Changing your theme

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Your theme is what controls the look and appearance of your blog; this is what people see when they visit your blog.

Every newly created blog has the same default theme.  The last thing you want is to look like all the other blogs.

Here’s an example of the look of a newly created blog:

The Edublogs Default theme

Here’s an example of a class blog using a customised theme:

Customize theme

The WPMU Dixi Theme

You can change your theme as often as you like!

Change Theme Video

Using the Theme Customizer

It is really easy to change your theme using the theme customizer.

The theme customizer is designed to make it easier for you to customize your theme and see the results in real time without having to visit your blog.  You can customize any theme, including Edublogs Pro Only themes, before you activate it.

Here is how you do it:

1.  Go to Appearance > Themes.

Theme page

2.  Click on ‘Live Preview‘ on the theme you want to use.

Hovering your mouse over a theme brings up theme action menus including the Live Preview link.

Live Preview

Or if you want to customize your current theme, click on ‘Customize‘ under the current theme.

Click on Customize

4. This loads the theme customizer. Now all you do is work through the control panels on the left to customize the theme to preview the theme changes in real time before activating it on your blog.

5. Once you’re happy with the changes you just click ‘Save and Activate’.

Customizer video

The following control panels are available on the Theme customizer:

Changing Site Title & Tagline

Used to change the site title and tagline on your blog. Not all themes display taglines.  The site title and tagline are normally displayed in or near the header area of your blog and the site title is also used when visitors bookmark your blog in their web browser.

Themes like Edublogs Default, Anubis, Benevolence. Blix, Connections and Contempt include an option to hide Header text. All you need to do is deselect the Display Header text option to hide the Site title and Tagline on these themes. This option is used when you want to use a custom image header instead of text for the Site title.

Site Title

Changing Theme Colors

‘Colors’ controls the color of the header text and background color. Which options are included depends on the theme. Not all themes allow you to change the header text color. Changes to header text color do take time and you will need to wait for the page to refresh to view the change.

Change colors

Changing Header Image

Many of the Edublogs themes include a range of default header images.

The Header Image allows you to choose from one of the default header images.

Switching your default header image is as simple as:

1.  Click on the Header image to reveal the default header image options.

Click on Header image

2.  Click on the image you want to use.

Click on the image

Alternatively, click on Remove image is you don’t want to use a header image.

You can upload your own custom image header using Appearance > Header.  A custom image header is used to provide more customized look and feel adding your “own personal touch” to your blog.   Refer to our custom header image support page for more information.

Changing Background Image

Many themes allow you to upload an image to your blog’s background. A background image is another great way of adding that personal touch to your blog.

You upload a background image as follows:

1. Click on No Image.

Click on no image

2. Click on ‘Select a file‘ (or drop file in upload area), select the background image you’ve saved on your computer and then click Open to upload.

Please note:

  • The background image is used as is.
  • For best results resize your background to make it smaller if using an image from a digital camera (otherwise only the top part of the image will display).
  • Be patient when uploading the background using the customizer. There is a delay before you’ll see indications that your image is being uploaded — this varies depending on the image size.
  • Most themes include a range of default backgrounds you can use. These aren’t supported by the theme customizer and you need enable a default background by going to Appearance > Preset Background once the theme has been activated.
Click on Select a File

3. After the image has uploaded the background image display options will become visible.

Changing these settings is entirely optional and the best option is to try each to see what you like.

Image options

Using a Static Front page

The static front page lets you select what appears on your blog’s home page. By default, your home page is your blog post page however you can change this so your homepage is a static front page and your posts are sent to a different page on your blog.

Most class blogs use a blog post page for their homepage.

The most common situation when you’ll see educators use static home pages is when they use a custom menu to use one class blog for multiple subjects or classes. You’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to do this here! This does require slightly more advanced blogging skills, so please let us know if you need our assistance to set up!

Static Front page

Other Theme Options

Some themes have extensive theme customization options which aren’t supported by the theme customizer. Examples of these types of themes include WPMU-Triden, WPMU-Dixi, Mystique, Yoko, Mandigo and Edublogs Default.

These types of themes add a theme option menu item under Appearance once the theme is activated. To do more extensive customization you just need to go to Appearance > Theme Options.

Theme options

Uploading Custom themes

Due to how our infrastructure is designed, we are unable to support the uploading of custom themes unless you are using an Edublogs Campus network.

This means you can’t upload any themes to your blog even if they are available in the WordPress repository.

However, many of our Premium themes have customization options to change the colors, fonts and layouts. Most of our themes enable you to upload backgrounds and header images.

Editing Themes

The Simpler CSS plugin enables you to modify the theme’s fonts, colors, border and backgrounds by adding custom stylesheets to your blog.  Refer to our editing CSS support documentation for more information.

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

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Posted in Appearance & Themes, Help