With Custom Design, you can personalize the look and feel of your blog with intelligent color tools, custom fonts, and a CSS editor that can be used to make more advanced design updates.
As of September 1, 2014, Custom Design is now a feature of the WordPress.com Premium and WordPress.com Business plans. If you don’t see that option in Store, then you may choose one of the plans listed at http://store.wordpress.com/plans/.
All of the Custom Design tools can be accessed through the Appearance → Customize page in your blog dashboard. Once open, you can use the right-side menu to open panels for Colors, Fonts, and CSS. You can also access the same tools by going to Appearance → Custom Design and using the tabs at the top of the page.
Preview Custom Design Before Purchase
Anyone can preview the Custom Design tools for free. If you haven’t purchased the WordPress.com Premium or WordPress.com Business plan, yet and you would like to preview the tools, go to Appearance → Customize, click the Custom Design menu link, and click the Try Now button.
How to Exit the Custom Design Preview
To exit a Custom Design preview, go to Appearance → Customize, click any menu item that has a circle icon next to it:
Then click the exit the preview link in the yellow notice at the top of the panel:
The Colors panel has intelligent color tools such as predefined palettes, color suggestions, a color picker, and a wide variety of background patterns. To learn more about how custom colors work, please read the Custom Colors help page.
The CSS panel contains an editor which can be used to customize the appearance of a theme using CSS code. The CSS editor is a more advanced option for those who know CSS or who are interested in learning it. If you don’t know CSS and want to learn, you can get help in our community CSS Customization support forum. For more information about working with the CSS editor, check out our help pages on CSS Basics and Editing CSS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I connect a Typekit.com account to my WordPress.com blog?
We no longer support connecting an outside Typekit.com account to a WordPress.com blog as of Nov 2013. We made this change so that we can focus on making one set of simple-to-use tools in Appearance → Customize → Fonts, which includes a selection of Typekit fonts, instead of maintaining two sets of separate tools. Blogs that currently have a Typekit.com account connected using the Advanced Mode for fonts may continue using that connection, but new Custom Design users no longer have the option to connect an outside font account.
If I switch themes, will my fonts and CSS carry over to the new theme?
Fonts will carry over, but CSS will not. CSS is theme-specific and CSS written for one theme will most likely not make sense to use with another theme. You can always access CSS you saved in the past via the CSS Revisions link at the top right of the Appearance → Customize → CSS panel.
Does Custom Design let me edit HTML?
No. Custom Design allows you to edit fonts, colors, and CSS only. You can change the appearance of a theme, but not its HTML markup or PHP code. If you require this functionality, please consider moving your blog to a web host that supports theme code modifications, suitable hosts can be found here. Read more about why here. You can choose to apply your custom fonts or custom stylesheet to any of the themes available on WordPress.com. You can use any WordPress.com theme as a blank canvas if you check the Don’t use the theme’s original CSS option in the Appearance → Customize → CSS panel.
Does Custom Design let me upload themes?
No. Uploading custom themes is not supported on WordPress.com. Read more about this here.
Are there any restrictions to the CSS?
Any CSS that poses a security risk is stripped. This includes @import of outside files and @font-face to include font files.
May I remove the Admin Bar, credit links such as ‘Blog at WordPress.com’, theme, font, or toolbar links?
All WordPress.com bloggers are required to maintain the Admin Bar (the dark bar that appears at the top of WordPress.com sites when logged in) as well as credit links in the footer, even our VIP bloggers. Please do not hide or alter text or links for the footer credits or the toolbar. Modifying the style of the footer text (i.e. colors and font size) is fine as long as it’s still readable. Using CSS, you can also add content like a copyright notice to the existing footer. If you would like to do that, you can ask in the CSS Customization forum and Staff or our community volunteers would be happy to help you do that.
I’m not sure if Custom Design is right for me. Can I try before I buy?
Yes! If you haven’t purchased the upgrade yet, go to Appearance → Customize, click the Custom Design menu link, and click the Try Now button. The CSS panel has an editor where you can paste CSS code and preview the changes in the live preview area on the left. The CSS changes you try before purchasing the upgrade will only be visible to you, so you can test and edit to your heart’s content.
If you’d like to preview your custom colors, fonts, or CSS with a different theme, but without changing the appearance of your live blog, you can use the Live Preview link below any theme on the Appearance → Themes page in your blog dashboard.
I made a purchase and changed my mind. Can I get a refund?
Yes. Please check our refund policy on upgrades.
What happens if I remove Custom Design?
All upgrades on WordPress.com are renewed yearly. Should you choose to cancel your subscription, your custom fonts, colors, and CSS will no longer be applied to your blog. The revisions for your customizations will still be saved, but they won’t be visible on the blog’s front end unless you renew your subscription.