Documentation Brand Your New Website

Brand Your New Website

Getting ready to launch your new WordPress.com Enterprise site? Here’s a 10 step guide on how you can make the design your own.

The most important component to your website’s appearance is your WordPress Theme. A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying, unifying design for a blog. With WordPress.com Enterprise, you can choose from any of our 200+ themes (free or premium) and then brand it as your own using CSS and JavaScript.

Please know that you cannot upload your own custom theme to WordPress.com Enterprise, but you can select a base theme and modify or override its CSS. You can also write your own JavaScript. Here are the steps to customize your website’s appearance:

1. Sketch Out an Outline

First, you should have an idea of what you want your website to look like. What functionality do you want your homepage to have? How many columns do you want in your layout? Having a rough outline will help you choose the best theme for your site.

2. Choose a Theme

WordPress.com offers more than 200 free and premium themes for you to choose from. With WordPress.com Enterprise, you have unlimited access to all of the premium themes. Visit our Themes page and select a theme that is the closest to what you want your website to look like. If it’s not perfect yet, don’t worry. Think of the theme as a bare structure of a house. You’ll be able to remodel the kitchen and add fresh coats of paint later.

By default, the front page (“Home”) of your WordPress.com blog will display your latest posts. You can change this so readers see a static homepage instead, and can view your posts on a different page. Click here to learn how to create a static homepage.

3. Set your Site Title and Tagline

The Site Title is displayed in the title bar of a web browser and is displayed in the header for most themes. The Tagline is next and is a short description or catchy phrase to describe what your blog is about. Some themes will display the tagline in the header or in the sidebar. You can find these options under Settings > General in your Dashboard. Read more about Site Titles and Taglines here.

4. Set your blog’s Blavatar, favicon

A Blavatar is your blog’s avatar. It displays as the favicon for your blog, which shows up in a browser’s address bar and on browser tabs. If you create a bookmark on your browser or shortcut on your iPhone/iPad home screen to any blog with a Blavatar, it will also be used as the icon. You can upload your Blavatar under Settings > General in your Dashboard. Read more about Blavatars here.

5. Customize Your Sidebar(s)

Your site’s sidebar is a great place to show off important links and make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Your WordPress.com website comes pre-installed with a collection of widgets you can drag-and-drop onto your sidebar, including Twitter widget, an Archives widget, a Recent Comments widget and Top Posts & Pages widget. Please know that each theme displays widgets differently depending on the layout, so be sure to check out your theme’s information page to understand how widgets appear. You can access your widgets by going to Appearance > Widgets on your Dashboard. Learn more about how to use widgets, and what widgets are available, here.

6. Choose Your Colors

With our color picker, you’ll be able to quickly change the colors of your selected theme’s background, headers, links, primary colors and secondary colors without any code. You can also select a color palette, add a background pattern or image. You can access the Custom Colors menu in your Dashboard under Appearance > Custom Design. You can read more about Custom Colors here, or watch the video below.

7. Choose Your Fonts

With our custom font menu, you can quickly customize the fonts on your blog in a matter of clicks — no coding required. There’s also an advanced mode for those who want to add fonts to their blog using the Typekit Kit Editor. You can learn more about how to use the Custom Font menu here, or how to add fonts using Typekit here.

8. Customize Your CSS

With WordPress.com Enterprise, you have access to the Custom CSS editor, which allows you to change the appearance of your blog by editing your theme’s CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). Custom CSS allows you to change fonts, colors, borders, backgrounds, and even the layout of your blog. Please note: Uploading custom themes is not supported on WordPress.com, but you can modify existing themes and completely override a theme’s CSS and start from scratch with our CSS editor. You can find Custom CSS in Appearance > Custom Design in the Dashboard. Learn more about Custom CSS here.

9. Customize Your JavaScript

JavaScript support is provided to Enterprise sites using our Custom JavaScript Editor. Use it, in conjunction with any of the available third-party libraries, to build a media slider, implement a custom photo gallery, or add a further level of interactivity to your site.

Learn more about customizing your site with JavaScript.

10. Set Up Your Own Domain

On WordPress.com, you can use a custom domain for your blog, such as automattic.com, instead of the default address you get when you sign up, like automattic.wordpress.com. Your old address will still work, but we will automatically redirect traffic from your old address to your new one. For more information on how to set up your own domain, please visit our Domain and DNS documentation.