How to Format the Appearance of Your WordPress Blog

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

When you click the Appearance menu in the WordPress navigation menu, a submenu drops down. You can click any of the following links to customize the appearance of your WordPress blog:

  • Themes: This link opens the Themes page, where you can manage the themes available on your blog.

  • Customize: Some themes have a Customize page, where you can configure different settings for the theme, such as the default Twenty Fourteen theme. The Customize link appears under the Appearance menu only if the theme you’re currently using has options available for configuration; if it doesn’t, you won’t see the Customize link here.

  • Widgets: The Widgets page allows you to add, delete, edit, and manage the widgets you use on your blog.

  • Menus: This link opens the Menus page, where you can build navigation menus to display on your site.

  • Header: In the Custom Header page you can upload an image to use in the header (or top) of your WordPress blog; however, this menu item and page exist only if you have the Twenty Fourteen theme activated, or any other theme that supports the Custom Header feature.

    The Twenty Fourteen theme is activated by default on all new WordPress blogs, which is why this menu item is included in this list. Not all WordPress themes use the Custom Header feature, so you don’t see this menu item if your theme doesn’t take advantage of that feature.

  • Background: This link opens the Background Image page, where you can upload an image to use as the background of your WordPress blog design; as with the Custom Header option, the Custom Background option exists in the Appearance menu only if you have the default Twenty Fourteen theme activated, or any other theme that supports the Custom Background feature. Not all WordPress themes use the Custom Background feature.

  • Editor: This link opens the Theme Editor page, where you can edit your theme templates.

Uploading header images and customizing the background of your site helps you to individualize the visual design of your blog or website.