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(WP) Themes

A general decorating scheme for your page.

Themes will provide you with a page layout that you can easily edit using the remaining items categorized under Appearance.

Not all themes are created equal! Depending on your theme, you may have more or fewer options. These are some of the things that can change by the theme:

  • Collapsing/expanding Pages menu
  • Ability to upload your own header image
  • Size of header image
  • Ability to edit certain text on the page–text outside of the content may not be editable
  • Number of custom menus supported

You can find themes under Appearance > Themes. You have the opportunity to “Preview” a theme with your page before you apply it.

When searching for themes, keep in mind these questions:

  • What options are available that make it easy for me to organize my content?
  • How customizable is this theme?
  • Does this theme seem to match the subject matter? (For instance, a theme that looks like a Japanese tea house might not quite match a class about the Middle East conflict)
  • How busy is the theme?


Theme Options

An option provided with some themes that gives you the chance to fine-tune and tweak the little details about your blog’s appearance.

Some themes, particularly the default theme that is applied when you start your blog, give you the rather vague ‘Theme options’ page. The definition above is a little clearer, and for those of you with experience in HTML, the items in this area are about half items that would typically be part of your CSS in a non-WordPress site, and half WordPress-specific options.
There is so much on this page that you’ll have to peruse it at your own pace if the theme you choose includes it. Here, we’ll bring to your attention some common options that can make a big difference.

Be careful though – some of the options don’t always work perfectly. Make sure to check how the site looks after applying changes, and if the changes were for the worse, just return whatever you changed to blank or the default and it will revert.

Note: all dimensions asked for are in pixels by default.

Blog Layout Settings

Anything in this section will affect the width of various objects on your page, regardless of the size of the browser. You can change the sidebars, the main text body area and the entire body area as a whole.

Blog Fonts Settings

This section allows you to change your font family, color and color of hyperlinks. Note that with font family, you’ll be choosing a group–this is to make it easy for browsers to present your site as accurately as possible (as not all computers have the same fonts installed, although most will have those on the list here).

Header Settings

Most of the settings here can be altered under ‘Header’ under ‘Appearance’ on the sidebar, and most themes allow you to edit the header there. However, if you’re looking at the Theme Options page with the Header Settings box, the coolest option asks you to “Insert your desired custom header height.” So if you found the default header was just a bit too short or too tall–here is the solution!