WordPress CSS Customizer – Using the DevTools and CSS to customize your theme – Practical examples

WordPress themes nowadays are usually packed with appearance options which allow theme users to give a personal note of style to their websites and modify them at their will, without touching a single line of code.

Our themes here at CSSIgniter carry dozens and dozens of color and typography customizer settings and for the vast majority of use cases they are more than enough to completely change a website’s appearance. However, there are still times that we get support tickets requiring help on more involved customizations, and we deal that by providing custom styles for our users’ requests on a case by case scenario.

For a few versions now, the WordPress Customizer comes with a powerful native CSS editor which allows anyone to apply custom CSS styles on their WordPress website. This post is aimed at entry-level website owners who are curious enough to delve a bit more into browser developer tools and how to use them, along with the CSS editor, in order to customizer their WordPress theme beyond its delivered capabilities. Although I assume that basic browser developer tools familiarity exists, I’ll give a quick intro on them below.

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Creating a simple WordPress blogging layout with CSS Grid and Flexbox

CSS has come a long, long way and throughout the very recent years has steadily matured to become more than a simple styling specification which required hacks for many complex (or simple) things. With constant improvements like the introduction of e.g. flexbox, custom properties, and more, the design developer’s life has become dramatically easier. One of the most recent additions into the language’s specification is CSS Grid, which aims to remove any layout limitations the language had before (even by flexbox).

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How to add a custom user field in WordPress

WordPress stores user information out of the box, and it cares for the user’s name, email, and some more basic info, it leaves a lot to be desired. For example, social network links are pretty-much required these days, but since social networks come and go on a daily basis, WordPress itself can’t commit to supporting any single one as it may not exist tomorrow. A user’s date of birth is quite important for some websites as well (for example, with age-restricted content), however since a user’s date of birth may be considered confidential or identifying information, it may be illegal (or require special permits) in some countries. Again, WordPress won’t collect this information by itself in order to give us (its users) the freedom to use it no matter of our location. It therefore provides the means to build support for this extra information ourselves.

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Keyboard shortcuts for WordPress content editors

Keyboard shortcuts, as their name suggests, are a great way of streamlining your work process when dealing with computers. WordPress comes with its own set of shortcuts to help content publishers be faster when writing, or editing content.

Useful shortcuts for the text editor

Most of you are familiar with the text editor toolbar sitting right there, above the text entry box. The toolbar hosts a number of very useful text formatting options like changing font weight, text alignment and more, you’ve seen them and most likely clicked them, right? Well, if you want to become quicker you don’t have to, just utilize the shortcuts listed below and you’re on your way to more efficient publishing.
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Using the WordPress transients API

Your website’s speed matters a lot, because when your site is slow, your visitors will quickly go away and look for a competitors site that doesn’t waste their time. But computers are fast. Very fast. Yet, there are operations that are computationally intensive, network latency that increases access times, or complex database queries that can bring a even a powerful server to its knees. In such cases, a level of caching should be implemented where possible, so that a stored, pre-computed result is served to your visitors. When will this cache get refreshed is a matter of use-case, but as a general rule of thumb, it should be updated as rarely as possible.

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How to create a custom color scheme for your WordPress theme using the customizer

Ever since WordPress version 3.4 it’s been extremely simple to add site settings to our websites with the Theme Customization API. Here at CSSIgniter it’s actually been a couple of years now where we’ve completely abandoned custom Theme Options pages in lieu of the Customizer, since the benefits are too many to pass: ease of use, consistent API, native look and feel, and live previews to name a few.

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