There are a few different ways of customizing your theme – here we’ll outline some of the main ones.

Editing the theme itself

For experienced users, you can go in and edit the theme itself – if you are familiar with PHP you can change how it looks right at the core, making it your own. This is usually done by editing the ‘functions.php’ file included in your theme’s root folder. This is a complex option and is probably not suitable for most users.

Using the Admin Panel

The best method of personalizing your theme is to alter it from within your WordPress administrative panel. You can do this in one of three ways (or a combination of them).

Appearance > Customize Panel

The first is to go to Appearance > Customize. This is generally a basic method of changing certain elements in your page and you should generally start here to see if something easy can be changed using this interface.

Generally, however, this section of theme customization is pretty limited so you won’t be able to get all you want done this way.

Theme provided customizations

Another method of customizing your theme will be provided directly from your theme – some themes come with their own customizers, and these are generally much more detailed and large in their scope. Symbiostock Express, for example, adds a unique item to your dashboard with a large menu of ways in which you can completely transform the way your site looks.

Custom CSS

In addition to theme provided customizations, this is a good method. Some themes provide Custom CSS panels built in, or you can download a third party plugin that allows you to add Custom CSS (here is a free plugin that does this). With this powerful box, you can add any CSS you want which will override everything on your site. You can remove elements, change fonts, colors, sizes, background images – pretty much everything. We recommend keeping this box open in one browser window, and keeping your store open in another. Every time you make a change, refresh the store window to see the result. This is the easiest way of seeing your changes, and helps in teaching you how to use CSS quickly and effectively.

A good trick to use images with your CSS code is to upload any images you want to use, such as backgrounds, icons, buttons, to your main Media tab (not Symbiostock > Media) which is found under your ‘Posts’ tab. After uploading, you will see a ‘URL’ field to the right – this is now the location of your uploaded file, and you can use this to reference that image anywhere in your CSS.

There are many free tutorials online regarding CSS. As CSS is the most widely used (if not, the only used) method of stylizing websites, personalizing your Symbiostock site will give you a complimentary opportunity to learn a valuable skill.