How to Use the WordPress Customizer: A Complete Guide for 2020


For many years, the WordPress Customizer was pretty lackluster in terms of functionality. However, the WordPress 4.5 update has transformed the feature into a powerful front-end editor that can be used to quickly bootstrap WordPress projects from scratch.

With the WordPress Customizer, you can dramatically change the look and feel of your WordPress website from a single, manageable interface. That includes making changes to page elements, including the site title, background image, and menus.

In this post, we will walk you through the basics of how to use the WordPress Customizer making use of its most powerful features:

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How to Access the WordPress Customizer

To get to the WordPress Customizer, navigate to Appearance / Customize from your WordPress dashboard. You will be taken directly to the Customizer interface, with the theme preview on the right and the Customizer menu on the left:

How to use the WordPress Customizer

Now that you’ve accessed the WordPress Customizer page, let’s see how to use the WordPress Customizer to quickly launch or modify a website.

Just one more thing before we get to work: Keep in mind that the functionality of the Customizer is highly dependent on the effort that the active theme’s developers have put into using it. In this tutorial, we’ll be using our own Neve theme, which makes excellent use of the Customizer.

Set up site identity and design

First of all, we have the site identity, which gives you control over the name and tagline of your WordPress website. Navigate to site identity to get started.

You can fill in the two fields under site title and tag line , and you will immediately see the results in the preview window on the right. Also, you can upload a favicon or site icon from this interface. Once you’re done, just click Save and publish:

The WordPress Customizer also allows you to configure the menus of your website. To get started, click menus in the WordPress Customizer menu.

To create the first menu of your web page, click Add a menu type the name of your menu, and then click create menu :

Now that you’ve created your menu, you can click on its name to adjust its settings:

The WordPress Customizer will allow you to do several things with your new menu. You can change the name, adjust the order of menu options, add new options, set its location, and specify whether you want WordPress to automatically update it when future top-level pages are created.

It’s a very comprehensive set of settings, crammed comfortably into a small and manageable interface, a perfect example of the usefulness of the WordPress Customizer.

To learn how to populate your menu with pages and posts, we recommend this guide on how to work with custom menus in WordPress.

Swap website colors

The colors used by your WordPress theme can also be changed, which will greatly impact your website design without much effort. To do this, go to Colors in the Customizer menu.

Depending on the number of colors in your theme, you can freely change all of them before previewing the results via the window on the right. The Neve theme, for example, allows you to change the colors of the links used on the website.

Set individual seat settings

In addition to simplifying settings found elsewhere in your WordPress back end, the WordPress Customizer also has some features that you won’t be able to tweak anywhere else. Your website’s single sign-on setup is one such example.

Clicking Single Post Settings In the WordPress Customizer menu, you will see what we mean.

The following interface allows you to make some small but important changes to the way your blog posts are displayed on your website. You can configure your settings to hide author description, hide related posts and hide post thumbnails. within the page itself:

Modify a background image

If the theme uses a background image, the WordPress Customizer also allows you to make changes to it. click on Background image to get started.

Once again, the WordPress Customizer shows its power by allowing you to swap out your background image and configure a number of display options from the same small interface.

Interestingly, you can also set your background image to Scroll . This essentially gives your background image a parallax effect, a popular website design trend that gives your website some depth:

Mobile and tablet previews

Last but not least, let’s take a look at the WordPress Customizer’s mobile and tablet preview options.

By default, the Customizer will preview your website in desktop mode. However, if you use the icons at the bottom of the WordPress Customizer, you can switch between desktop, tablet, and mobile views:

For example, clicking the tablet icon will quickly transform the preview window on the right, showing how your website will look to visitors using tablet devices:


WordPress has a reputation for being a relatively easy-to-use CMS, and the Customizer is now its most accessible feature.

As you can tell from the guide above, it allows you to perform a variety of website transformation tasks within a very simple interface. Therefore, if you are not using the WordPress Customizer, you may be wasting a lot of time making those same customizations elsewhere in the WordPress back end.

The next time you start a WordPress project, keep in mind that you can use the Customizer to:

  1. configure the identity and appearance of your site,

  2. manage site menus,

  3. change the colors of the web page,

  4. specify single post options,

  5. modify a background image,

  6. preview your website in desktop, mobile and tablet mode.

Will you be using the Customizer to help quickly launch future WordPress projects? Let us know your plans in the comments section below!

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