Now that your blog is up and running, it’s time to customize it. If you do not have a blog and interested in creating one, please read the first article in the series on how to create your blog. One of the first thing that people customize is the theme. You can find a bunch of themes at wordpress. The main thing that you should decide on is how many columns you want. My blog is a 2-column theme. One column for content and one column for the sidebar navigation. You can find a selection from a 1-column theme all the way to a 4-column theme. Some of the themes have the sidebar navigation on the left; depending on how the theme author designs it.

On the wordpress theme website, you can click on the TEST RUN link at the bottom of each theme to see how it looks like in your browser. When you find something that you like, download the theme to your computer. Unzip the file and upload the folder (not the content of the folder) to your <domain-name>/wp-content/themes folder or if you install the wordpress to your blog sub-directory, <domain-name>/blog/wp-content/themes. For the sake of simplicity, I assume you install the wordpress to your root directory.

You can install as many themes as you possibly want, subject to of course the storage limit of your hosting account. I doubt it’ll ever happen since the files size are normally pretty small. Once you uploaded all your themes, login to your blog administrator page at <your domain name>/wp-admin/index.php. Click on the presentation tab, and then select one of the themes available to you. Then refresh your website. Your new theme should now be visible on your website.

You can always modify the theme itself. Say you like the layout, but you do not like the banner. You can always replace the banner with the one you created yourself. When you replace an image from the original theme, try replacing it with an image of the same size. You can customize pretty much anything on your site. One thing that you should always do is giving credit to the original author by NOT removing their link at the bottom of the page.

The layout on your website is controlled by the style.css file. The file controls your font size, background color, margin, padding, height, width, border, text-alignment, etc.

The content on your website is controlled by multiple php files. You can modify these php files in a text editor. Before you modify any of these files, please make a backup. Compare the content of the file with the layout of your site and you will get some ideas what to modify.

On my site, I removed the default search function because it’s located at the top right corner which will be a problem when I add more pages. I also modified the sidebar by adding a google search functionality to it and removing some menus. You can modify pretty much anything. Again, don’t forget to backup your files before you make any changes.

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