Did you know, that of the 217 themes available on WordPress.com, 64 offer free options such as custom headers, colors schemes and palettes, and customizable layouts? There are plenty of ways to make your blog your own without spending any money. Here’s just a few ideas to prime your creative pump.
The color choice is yours
Eight themes, including Superhero, Writr, Spun, Panel, Zoren, Fontfolio, Twenty Thirteen, and Typo, offer free color palettes you can apply. Free color palettes are denoted by the “featured” flag across them in the Customizer. To activate a free color palette, go to Appearance → Customize. Here’s what Typo‘s free color palettes look like:
If you’d like to combine a free custom header and color options, check out Vintage Camera, which offers six free illustrated cameras for custom headers and the ability to choose any header and background you like.
Options, options options
If your theme has free theme options you’ll see the menu item Appearance → Theme Options in your dashboard’s navigation. Clicking on that menu item takes you to a screen showing the options for your theme. For example, here’s the Theme Options page for Oxygen. From here, you can modify the title font family, adjust the base font’s screen size, and experiment with link colors:
Experiment with one, two, three, or four-column layouts
Check out the Theme Showcase to see themes with one-column, two-column, three-column, and four-column layouts. Experiment by checking multiple criteria. For example, did you know that there are 32 themes that have a left sidebar option and a two-column option?
Featured images = continuous inspiration
Currently, 75 free themes offer featured images, which allow you to select and showcase the image of your choice alongside your post. Go beyond featured images with a post slider and you have a rotating series of images at the top of your blog. Not great behind the camera? No worries — there are countless images available for free, under the Creative Commons licence that you can use on your site, provided that you credit the image creator.
Strut your stuff with a custom header
Adding a custom header, such as a photograph, is one way to imprint your unique style on your site. Want to customize your header photograph? PicMonkey allows you to edit images to include text, rotate and sharpen them, and adjust exposure — all free of charge.
Of the free themes on WordPress.com, 119 offer custom header functionality. Here’s Writr and TwentyFourteen, the default theme for the upcoming year, customized with header photos featuring two of my best friends. Fetching, no?
What are your tips and techniques for free customization?