Tag - Theme

How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)


Are you planning to change the WordPress theme of your website? WordPress makes it super easy for users to change and manage themes on their site.

However, you must remember that changing the appearance of your live website is a major event. You need to keep certain things in mind before and after you change a theme, so you don’t lose any data and website traffic.

In this article, we’ll show you the step by step process on how to properly change a WordPress theme with a step by step checklist.

How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article:

Things to Do Before Changing a WordPress Theme

While changing a theme is literally a few clicks away, you must take some precautionary steps before starting the process.

We recommend that you to go through the following checklist to ensure that the process of changing your WordPress theme goes smoothly, and you don’t end up losing important data.

1. Copy Snippets from Your Current Theme

Some intermediate WordPress users like to customize their website by adding code snippets directly to the functions.php file of their theme.

Since these changes were made once, people usually forget about them.

If you or your web developer made these changes, then make sure to go through the files of your current theme and note down all the additional code that you’ve added previously. This will allow you to add them later into your new theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

2. Test Load Time

Before changing your theme, you should check the load time of your website, so you can easily compare the differences in the page load time after you made changes to your website.

Remember, WordPress speed is an important factor in user experience and SEO, so you need to make sure that the new theme is faster than your previous one.

You can check your website speed by using a tool like Pingdom.

Make sure that you test the load time of the homepage and also some of your inner pages.

3. Don’t Lose Any Tracking Code

Some users add their analytics tracking code directly to their theme files. Also, there are WordPress themes that allow you to add Adsense or Analytics code in their settings panel.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is to overlook these codes.

You need to make sure that you copy all the tracking codes, so you can add them to your new site after changing the theme.

To future proof this, we always recommend users to install Google analytics using a plugin like MonsterInsights, and for other tracking code we recommend using the header and footer plugin.

4. Make a Full Backup

It’s always recommended to back up your posts, images, plugins, and the database before changing your theme.

You can use a WordPress backup plugin to create the backup of your entire site. Make sure that you download this backup to your computer before moving forward.

This step will ensure that you can recover your website easily if anything goes wrong.

5. Sidebar Content

Sidebars are used for adding different widgets including social links, advertisements, subscription forms, or a contact form.

Make a note of these changes. If there is any custom code added into a widget, then make sure you copy and paste this code on your computer, so you can reuse it in your new theme.

6. Keep Your Site on Maintenance Mode

It’s a good practice to put your website on maintenance mode when you’re making changes to it. You don’t want your visitors to see an under construction site, right?

We recommend using the SeedProd plugin for this purpose.

SeedProd plugin

It’s a popular WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create beautiful coming soon and maintenance mode pages for your site.

To keep your site on maintenance mode, you need to install and active the SeedProd plugin.

Next, head over to SeedProd » Settings page to configure plugin settings. Here you need to select the Enable Maintenance mode radio button and click on the Save All Changes button.

SeedProd enable maintenance mode

How to Install a WordPress Theme

After following the above precautions, the next step is to install a theme that you want to use on your site.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available for you to pick from. The fact that you’re reading this article means you’ve likely found a good theme for your needs.

If you haven’t already selected a theme, then we can highly recommend the following WordPress themes to you:

1. Divi

Divi WordPress theme

Divi is one of the most popular WordPress theme in the market. It’s powered by the drag and drop Divi Builder which allows you to easily build any kind of website.

It comes with 20+ pre-built layouts and 46 different content elements. You can easily customize each element of your site and see the changes in real time.

2. Astra

Astra WordPress theme

Astra is a lightweight and speed-optimized WordPress theme. It’s compatible with various page builder plugins like Beaver Builder, Divi, and Visual Composer.

It’s a translation and RTL-ready theme. This allows you to start your website in any language and even create a multilingual website.

Astra can be easily integrated with the WooCommerce plugin, so you can easily create an online store without much hassle. You can also customize the header, footer, layout, and more using the WordPress Theme Customizer.

Our favorite part about Astra is all the starter website templates it comes with.

3. StudioPress

StudioPress WordPress themes

Genesis is the most popular WordPress theme framework and has been built by the StudioPress team. You can create amazing websites using the Genesis framework and other StudioPress themes.

In case you don’t know, StudioPress is now a part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company.

The best part is you’ll get 35+ StudioPress themes for free if you sign up for any WP Engine hosting plan.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP WordPress theme

OceanWP is a responsive and multi-purpose WordPress theme. It offers multiple demo templates that have been built with different professions and businesses in mind.

It is compatible with the major page builder plugins. You can also use different extensions to take your site to the next level.

5. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best drag and drop page builder plugins that allow you to build stunning pages for your site without any coding skills.

Beaver Builder is compatible with almost every WordPress theme, and you can even use it to create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Anyways, we hope the above recommendations will help you to choose a WordPress theme for your site.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you need to install it on your WordPress site. Y

ou can use any of the following 3 methods to install a WordPress theme:

  • Using the WordPress theme search option
  • Uploading a theme from your WordPress Dashboard
  • Installing a theme using FTP

You can check out our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme for help.

How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live

Once you’ve installed your new theme, you are ready to switch themes.

However, it’s always recommended to test a theme before switching to it on your live website.

This way you’ll be able to check the compatibility of the new theme with your existing plugins and make sure that everything is working properly as desired.

There are two ways that you can use to change your WordPress theme without going live:

1. Live Preview Option

By default, WordPress allows you to preview a theme on your website without changing it.

To do that, head over to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you’ll see all the installed themes on your site. You need to hover your mouse over the theme you want to preview and click on the Live Preview button.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

This will open your new theme in the WordPress Theme Customizer. You can now test your new theme and make sure that everything is working properly.

2. Theme Switcha Plugin

Another option is to use the Theme Switcha plugin. It allows you to preview your new theme without activating it.

First, you need to install and activate this free plugin. Next, go to Settings » Theme Switcha from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Theme Switcha plugin settings page

On the Settings page, you need to select the “Enable theme switching” option and then, scroll to the bottom of the page to click on Save Changes.

This plugin will now display all your installed themes at the bottom of this page. Go ahead and click on your new theme to preview it on a new tab of your web browser.

Theme Switcha available themes section

How to Change WordPress Theme on Live Site

After you have tested your new theme, it’s time to start the process of switching the theme on your WordPress site.

To do that, go to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of the WordPress admin panel.

Change WordPress theme on live website

On this page, you need to hover the mouse cursor over the theme you want to use and then click on the Activate button to change the WordPress theme.

Now you can visit the homepage of your website to see the new theme in action.

How to Change WordPress Theme Manually

Sometimes an error can make your WordPress admin area inaccessible. In that case, you won’t be able to change the theme using the above method.

To recover your website, you need to restore it from backup, or you may troubleshoot the WordPress error causing the problem.

However, if you don’t have a backup, then you can change the theme manually with the help of phpMyAdmin.

This method allows you to inform WordPress which theme to use by changing the information in the database.

First, you need to connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

FTP WordPress themes folder

Here you’ll be able to see all the themes that are currently installed on your website. You can also install a WordPress theme via FTP if you don’t see it.

Next, you want to write down the folder name of the theme you want to use because you’ll need it later.

After that, you need to go to the cPanel of your WordPress hosting account. On this page, you will have to scroll down to the Databases section and then click on phpMyAdmin.

cPanel open phpMyAdmin

Once you are in phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases on the left side of the screen. Simply click on the database that you are using for your WordPress site.

phpMyAdmin open database and table

Next, it’ll show you the list of tables in this database. You need to click on the “wp_options” table to open it.

Note: By default, WordPress use wp_ as the prefix for the table names. However, it’s possible to have a different database prefix, as shown in the above image.

Now you need to locate the template and stylesheet rows on the right panel.

Template and stylesheet rows

Next, click on the Edit link present in the “template” row to open the editor.

Here you need to change the value in the option_value field to the theme name that you want to use. It’s usually the same as the folder name in /wp-content/themes/ folder that you copied earlier.

Change template value

Once you’re done, click on the Go button to save the changes. Next, go ahead and repeat the same process for the “stylesheet” row.

After making changes to both the rows, you can go to your website to see the new theme in action.

Things to Do After Changing Your Theme

Once you’ve changed the theme on your website, you need to take care of certain things before turning off the maintenance mode.

You can check out the following checklist of things to do after changing your WordPress theme:

1. Test Your Website

First, you need to make sure that all the functionalities, plugins, and widgets are working properly.

You should invest some time to test your website and check out different things including the posts, comment section, images, and the contact form.

2. Cross Browser Compatibility

Browsers have a tendency of showing certain things differently.

To make sure that your website looks good in every major browser, you should test your site in different web browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

3. Add Tracking Code

After you’ve tested the features and the cross-browser compatibility, you should add your analytics and Adsense tracking code to your site.

You can use the MonsterInsights plugin to add the Google Analytics tracking code. This will allow you to properly setup analytics and view detailed website stats right inside your WordPress dashboard.

4. Turn Off Maintenance Mode

You can disable the maintenance mode on your site to make it go live.

If you’re using the SeedProd plugin, simply go to SeedProd » Settings from the left sidebar. On the settings page, select “Disabled” and click on Save All Changes to turn off the maintenance mode.

SeedProd disable maintenance mode

5. Test Loading Time

You need to go to the Pingdom website again to test the loading time of your homepage after changing the theme.

Next, compare it to the load time when your old theme was installed. If you see any major differences, you can follow our guide to improve WordPress speed.

6. Monitor Bounce Rate

After switching themes, you should monitor the bounce rate of your site.

If your new theme is not user-friendly and difficult to navigate, it may increase the bounce rate of your site.

You can add related posts, popular posts widget, and breadcrumbs to reduce the bounce rate and increase page views.

7. Ask for Feedback

You can also ask your users for feedback and suggestions on how to improve your site design. You can use survey forms or online poll to gather user input.

You can share the new design with your subscribers using an email marketing service and ask them for their suggestions. This will help you to get ideas on what they would like to see improved.

We hope this step by step guide helped you easily change your WordPress theme. You may want to see our list of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more WordPress video tutorials. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Use WordPress Theme Customizer (Ultimate Guide)


Did you know that WordPress comes with a built-in theme customizer that allows you to easily make changes to your website design in real time.

While every theme has some level of support for the default customizer options, many themes include additional tabs and options to the WordPress theme customizer, so you can easily customize your theme without any coding knowledge.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the default panels and show you how to use the WordPress theme customizer like a pro.

How to Use WordPress Theme Customizer Ultimate Guide

How to Access the WordPress Theme Customizer

Theme customizer is a default WordPress feature, and it is part of every WordPress website.

You can access it by logging into your WordPress admin area, and then going to Appearance » Customize from the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel. This will open the Customizer interface with your current theme.

How to access WordPress Customizer

You can also use the WordPress theme customizer page for any of the installed themes on your website even when they are not active.

This allows you to see a live preview of that theme and make changes before you activate it.

To do that, you need to head over to Appearance » Themes page.

Next, hover your mouse cursor over on any installed theme and click on the Live Preview button to open the WordPress theme customizer page.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

How to Use the WordPress Theme Customizer

After opening the WordPress theme customizer, you’ll see all customization settings on the left side of your screen, and the live preview of your website on the right side.

WordPress Theme Customizer

WordPress theme customizer comes with a set of default panels regardless of the theme you’re using.

You need to click on the individual panels to make changes to it. You can also click on any of the blue pencil icons on the right side of your screen to open the settings for that particular item.

Note: advanced WordPress themes will add additional setting panels for extra customization options (more on this later).

Let’s take a look at the default options available in the WordPress theme customizer.

Site Identity Panel: Add Title, Logo, and Favicon

The Site Identity panel in the WordPress theme customizer allows you to add or change the title and tagline of your website.

By default, WordPress adds “Just Another WordPress Site” as the site tagline.

It’s recommended to change it after installing WordPress on your site. You can also keep it as blank if you want.

Site Identity Settings to change Site title, tagline, logo, and favicon

Site Identity panel in the WordPress theme customizer also allows you to add your site logo. Simply, click on the Select logo option to upload the logo of your website.

Want to add a favicon to your site? You can do that by clicking on the Select site icon option. For detailed instructions, you can follow our guide on how to create and add a favicon to your site.

WordPress Theme Customizer: Change Colors on Your Website

The controls on the Colors panel will mostly vary depending on the WordPress theme you’re using.

For example, the Twenty Seventeen theme allows you to choose the header text color and select a color scheme for your entire website.

Change Colors on Your Website

Other WordPress themes may offer different color options for site elements like: headings, links, body text, background of your website, etc.

Adding Navigation Menus in Theme Customizer

The Menus panel allows you to create navigation menus and control their location on your website.

On this tabl, you’ll find all existing WordPress menus that you’ve created previously. You can click on the “View All Locations” button to check the available menu locations that your theme supports.

Menus Panel in Theme Customizer

To create a new menu, you need to click on the Create New Menu button.

After that, you will need to give a name to your menu, so you can easily manage it later. You can also select the menu location and then click on Next to proceed.

Create a new navigation menu

To add items to this menu, you need to click on the Add Items button to open a new panel. You can now add custom links, pages, posts, categories, and tags as menu items.

Add items to navigation menu

To reorder the items, you can click on the Reorder link and then use the arrow icons to adjust the menu items.

Control Widgets on Your Website in Theme Customizer

The Widgets panel allows you to add and manage the widgets on your site.

Clicking on it will show you the different locations where you can add widgets. This will vary depending on the theme you’re using.

For example, the Twenty Seventeen theme offers 3 widget locations, whereas the Twenty Nineteen theme comes with just one location.

Widgets panel

When you click on any one of them, you’ll see the widgets that you’ve previously added to that location.

To add a new widget, you need to click on the “Add a Widget” button. This will open a new panel where you’ll see a list of all available widgets.

Add Widgets to your site

You need to click on the one that want to add. You can also make changes to the newly added widgets and adjust its position by dragging them up or down.

Homepage Settings Panel in Theme Customizer

By default, WordPress displays the latest blog posts on your homepage.

However for business websites users prefer to use a custom homepage. It allows you to have a proper landing page that displays your products and services.

To use a custom home page, you need to select “A static page” radio button on the Homepage Settings panel.

Homepage Settings in theme customizer

This will open up two new dropdown menus that you can use to select a page for your homepage and another for displaying your blog posts.

In case you don’t have the pages on your site, you can create a new one by clicking on the “+ Add New Page” link present below the dropdown menu. This will create a blank page with the name of your choice.

Additional CSS Panel for Adding Custom CSS

Do you want to add custom CSS code to style your website? You can do that in the Additional CSS panel.

Intermediate and advanced WordPress users often customize their site by adding CSS code directly to the style.css file of their theme. This adds additional steps like having FTP access to your WordPress hosting, modifying theme files, etc.

An easier solution for beginners is to add your custom CSS code to the Additional CSS panel in the WordPress theme customizer. This will allow you to make changes to your site and see them live on the right side of your screen.

Add Custom CSS code to Additional CSS pane;

When you start writing some CSS code, WordPress will automatically suggest attributes to you based on the letters you type. It will also display error messages if you have not written a proper CSS statement.

Note: If you want to customize your website without writing any code, keep reading. We will share two beginner friendly options that will allow you to easily customize your theme and even create a custom WordPress theme.

Other Theme Customizer Options

Some free and premium themes offer more theme customizer options.

Depending on the theme you’re using, you may be able to change the font style, add a background image, change the layout, modify colors, add random header images, and much more.

You can also add specific features to your theme customizer with the help of plugins. For example, you can add custom fonts in WordPress using the Easy Google Fonts plugin.

Preview Your Website on Different Screen Resolutions

It’s important for every website owner to make sure that their website is mobile responsive and looks good on all screen sizes.

Thanks to the WordPress theme customizer, you can easily check how your website looks on different screen sizes.

At the bottom of the Theme Customizer panel, you’ll find three icons and the “Hide Controls” link.

Preview website on different screen resolutions

These icons allow you to test your site on different screen resolutions like desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

The Hide Controls link is useful for hiding the WordPress Customizer panel so that you can view your site properly on the desktop mode.

Publish, Save, or Schedule Your Customizer Settings

Once you have made the necessary changes, you need to apply them to your site. Otherwise, all your hard work will be lost.

Go ahead and click on the Publish button to apply the changes. Once done, you can click on the close button, present at the top-left corner of your screen, to exit the theme customizer.

Publish WordPress Customizer settings

What if you need more time to finalize your new design? In that case, you can save it as a draft and even share your new design with someone without giving them access to your admin area.

To do that, you need to click on the gear icon right next to the Publish button. This will open up the Action panel.

WordPress Customizer Save Draft option

Here you’ll find three options: Publish, Save Draft, and Schedule.

You need to select the Save Draft radio button on the Action panel and then click on the Save Draft button to store your changes.

You can now copy the preview link and share it with others to get feedback.

On the other hand, the Schedule option allows you to publish your changes on a specific date and time. You can use this option for scheduling your theme changes to go live at the time when you receive the least traffic.

Schedule Customizer settings on a specific date

Lastly, if you want to reset the unpublished changes, then you can click on the Discard changes link on the Action panel.

Preview Different Themes Without Going Live

There are times when you want to check how a new theme would look on your site. However, you don’t want to activate them on your live website.

In that case, you can open the WordPress Customizer to test new themes without going live.

On the Customizer panel, you’ll find the name of your active theme and the Change button.

Change WordPress Theme from Customizer

If you click on that button, then WordPress will display all your installed themes on the right side of the page.

To check a particular theme, you need to click on the Live Preview button.

Preview Installed themes on Theme Customizer

You can also preview themes from the WordPress Themes Repository. To do that, you need to select “WordPress.org themes” checkbox on the left panel.

This will show themes from the WordPress.org directory. You can click on the “Install & Preview” button to check the theme you like.

WordPress themes directory

You can also filter the themes by clicking on the Filter Themes button present at the top-right corner of your screen.

Note: we recommend using a WordPress staging website to test out new themes instead of using the customizer on a live site.

Import or Export Theme Customizer Settings

Did you know that you can import and export your theme customizer settings?

This is extremely helpful when you are making changes to your theme on your local server or a staging site. Instead of copying the settings manually to your live website, you can simply export the theme customizer settings to save your time.

For detailed instructions, you can follow our guide on how to import and export theme customizer settings in WordPress.

WordPress Theme Customizer Alternatives

Although WordPress Customizer allows you to make changes to your site, the number of controls will vary depending on the theme you’re using.

What if you like your theme, but wish that it had extra customization options?

In that case, the best solution is to use one of the two customization plugins that works alongside the WordPress theme customizer.

CSS Hero

CSS Hero plugin

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize your site without writing a single line of code. You have the freedom to style every element of your site without any hassle.

Do you want to customize the login page of your WordPress site? CSS Hero allows you to do that within a few minutes.

You can also edit and preview the changes in the frontend to make sure that your design looks perfect on every device.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best WordPress page builder plugins in the market. It allows you to build stunning pages for your site using a drag and drop interface.

The best part is that Beaver Builder works with almost every WordPress theme. This allows you to use it with your current theme.

Beaver Builder supports the use of shortcodes and widgets. It also offers different types of modules that you can use to easily style your website. See our guide on how to create custom layouts in WordPress for detailed instructions.

You can also use Beaver Builder to create a completely custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

We hope this guide helped you to learn how to use the WordPress Theme Customizer like a pro. You may also want to see our guide on the best WordPress plugins and tools for your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more WordPress video tutorials. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Disable Theme and Plugin Editors from WordPress Admin Panel


Did you know that WordPress comes with a built-in theme and plugin editor? This plain code editor allows you to edit your theme and plugin files directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Now, this may sound really helpful, but it can also lead to issues such as breaking your site and potential security issues when combined with other vulnerabilities.

In this article, we will explain why and how to disable theme and plugin editors from the WordPress admin area.

Disable theme and plugin editors in WordPress admin area

Why Disable Theme and Plugin Editors in WordPress?

WordPress comes with a built-in code editor which allows you to edit WordPress theme and plugin files directly from the admin area.

The theme editor is located at Appearance » Theme Editor page. By default, it will show your currently active theme’s files.

Theme editor in WordPress

Similarly, the plugin editor can be seen at Plugins » Plugin Editor page. By default, it will show you one of the installed plugins from your site that comes up first in the alphabatical order.

Plugin editor in WordPress

If you visit the theme or plugin editor page for the first time, WordPress will warn you that using the editor can break your website.

Theme editor warning in WordPress

In WordPress 4.9, theme and plugin editors were upgraded to protect users from accidentally breaking their website. In most cases, the editor will catch a fatal error and will revert back the changes.

However, this is not guaranteed and some code may still slip through and you would end up losing access to the WordPress admin area.

The biggest problem with the built-in file editor is that it gives full access to add any kind of code to your website.

If a hacker broke into your WordPress admin area, then they can use the built-in editor to gain access to all your WordPress data.

Hackers can also use it to distribute malware or launch DDOS attacks from your WordPress website.

To improve WordPress security, we recommend removing the built-in file editors completely.

That being said, let’s see how to easily disable theme and plugin editors in WordPress.

How to Disable Theme and Plugin Editors in WordPress

Disabling theme and plugin editors in WordPress is quite easy.

Simply edit your wp-config.php file and paste the following code just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing’ :

define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );

You can now save your changes and upload the file back to your website.

That’s all, plugin and theme editors will now disappear from themes and plugins menus in the WordPress admin area.

You can also add this line of code to your theme’s functions.php file, a site-specific plugin, or by using the code snippets plugin.

If you don’t want to edit the files directly, then you can install the Sucuri WordPress plugin which offers 1-click hardening feature.

Proper Way to Edit WordPress Theme and Plugin Files

Many users actually use WordPress theme and plugin editors to look up the code, add custom CSS, or editing code in their child themes.

If you only want to add custom CSS to your theme, then you can do so by using the theme customizer located under Appearance » Customize.

Adding custom CSS via theme customizer

For more details, see our guide on how to add custom CSS in WordPress without breaking your site.

If you want to look up the code in a plugin, then you can do so by using an FTP client.

For better file management and syntax highlighting, you can use one of these code editors for editing WordPress files on your computer.

Last but not least, you can also create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily disable theme and plugin editors from WordPress admin panel. You may also want to see our ultimate guide to improving WordPress performance and speed.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Disable Theme and Plugin Editors from WordPress Admin Panel appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Easily Create a Custom WordPress Theme (without Any Code)


Do you want to create a custom WordPress theme from scratch?

In the past, you had to follow the WordPress codex and have a decent coding knowledge to build a custom WordPress theme. But thanks to new WordPress theme generators, now anyone can create a completely custom WordPress theme within an hour (no coding knowledge needed).

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Creating a custom WordPress theme without writing any code

Creating a Custom WordPress Theme for Beginners

Unlike static HTML sites, WordPress themes are a set of template files written in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Typically, you would need to have a decent understanding of all these web design languages or hire a web developer to create a custom WordPress theme.

If you hired a developer or agency, then the cost of a custom WordPress theme can reach thousands of dollars.

Since many small business owners couldn’t afford the high costs of a custom WordPress theme, a lot of them just settled for the default themes that came with WordPress.

Those who didn’t want to settle and wanted customizations either used a drag & drop WordPress page builder, or they used a theme framework to build a custom theme.

While WordPress theme frameworks made building a WordPress theme easier, they are a solution for developers, not an average website owner.

On the other hand, WordPress page builder plugins made it super easy to create custom page layouts using a drag & drop interface, but they were limited to layouts only. You couldn’t build custom themes with it.

Until Beaver Builder, one of the best WordPress page builder plugins decided to solve this problem with their add-on called Beaver Themer.

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

Beaver Themer is a site builder add-on that allows you to create custom theme layouts using a drag and drop interface and without learning to code.

Let’s take a look at how to use Beaver Themer for easily creating a WordPress theme.

Setting up Beaver Themer to Build a Custom Theme

Beaver Themer is an add-on plugin for Beaver Builder, so you will need both plugins for this article.

First, you need to install and activate the Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer plugins. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Beaver Themer allows you to create a custom theme, but you will still need a theme to start with. We recommend using a light-weight theme that includes a full-width page template to act as your starter theme.

You can find many such themes in WordPress.org theme directory. Most modern WordPress themes include a full-width template. Our top picks are:

  • Astra – A free light-weight all-purpose WordPress theme that comes with built-in support for Beaver Builder.
  • OeanWP – Another popular free multi-purpose WordPress theme that comes with full page builder support.
  • StudioPress themes – All of their themes are compatible with Beaver Builder and would work great with Beaver Themer.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using Astra, which is light-weight and easy to customize WordPress theme.

Setting up Your Theme for Beaver Themer

When building a custom WordPress theme with Beaver Themer, it’s important to make sure that Beaver Themer has access to the full body of the page (from edge to edge).

This is the default Astra layout. As you can see that this layout includes a sidebar which can be difficult to work with when using Beaver Themer.

Default theme layout with a sidebar

You can change that by visiting the admin panel of your website and then navigate to Appearance » Customize page. From here, you need to switch to the Layout » Sidebars tab.

Turning off sidebars in your theme

Once there, simply select ‘No Sidebar’ under the default layout option and click on the Publish button to save your changes.

Your theme will now start using a layout with no sidebars. This is the best layout to use with Beaver Themer.

Theme layout with no sidebars

This full-page layout allows Beaver Themer to use every inch of the screen, so you can create a beautiful end-to-end visual experience.

Most WordPress themes include a template file for full-width pages. If you are using some other theme, then you may find an option to remove sidebars in your theme settings.

If you cannot find it, then contact your theme developer and they may be able to help you with that.

Once you have set up your theme to a full-width layout, you are ready to create your custom WordPress theme using Beaver Themer.

Quick Beaver Themer Fundamentals

Beaver Themer works on top of Beaver Builder. As a page builder plugin, Beaver Builder allows you to drag and drop items to a page to create custom layouts.

It has the following items that you can use in your layouts:

  • Template: A collection of columns rows, and modules that make up an entire page layout.
  • Columns: Vertical layout modules that help align content horizontally.
  • Rows: Horizontal collection of multiple modules
  • Module: An item that outputs specific information such as title, text block, table, gallery, etc.

Simply edit a page in Beaver Builder and then click on the add button at the top right corner. You can then drag and drop columns, rows, modules, to your page and start editing them right away.

Using Beaver Builder

If you don’t want to start from scratch, then select from a list of pre-made templates to begin with.

Beaver Builder templates

Beaver Builder also allows you to save your layouts and then use them later as templates.

To learn more see our article on how to create a custom page layout using Beaver Builder.

However, we don’t just want to create page layouts. We want to create a complete custom theme.

This is when Beaver Themer comes in.

It adds another item to Beaver Builder called ‘Themer Layout’.

Themer Layout

Themer layouts allow you to create custom layouts for the header, footer, content areas, 404 page, and other template parts.

These are the building blocks of all WordPress themes and by using them you’ll be able to create a custom theme that fits your needs.

Using Beaver Themer Templates to Create a Custom WordPress Theme

In the following instructions, we’ll walk you through the steps it takes to build the most popular custom theme elements. By the time you’re done, you’ll have completely transformed your base theme into a fully custom WordPress child theme.

Building a Custom Header for Your Theme

Let’s start with your website’s header area. A custom header is an essential component of a theme and building one can be tricky using traditional methods.

Luckily, Beaver Themer has header features built in. You can either use the pre-created template or use the menu and image modules with a two-column layout.

In order to get to this header area, first, we’ll need to set up a header layout in Beaver Themer. Visit Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your header.

Creating a custom header layout

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Header’ as the layout option. Once you’re done click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location where the header template will be displayed on.

Layout settings

Next, click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column and two-row header layout as a starting point.

Header layout

You can use the same Beaver Builder drag and drop tools to change the background, colors, text, etc. You can also add other modules, load pre-made templates, and add rows / columns by clicking on the add button at the top right corner.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

You can now visit your website to see your custom theme header in action. As you can see, we have applied the header layout to our custom theme.

Custom header in your custom theme

Aside from the header, it will not you show any content yet, and you will likely see your base theme’s footer area.

Let’s change this.

Building a Custom Footer for Your Theme

You can create a custom footer for your theme using the Beaver Themer just like you created a custom header.

Head over to Beaver Builder » Add New page and provide a title for your footer layout. Next, select ‘Themer Layout’ as the type and ‘Footer’ as the layout option.

Footer layout

Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘Entire Site’ as the location that the template will be displayed on.

Footer layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a footer layout using three columns. You can use this layout as a starting point and start editing.

Editing your footer layout

You can add modules, text blocks, or anything else you want. You can always change colors, fonts, add a background image, and more.

Once you are satisfied with the design, click on the Done button to save or publish your layout.

Building Content Area for Post and Pages

Now that we’ve created headers and footers for every page and post on the website, it’s time to build the post or page body (the content area).

We’ll start off in much the same way that we built the header and footer by adding the ‘Singular’ layout in the Add New page.

Creating posts and page layouts

Next, you will choose where to display this layout. You can choose singular to use it for all single posts and pages, or you can choose posts or just the pages.

Singular layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Editing singular layout

Beaver Builder will load a sample singular layout with post/page title at the top, followed by content, author bio box, and comments area.

You can point and click to edit any of these items or add new modules, columns, and rows as needed.

Once you are satisfied with the layout, click on the Done button to save and publish your changes.

You can now visit your website to see it in action.

Theme layout with content

Creating Archive Layouts for Your Custom Theme

Now that your custom theme has started to shape up, you can move on to creating layouts for other parts of your website. Archive pages are where WordPress displays your categories, tags, author, and monthly archives.

Let’s create a layout for archive pages in your custom theme.

You’ll start by visiting Beaver Builder » Add New page and providing a title for your archive layout.

Creating an archive layout for your custom theme

After that, select ‘Themer Layout’ as type, and ‘Archive’ as the layout option. Click on the ‘Add Themer Layout’ button to continue.

This will bring you to the layout settings page. From here you need to select ‘All Archive’ as the location that the template will be displayed on. You can also create separate layouts for each individual archive type like date, search results, category, tags, etc.

Archive layout settings

After that click on the ‘Launch Beaver Builder’ button to open the builder interface.

Beaver Builder will launch with a basic single column archive layout. It will display archive title at the top, which is followed by posts.

Editing Archives layout for your theme

You can point and click on any item to edit its properties. You can also add new modules, rows, and columns as needed.

After that, click on the ‘Done’ button to save and publish your changes.

Creating Other Layouts for Your Custom WordPress Theme

Beaver Themer also allows you to create layouts for other pages in template hierarchy, for example, 404 page, template parts, search results page, and more.

Using the built-in drag and drop functionality of Beaver Builder, you can easily create your own custom WordPress theme from scratch without ever writing code. This is truly the most beginner friendly WordPress theme development method in existence.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a custom WordPress theme without learning to code. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up your WordPress website for better SEO and user experience.

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The post How to Easily Create a Custom WordPress Theme (without Any Code) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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