Appearance

Customizer

You can use the Customizer to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings, from your Custom Header Image to widgets and more.

You can access the Customizer from any page or post on your site: just go to the action bar in the bottom-right corner of the screen and click Customize.

To access the Customizer from the dashboard, you can go to My Sites → Themes → Customize (it’s under the Personalize section).

customizer dashboard

Once inside the Customizer, you can preview what your site content would look like in a different theme: click on Change next to your active theme, and you’ll see a selection of themes to preview (or you can search for one from within the Customizer).

 

When previewing another theme you can also change other Customizer features, and then decide whether to keep them (by clicking Save & Activate) or getting rid of them (by clicking Cancel).

At the bottom of the Customizer, three buttons let you simulate what your site looks like at three common device sizes — desktop, tablet, and smartphone — so you can preview your design and see if it works well across all screen sizes. There is also a Collapse toggle there that allows you to hide the Customizer panel to get a full-width preview.

customizer-preview-simulation

Here is an example of the Customizer’s device preview buttons in action:

 

You can preview changes in the Customizer by selecting any of the options and making tweaks to the current settings. When you’re done with an option, clicking on the left arrow near the top will bring you back to the main Customizer panel.

Changes made to the customizer can also be saved as drafts, or scheduled to appear at a certain time. To set this option, click the gear icon next to “Publish” and select one of the other options. You can share a link to your saved draft so others can preview it by copying the link below.

Select the gear icon next to "Publish" to bring up this menu.

Note: If you are making changes to the customizer, but don’t see them saving on the live site, check to make sure your action isn’t set to Save Draft or Schedule. It must be set to Publish to appear on the live site.

The options available in the Customizer vary by theme, but most themes have these Customizer controls:

  • Site Identity — edit your title and tagline, and set your logo (in themes that support logos).
  • Header Image — add a new header image or choose among images you’ve already uploaded.
  • Menus — add, remove and modify custom menus to use on your site and set menu locations according to the theme.
  • Widgets — add, remove, and modify widgets in the theme’s designated widget areas.
  • Homepage Settings — choose whether to display a static page or your latest blog posts on the front page of your site.
  • Featured Content — customize which tag is used for featured content (such as post sliders) if the theme supports it.

Some options in the Customizer require the WordPress.com Premium or WordPress.com Business plans. If you’ve purchased one of these plans you can use the Custom Design feature, which gives unrestricted access to Custom Colors, Custom Fonts, and a CSS Editor:

  • Colors & Backgrounds — change your entire theme’s color palette with a few clicks. (Note: the custom background feature is free, and doesn’t require the Premium or Business plan.)
  • Fonts — select from a curated list of custom fonts for headings and body text. (Note: while some fonts require the Premium or Business plans, we also offer a selection of free fonts for you to choose from.)
  • CSS — access to a CSS editor for making advanced appearance changes, including support for preprocessors LESS and Sass

When you’re done making changes using the Customizer, be sure to select Publish if you wish to keep your new settings, or simply close the Customizer (with the X at the top of the panel) to discard all changes.

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