How to Customize a WordPress Website
Updated Oct 08, 2019
Stuck on figuring out how to start using your home page? I'll go over tips and tricks to easily customize a WordPress website.
Being able to customize any WordPress website gives you the chance to design anything you'd like.
Building a website has become easier than ever before.
Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and many more have enabled the end-user to upload a simple blog site with a nice theme.
Coding is not a requirement anymore to develop an aesthetically pleasing site.
More and more who aren't techies have begun an internet presence thanks to these tools.
WordPress is the most popular choice but it does have a learning curve.
Even if the beginner-friendly website theme builders can suffice, WordPress is still recommended over the long-run.
Back in the old days
Programming was a requirement if you ever wanted to get a basic site and theme.
Setting up the core elements of a page such as a theme, menu, headers, buttons, and forms would take a substantial amount of effort.
Thus, fewer people had the ability to build for the web.
Developers as well didn't have the advantage in the past.
The web frameworks that many know and love such as React and Vue didn't exist so there wasn't any ordained structure as to how websites were built.
It was all mainly written in PHP.
Surprisingly, even CSS was not supported; to get a site theme that matches your style, you had to slice and add images together which would take your entire Sunday.
That doesn't sound like so much fun now, does it?
Actually, a lot enjoyed using the web back then.
Since there was less centralization on how websites would look and feel, people would freely design with whichever content ideas came into mind.
There was no right or wrong way of building a site.
If your website doesn't have the prettiest theme but you believe it is amazing based on the content, then that's the best way to look at it.
Believe me, I've seen a couple of sites that would qualify for a virtual beauty pageant, but the content itself wasn't something I would search for.
Nonetheless, people enjoy looking at pretty things such as the site theme rather than the content these days.
Having a site theme that looks completely clustered onto the computer screen would make visitors hurl.
Design is becoming more important and will continue to be in the upcoming future.
But what if you're someone who wants a beautiful site but with no previous coding experience?
Where do you turn?
What is WordPress?
That's where WordPress comes in.
WordPress is one of the most accessible CMSs for many to start on their journey to building a blog, e-commerce store, and much more.
The only issue is that at first glance, the WordPress GUI dashboard might seem intimidating since the menu has many options to choose from.
At this point, it would seem as if first-time users were deceived to being told of the WordPress CMS being easier to use than Wix or Squarespace.
But once someone gets used to the intrinsics of what WordPress can do, they'll realize that it has the right amount of horsepower to create their dream website.
From amateurs to full-blown frontend developers use a WordPress theme to create a site that might have taken 10x longer to create with code.
Thus, there are many ways on WordPress that one can choose to design and theme the site, but in reality, only a few are chosen.
When someone begins on WordPress, they don't need all of the tools given to them; they just need the minimum to write their first page and add new tools progressively in the future.
What users need
Tools such as an image carousel, comment system, colors, and WordPress site themes are one of the most sought out in the ecosystem to add.
Thankfully, most of these on WordPress are available in the form of plugins and themes, which are basically adding extensions to your site (just like extensions for Google Chrome).
Simply just install the plugins and themes onto WordPress, and you now have added more functionality.
Often what beginners do is to install as many WordPress plugins and themes as they can to have enough functionality behind their backs.
While this does sound like a good idea, it will actually hinder the website's performance in WordPress.
The classic statement "less is more" is true for cases like these.
To get started with WordPress, you only need a few plugins and one theme.
You'll be surprised by how using a few plugins and a theme can change your WordPress site.
I'll show you how to get your website ready for production use!
If you want to start using WordPress but haven't installed it yet, I would recommend following through my VPS tutorial where I demonstrate the process of developing a new site on a speedy web hosting connection.
Starting a new site these days can be pretty daunting.
There are so many choices out there that first-time users may undergo the Paradox of Choice.
It is a serious challenge because it can actually cause a potential all-star blog to give up immediately.
It's best to just build and customize a basic Wordpress site to familiarize yourself with how the internet works.
From first-hand experience, WordPress is how I started and I highly recommend it for anyone dipping their toes in for the first time.
Will you start your journey into the web?
Have any questions? Leave a comment down below.