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, click on the three dots, and select Customize.
To access the Customizer from the dashboard, you can go to My Sites → Themes → Customize (it’s under the Personalize section).
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.
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.
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.
- Navigation — select which custom menu to use on your site.
- Widgets — add, remove, and modify widgets in the theme’s designated widget areas.
- Static Front Page — choose whether to display a static “Home” 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
You can try out the Colors, Fonts, and CSS features before purchasing, and you can even save changes you’ve made using them. However, these changes will not be visible to your site visitors unless you purchase the WordPress.com Premium or WordPress.com Business plan. If you have not purchased the upgrade yet, small circles will appear to the right of the Custom Design menu items:
When you’re done making changes using the Customizer, be sure to select Save & 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.