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Did You Miss This: Three Customizer Features to Discover

The Customizer contains some nifty tools for you to enhance your blog’s design. Here are three you should check out today.

WordPress.com users show their creativity not only in the content they publish, but also in how they design their sites. We always enjoy seeing how bloggers transform popular themes like Oxygen, Pilcrow, or Imbalance2 to create sleek, tailor-made sites.

Today, let’s take a closer look at the Customizer, a key tool for anyone looking to spruce up their site, whether it’s a few small tweaks or a major makeover.

What is the Customizer?

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Imagine you want to try one of our newly-introduced fonts, or were inspired to add a custom header. Normally, you’d make the changes in the dashboard, save them, reload your blog, and see if you liked the results. If you didn’t, you’d repeat the process until you were satisfied.

The Customizer makes it simple and easy to test new looks for your site. Every change you make here is simultaneously reflected on the page you’re on, but won’t change your settings unless you click “Save.” It’s like a fitting room for blogs.

You can open it in a snap: just hover over your blog’s name in the admin bar, and click on Customize. You will next see the same page you were on, with the Customize panel (shown to the right) displaying all available customizing options. 

This panel features both free theme options, like a custom header and custom menus, and others that are included in the Custom Design upgrade, like custom colors and custom css. (It’s particularly useful if you’re considering upgrading, but don’t want to make a commitment without testing out potential changes.)

Curious about using the Customizer? Here are three of the features you’ll want to try out.

Site Title

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A time-saving free feature, the Site Title panel makes it a breeze to decide whether your header area should include a site title and a tagline, one but not the other, or neither.

You can type in your text and see it immediately appear on the screen. Uncheck the Display Header Text box, and your site title is gone.

Whether you’re using a custom header image or not, the differences will be striking. Here are three options, from the most text-heavy to the sparest:

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Site title and tagline are visible

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Only tagline is visible

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Neither site title nor tagline is visible

Custom Colors

Custom Colors Panel

A smart color palette will easily elevate your site’s look. With the Customizer’s Colors panel, you can test out endless combinations across all areas of your site, from headings to footer.

You can use colors not only to optimize the readability of your text, but also to create a look consistent with your blog’s other branding elements. If you’ve already activated the Custom Design upgrade, all you need to do is click “Save” once you’re happy with your choices.

Otherwise, opting for the upgrade will allow you to use your chosen color scheme immediately (have no fear: the settings will be saved while you complete your purchase).

Click on the thumbnails below to see how different color schemes completely transform the feel of the same page:

Snapshots

What if you’d like to give your new design a test run, without making a long-term commitment? What if your blog changes colors seasonally, and you don’t want to forget the different palettes you’ve created? What if you switched themes, but now wish to return to your previously customized one?

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Snapshots are here to help. With the Custom Design upgrade, you can record all your current customizations before making any changes. All you need to do is click the camera icon at the top of the Customizer. Add a snapshot title and an optional description, hit the “Create” button, and you’re set. Your current choices will be saved for future reference within the Customizer.

Then, if you decide to return to your previous design, or simply want to compare two different looks, you can navigate between your different snapshots, preview as many as you wish, and click on “Apply” once you’ve found your desired look.

A few simple tweaks can inject new life into any blog. With these Customizer features, you no longer need to guess what your site will look like, or worry about lost settings. You can let your imagination lead the way.

This post originally appeared on Hot Off the Press.

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  1. Two thoughts:

    1- People might want to know that you can change your background image through the colors menu. (I could, at least.) Until recently, there was a separate “Background” menu.

    2- This may have changed in the past few months, but it used to be that taking a snapshot would save that snapshot as your new design. I recommend taking a snapshot of what you start with BEFORE tinkering with anything; it’s a great insurance policy.

      1. I agree that this stuff is more cool. I’m just sayin’ that the Customizer used to have a separate background menu and I had to hunt a little for it last week.

  2. I have a problem with the Customizer Feature. When I pull it up and see the menu below, it doesn’t reflect “snapshots” at the top and my site page shows up on the right but disappears after a few moments. My theme is Twenty-Eleven 3.9 version. Is it different because of the theme and another problem why my page doesn’t stay in view to customize? Thank you — my site is http://plaintalkandordinarywisdom.com

  3. This topic came at this the right time. Yesterday I posted about me considering to change theme for my blog because the gravatar on my LIKES and TAGS overlapped each other and they look quite a mess. They look find when clicking on individual post but not when one scan down my list of post on the HOME page and that’s where you can see the overlap of LIKES and TAGS on some on my posts. I was told that I need to upgrade CSS and besides it isn’t free and I am not all that tech savvy to even know how to overcome this even with the upgrade or what to do next. Anyway this post is really handy so I will check out how my blog look on other themes. I am currently using THE LOVEBIRDS which suit my blog theme perfectly. Thank you, Ben for sharing this tip. :) PS Perhaps if anyone care to visit my homepage, please tell me what you think.

  4. I already have a custom header and background, but that’s definitely a fast and very practical new tool to make some minor changes very rapidly and immediately test their effects.

    1. What a nice idea. ;) I implemented that earlier this week but circumvented the issue by creating a custom header. I’m not sure it’s possible to do with a text header? I found the tweaking of colour schemes a little tricky at times, myself.

      1. That’s the perfect solution. And while I’m at it I’ll change up the font look as well. Thanks for the quick reply and solution. Much appreciated. Keep the tutorial articles coming.

  5. Great information. I have a problem with how the site title and tagline appear on my site. The title and tagline are not automatically on separate lines, unless I change the size of the font to force the tagline onto the next line with a soft return. Is this just an issue with my theme, Chateau?

  6. I love reading the Daily Post, fun, interesting and lots of motivational ideas, thank you! Still reading and learning about everything though-I get drifted away into reading everything!