 5.9 or later version of WordPress and a ‘block theme’ to use this.  

Block themes are a new type of WordPress theme that enables full site editing and are fully customizable with blocks.  

With that said, let’s learn how to customize a WordPress theme with Full Site Editor.  

So, make sure you have installed a block theme.   

First, log in to your WordPress admin and navigate to Appearance >> Editor.   

Navigate Appearance and Editor

Clicking on that tab will open the Full Site Editor.    

Full Site Editing How to Customize a WordPress Theme

The FSE lets you customize the WordPress pages’ layout in blocks. Also, all parts of the page are under block elements.  

Here, we’ll be customizing one of the best block themes eStory. This modern blogging theme lets you customize your site using the Full Site Editor.  

eStory - How to Customize a WordPress Theme

eStory has a free and premium version. However, in this tutorial, we’ll use the premium one to learn how to customize a WordPress theme! 

i) Customizing Your Colors with FSE 

Navigating to Editor will open the Site Editor from where you can customize your site.  

You can customize colors and typography via Styles on the Site Editor.

For this, click on the Home tab and hit the Styles icon on the left side of the page. This opens the Styles settings.  

Click on Styles

Here, you can edit the theme’s color palettes and fonts. Click on the Colors option to start customizing the colors of your theme.  

Open Colors Option

Now, you can click on Palette to edit the theme’s Color, Duotone, and Gradient palettes. You can also add a custom color palette.  

Select Color Palette or Add Custom

Not to mention, you can also customize colors for different elements like Background, Text, Captions, Links, Headings, and Buttons.  

Choose Elements to Customize Color

Here, we’ve selected a color for a Heading from the color palette, as shown below.  

Example Customizing Heading Colors

Also, your changes in Styles will be automatically reflected in patterns that use colors. Further, it’ll be reflected everywhere you’ve used the color already.  

So, you should use colors from the color palettes rather than custom colors when you customize colors on the blocks of your page and post.  

ii) Customizing the Typography  

Next, to customize the fonts, click on the Typography option under Styles.  

Open Typography Option

You can now set fonts for your Text, Links, Headings, Captions, and Buttons.  

Select Elements to Customize Typography

Here, we’re changing the font for a Heading, as shown below. You can set the font among available options and choose size, appearance, and line height as per your requirements. 

Example Customizing Heading Typography

After customizing the colors and typography, don’t forget to hit the Save button to save the changes. 

Click on Save to Save Changes

iii) Customizing Your Site’s Header with FSE 

Now, you can see the WordPress logo button at the top left corner.

Click on WordPress Logo

Click on it to open the Editor.

Full Site Editing How to Customize a WordPress Theme

Then, click on the Patterns and scroll down.

After that, click on Header to customize your site’s header.  

Click on Add New to Add Header

Next, click on the Header option with the purple icon in the middle of the page. This will enable you to edit the existing header or create a new one.  

Click on Header Sample

You can design your header’s appearance and layout with ease.

Besides, you can also customize your header with the help of blocks.

Click the “+” button to search and choose the blocks you want in your header.  

Click on Plus Sign

In the header area, you can add blocks like Site Title, Site Logo, Site Tagline, etc.  

Search for Blocks to Add in Header

After adding your desired block, you can customize it with the settings in the sidebar. For example, we’ve added the Site Title block and customized it as per our preference.  

Example Customizing Site Title

Another essential block on your header is the Navigation block. It’s because the blocks help to set up your site’s menu.   

Navigation Block

After adding the Navigation block, you can select menus and customize them on the toolbar. Also, you can see a three-dot option beside each menu. Click on it to see an option called Show More Settings.   

Click on Sidebar for Navigation

Clicking on Show More Settings will open another set of customization options. Here, you can customize the layout and menu you want to feature in navigation.  

Additional Settings for Navigation

So, when you’re done designing your header, you can simply save it by clicking on the Save button. 

Save Changes in Your Header

iv) Customizing Your Site’s Footer with FSE 

You can customize your site’s footer similar to the header.

Click under the same Patterns tab of the Editor, and now you can see a Footer option to customize the footer.  

Click on Footer Icon

To add the blocks, click the “+” button and add the blocks you want to your footer.

Click on Plus Sign

You can add blocks like social icons on your footer.  

Adding Social Icons in Footer

Here, we’ve added the Paragraph block to add a copyright message for a site.

Example Adding Copyright Message on Footer

Similarly, click on the three-dotted option on the sidebar of the block to show or hide more settings options.   

Open Show More Settings

You can change and customize the color, typography, dimensions, etc., of the blocks from here.  

Customize Color Typography for Footer

And finally, don’t forget to click the Save button on top to save the changes on your footer. 

Save Changes for Footer

v) Customizing Your Home Page with FSE 

Your homepage is what visitors see when they land on your site. So, before customizing your homepage, you need to choose the homepage option between Latest Posts or Static Page.  

Simply put, if you choose Latest Posts, your homepage will display all your latest posts. So, every time you post a new blog post, it’ll be shown on your home page alongside past posts.  

As for Static Page, if you choose this option, it’ll let you create and display specific content like adding buttons to redirect visitors to another page, additional information, etc.  

So, to choose between the Latest Posts and the Static Page, go to Settings and navigate to Reading on your dashboard. You’ll see an option called “Your homepage displays.”  

Navigate to Settings Reading How to Customize a WordPress Theme

Choose between “Your latest posts” or “A static page” as your preference and hit the Save Changes button.  

Choose Latest or Static and Save Changes

Next, go to Appearance>>Editor.

Navigate Appearance Editor

In the Editor, click on the WordPress icon at the top left.  

How to Customize a WordPress Theme

Then, click on Templates.

Click on Templates on Editor

You should also know that in most cases, the home page templates load by default in the Site Editor.  

After clicking Templates, you can see template options like Pages, Search Results, Blog Home, Index, etc.  

If you don’t see the required templates, you can always click on the + button and add the templates.  

Add New Templates

Back to Templates, open the Front Page options to customize your home page.

Click on Front Page

Now, to add a new block to your homepage, click the “+” icon on the top left.  

Click on Plus Sign

After that, select Blocks.

Select Blocks

Here you can find blocks like Date, Posts Lists, Latest Post, Post Featured Image, etc., that can be useful on your site’s Latest Posts home page.  

Click on Post Date Block

Once you add those blocks to create a home page, you can also customize colors, typography, images, etc. 

Customize Post Date

Further, clicking on the 3-lined icon opens the List View that allows you to modify the alignment of your Home Page’s header, footer, image, etc.

Save Changes for Home Page

After you’re done, hit the Save button to save changes on your Editor. 

vi) Customizing the Layout of Internal Pages 

Next, internal pages are also as important as the site’s home page.  

So, your internal pages include elements like a Search Results Page, 404 error page, Single page, etc.  

Open the Templates tab inside Editor to customize your internal page with the eStory theme.

You can see the template for Search, 404, and more on your site’s internal pages.  

Click on Templates on Editor

For example, we’ll be opening the 404 page for customization.

Customize 404 Page

So, click on the 404 sample page. In the List View, you can see different blocks like Header, Spacer, Footer, etc. 

You can add more blocks to display on the 404 page or customize the existing blocks in the template.  

Click on List View

You can modify the page’s colors, typography, and layout via Styles on your top right corner.  

Customize Colors and Typography Via Styles

Similarly, you can customize other internal pages and save changes by clicking the Save button. 

Click on Save to Update Changes

2. Using Theme Customizer for WordPress Theme Customization

The next method to learn how to customize a WordPress theme is by using Theme customizers.

Using a WordPress customizer is the easiest solution for WordPress theme customization. If your theme doesn’t support the Full Site Editor yet, you can use this method to customize your theme.  

Here, we’ll customize the best magazine WordPress theme – ColorMag.

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using Colormag

Firstly, navigate to Appearance >> Theme.

Navigate Appearance Themes

Next, click on the Customize button of the active theme you want to customize. 

Click on Customize of Active Theme

You’ll now be redirected to the Customizer. On the left sidebar, you can see various customization options below:

Customization Options on ColorMag
  • Global: With Global settings, you can customize the width of your site’s content area, change the site’s primary and heading colors, and change the link’s color text.
  • Front Page: You can enable or disable the latest blog posts or static page content from here. You can also set a unique post system and customize the width of the front page!
  • Header: It allows you to change the site logo, icon, title, and tagline alongside header media. You can also customize the date and news ticker in the header.
  • Additional: The additional setting lets you customize more, like adding social icons, integrating external API, and more.
  • Widgets: You can add different advertisements on your site using the widget settings. It’s best suited for areas like Header, Footer, and Sidebar.
  • Content: You can set the layout, include feature images for a single post, and much more from the Content setting.
  • Footer: It lets you customize design, typography, and also the footer bottom bar. Further, you can add buttons like scroll to the top from the footer setting.

So, with that said, we’ll show a simple example of how you can customize the Header settings while you edit WordPress themes. 

You need to navigate to Appearance >> Customize >> Header & Navigation.

Inside Header & Navigation settings, you can customize header media, primary menu, site identity, breadcrumbs, sticky header, and more. 

Different Header and Navigation Options

For example, let’s see how you can customize the header layout and style. 

After you navigate to Header, you need to open the Main Header option. So, you get 2 main header layouts with ColorMag’s free version. 

Choose Layout for Header

These Layouts have different styles and positioning for heading elements like the primary menu, width, background color, topics, and more. 

Likewise, you can also modify the header elements like Site Identity. You can choose different elements to choose from Retina Logo, Logo, Site Icon, Site Title, and more.

Choose Option for Site Identity

Similarly, you can customize other options for the ColorMag theme using the customizer! 

3. Using Page Builder Plugin for WordPress Theme Customization

You can also customize WordPress themes with page builder plugins. There are various page builder plugins like Elementor, Brizy, etc.   

One of the most popular ones is Elementor. It’s a drag-and-drop visual editor plugin with an advanced design to build any site. So, we’re going to use Elementor for this tutorial.  

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using Elementor

Your first step is to install and activate Elementor. For that, go to Plugins and click on Add New from the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.  

Navigate Plugins and Click on Add New

Now search for Elementor on the search bar, and it’ll appear in your search results. Click on the Install button.  

Search Elementor and Install

And finally, Activate the plugin.

Activate Elementor

So, your site’s main page is your home page that users see when they land on your website. It’s a landing page, so creating a great-looking homepage for your site is essential.  

Zakra is the best multipurpose theme with several demos to create any website. In this tutorial, we’ll show how you can customize your home page with Zakra and Elementor.  

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using Zakra

In your WordPress dashboard, open Pages and click on All Pages. Here, you’ll be taken to a page with various titles.   

Navigate to Pages and Open All Pages

Search for “Home,” If you’ve imported a demo created with Elementor, you can see an option called “Edit with Elementor.” Click on it to start customizing your homepage. 

Edit With Elementor


Now on the left side, you can see widgets like Heading, Button, Images, Social Media, etc. Further, you can use Elementor’s WooCommerce widgets if you’re an online store site.  

Elementor Widgets

Click on the “+” icon to add new widgets, and drag and drop the widget you want on the right side. Elementor lets you add as many widgets as you wish.  

Drag and Drop Widget

You can also import pre-made page templates and blocks. To do that, click on the Add Template button. 

Add Template Button

 When you do that, a pop-up appears where you can find in-built pages and blocks.  

In Built Pages and Blocks

You can also see premium templates here. To access it, you can upgrade to Elementor’s pro version.  

Elementor Premium Pages

Next, choose a template you like, hover over it, and press the Insert button.  

Insert Page Button

Further, you can add different Blocks to design your homepage.   

Insert Blocks

Lastly, click the Update button to save the changes!   

Update Button to Save Changes

If you’re new to Elementor, read our tutorial on creating a WordPress website with Elementor.

4. Using a Theme Framework and a Child Theme for WordPress Theme Customization

If you don’t want to use a page builder plugin, you can also use a theme framework to customize WordPress themes.   

There’ll be one parent theme that’s considered a framework and a child theme that can be used to customize the main theme.    

Child themes let you customize your theme without changing the parent theme file.

So, instead of modifying theme files directly, you can override them with the templates in the Child theme.  

You can create a child theme if you’re familiar with Style.CSS and PHP.

How to Create a Child Theme?  

We’ll teach you how to create a Child Theme using the best multipurpose theme Zakra.  

You can do it using a Manual Method and a Shortcode Method.  

To learn the manual method, you can follow our easy tutorial for creating a Child theme.

Shortcut Method 

There’s another method to create a Child theme within a few steps. 

As the name suggests, creating a child theme is a simple shortcut.  

You can download the starter zip file of the Zakra Child theme from here.

After downloading it, open your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance >> Theme. Then, click on Add New and press Upload Theme to upload your downloaded file.  

Navigate Appearance Themes

Lastly, click Install Now to get it installed.

How to Customize a WordPress Theme - Install Child Theme

Now, hit the Activate button to use the Zakra child theme.  

Activate Theme

After creating and activating your Child Theme, you can fully customize it according to your preference! 

Best Customizable Themes   

Now you know how to customize a WordPress theme. But, what are the best customizable themes out there? Here are our suggestions.

1. Zakra  

Zakra is a modern multipurpose theme that’s the ultimate solution to creating any site. You can choose from Zakra’s 80+ starter templates to build any niche site.  

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using Zakra

You get starter templates for blogs, eCommerce, business, agency, portfolio, etc.

It’s a highly customizable theme with many customization options like Header, Footer, Homepage Settings, Menu, and much more.  

Key Features  

  • Integrated with WooCommerce to create an online store.  
  • Offers 100+ customization options.  
  • Offers 30+ page settings options.  
  • Pre-built demos can be imported with a single click.  
  • Compatible with major page builders like Elementor, Brizy, etc.  

Price: Zakra has both free and premium versions. You can download the free version from The premium version of Zakra has the following plans:  

  • Zakra Pro Plan: $59 Per Year  
  • All Theme Plan: $129 Per Year  

You can also get the ThemeGrill Agency bundle with an unlimited license on Zakra premium as well as other TG products for $299 per year

2. ColorMag  

If you’re searching for a highly customizable magazine theme, ColorMag is the one. The theme is best for creating news, magazine, and blog-related sites.

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using ColorMag Theme

You can choose from its 25+ starter sites that can be imported with a single click. The theme has everything you need to customize your site.

It’s a top-rated theme with over 1250 5-star ratings with 100,000+ active installations.  You can customize typography, widgets, and everything else with ColorMag!  

Key Features  

  • The super-fast speed with proven results in different speeding tools.  
  • Integrated with page builders- Elementor, Gutenberg, and more.  
  • Clean-coded to maintain safe security.  
  • Starter sites to fit various kinds of magazine sites.  
  • Offers Unique Post System.  

Price: It’s a freemium theme. You can purchase the premium version for $59 for an unlimited site license.

3. eStory  

eStory is a WordPress block theme for any WooCommerce site. It’s entirely designed for Full Site Editing.

How to Customize a WordPress Theme Using eStory

With eStory, you can use 25+ block patterns alongside more than five starter sites.  

To add more, the theme offers 5+ pre-built templates with various layouts. The theme allows you to customize it based on color options, widgets, typography, and more.  

Key Features  

  • Fully compatible with WooCommerce and YITH WooCommerce Wishlist plugins.  
  • Responsive design to fit different screen sizes.  
  • Site Editor for customization.  
  • Offers header and footer layouts.  
  • 100% compatible with page builders like Elementor, Brizy, etc.  

Price: It’s a freemium theme. You can upgrade to the premium version for $59 per year.

If you want more from us, we have a bunch of amazing ThemeGrill themes that you can try for your WordPress website.

Wrapping Up on How to Customize a WordPress Theme  

Finally, we’ve concluded this article on how to customize a WordPress theme.

We hope it helps you learn more about WordPress theme customization and enables you to choose the best customization method for your website.   

While working on themes, you may like another website’s theme and wonder which theme it is.  

We can also help you with that with our article on finding a WordPress site’s theme. Further, if you’re searching for themes, we can help you pick one with our list of the best multipurpose WordPress themes.  

Want to read more? Check out our informative blog that has everything related to WordPress.  

Also, if you want to stay updated, follow us on Twitter and Facebook!  

Happy Reading. 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. So if you purchase anything using the link, we will earn affiliate commission.

ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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