How to Edit Your WordPress Site: Tips & Tricks for Every Element

One of the key reasons why WordPress is the best CMS (or at least referred to as one) is its flexibility and customizability. Unlike most of the other best content management systems, WordPress grants you immense control over your website.

With WordPress, you can easily customize the look, feel, and functionality of your site, so it reflects your brand identity and resonates with your target audience perfectly. But with great power comes, well, a need for a little know-how. You need to know how the professional WordPress development services go about editing the websites.

In this blog, I will tell you about editing the theme, page or post, header and footer, and navigation menu, along with code editing. Let’s begin by discussing the editable elements of WordPress.

Key Editable Elements in WordPress

WordPress offers a robust content management system (CMS) that allows you to control various aspects of your website. Here’s an overview of the key editable elements within the WordPress platform.

  • Core Structure: WordPress is an open-source CMS. So you can edit the core WordPress file structure, including folders like wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-content.
  • Content: This encompasses the text, images, and media files that populate your website. You can edit content for individual pages and posts and even custom post types created with plugins.
  • Design: While WordPress themes define the overall layout, you can customize certain design elements within the editor. This may include font styles, color schemes, and background images for specific sections.
  • Widgets: WordPress widgets are modular components that add functionality to your website’s sidebars or designated widget areas. Common examples include search bars, social media feeds, and calendars. You can edit the content and configuration of these widgets.
  • Menus: Menus allow visitors to navigate your website’s content structure. Through the WordPress block editor, you can add, remove, and reorder menu items,  as well as customize their labels and links.
  • Theme Options (if available): Installing a WordPress theme eases the design and layout aspect of the website. Some themes come with built-in theme options panels. These panels allow you to edit specific design elements or functionalities associated with the theme itself.
  • Plugins: Installing WordPress plugins add features and functionalities to your website. While some plugins may not have editable settings within the main editor, many offer configuration options accessible through their own dedicated menus within the WordPress admin dashboard.

Although all these can be edited to ensure a well-customized website experience, it would be better to consult with dedicated WordPress developers. They have the skills and expertise to do extensive customizations to a website.

Want the best edits and customizations on your WordPress website?

How to Edit a WordPress Theme?

A theme is one of the key parts of the WordPress experience. Its aim is to ease the design and layout of a website. But editing and customizing it is a different ball game. There are two ways to edit a WordPress theme. You can either edit the basic elements through the customizer or using a child theme.

Using the WordPress Customizer

The theme customizer is the recommended approach for the beginners or those looking to make basic tweaks. The customizer offers a user-friendly interface within your WordPress dashboard to:

  • Modify fonts and colors: Change the fonts used throughout your website and adjust the color scheme to match your brand identity.
  • Adjust layouts: Depending on the theme, you might have options to control certain layout elements like sidebar placement or content width.
  • Edit header and footer: With some themes, you can edit the header section and footer section. You can potentially change the logos, menus, or copyright information.

Here’s how you access the theme customizer:

Step 1: Login to your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Navigate to Appearance > Customize. You’ll see a live preview of your website alongside a menu with various customization options.

Step 3: Explore the available options and make your edits.

  • Site Identity: Edit your website title, tagline, and logo.
  • Colors: Change the color scheme of your website.
  • Menus: Create, edit, and manage your website’s navigation menus.
  • Widgets: Add and configure widgets to your sidebars or designated widget areas.
  • Background: Set a background image or color for your website.
  • Additional Options: Some themes offer theme-specific customization options within the Customizer.

The customization options available will depend on the specific theme you’re using.

Step 4: Once satisfied, click Publish to save the changes to your website.

With this approach, you can see the changes reflected in real-time as you make the edits. Plus, there is no coding aspect to it, so there is minimum risk of errors.

Using a Child Theme

Creating a child theme lets you edit the core of the main WordPress theme. You can make more in-depth edits to the theme’s code or functionality. This approach protects your customizations from being overwritten during theme updates.

Here’s an overview of the child theme editing process.

Step 1: Navigate to wp-content/theme in your WordPress core directory structure.

Step 2: Create a new folder for your child theme. It’s recommended to name it following the convention parent-theme-child, where parent-theme is the name of your active theme (e.g., twentytwentythree-child).

Step 3: Within your newly created child theme folder, create a file named style.css. This file acts as the heart of your child theme, providing essential information to WordPress.  Here’s the basic structure of the style.css file content:

 Theme Name:   Your Child Theme Name
 Theme URI:    [Optional: Link to your theme documentation]
 Description:  A child theme of [Parent Theme Name]
 Author:       Your Name
 Author URI:   [Optional: Link to your website]
 Template:     [Parent Theme Name] (This tells WP it's a child theme)
 Version:      1.0.0 (Start with version 1.0.0 and increment for updates)
 License:      GNU General Public License v2 or later
 License URI:
 Text Domain:  [Optional: For theme translation]
 Tags:         child theme, [optional: relevant keywords]
@import url("../[parent-theme-name]/style.css"); /* Imports styles from parent theme */

Replace the bracketed placeholders with your specific information. The @import statement is crucial as it pulls in the styles from your parent theme, ensuring your child theme inherits the base styles.

Step 4: After creating the style.css file, start adding your custom CSS code within the same file. Any styles defined here will override those from the parent theme, so you can make targeted design changes.

Step 5: Once you’ve made your edits, compress your child theme folder into a ZIP file.

Step 6: Login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes.

Step 7: Click Add New and then Upload Theme. Select your child theme’s ZIP file and click Install Now.

Step 8: After installation, activate your child theme to see your customizations live on your website.

Remember, if you’re new to code editing, it’s recommended to start with using the theme customizer. Still, if you want extensive customizations that come with the child theme process, consult with a professional WordPress development company.

How to Edit a WordPress Page or Post?

WordPress offers a user-friendly interface for editing and managing your website’s content, including pages and posts. Here’s how you go about this part of the process.

Step 1: Log into your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: In the left-hand menu, navigate to ‘Pages’ for editing existing pages or ‘Posts’ for editing the existing blog posts. You’ll see a list of the pages or posts on your website. Click on the title of the content you want to edit.

Step 3: The editing screen uses the Gutenberg editor, a block-based platform that offers flexibility and ease of use. Here’s what you can do:

  • Add Text: Click directly in the content area and start typing. You can format the text using the toolbar options like bold, italics, headings, and bullet points.
  • Add Media: Click the “+” icon and select “Image,” “Video,” or other media options. Upload your desired files or choose from your existing media library.
  • Insert Blocks: The “+” icon also offers a variety of pre-built blocks like buttons, galleries, quotes, and social media embeds. Drag and drop these blocks to add more interactive elements to your page or post.
  • Edit Existing Blocks: Click on any existing block within the content area. You can then modify its content, settings, and layout using the sidebar options that appear.

Step 4: Throughout the editing process, you will have three options for saving your work.

  • Save Draft: Saves your progress without publishing the changes to your live website.
  • Preview: Allows you to see how your page or post will look on the front-end of your website before publishing.
  • Publish: Makes your changes live and viewable by your website visitors.

That concludes the page and post editing on your WordPress website. Make sure you use clear and concise language, break up the content (with headings and images), and optimize it with SEO tactics. You can also consult with dedicated SEO experts to get an idea on better editing and optimizing your content.

The header and footer are crucial elements of your WordPress website. They frame your content and provide valuable space for branding, navigation, and additional information.

Here are a few ways you can edit the header and footer sections of your WordPress website.

Using a Theme Customizer

Many WordPress themes come with built-in customization options accessible through the theme customizer. This user-friendly interface allows you to make basic edits to your header and footer elements, such as:

  • Menus: Add, remove, and reorder menu items in your header or footer navigation.
  • Logo: Upload or change your website’s logo displayed in the header.
  • Colors: Modify the background color or text color for your header and footer sections.
  • Widgets (if supported): Some themes allow adding widgets to specific areas within the header or footer. These widgets can display social media icons, contact information, or search bars.

To edit the header and footer through WordPress customizer,

Step 1: Log into the WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Navigate to Appearance > Customize.

Step 3: Look for options related to header and footer customization. Depending on your theme, you may find different options.

Step 4: Make your desired changes and save the changes.

The header and footer customization through the Customizer will depend on the theme installed on your website.

Using Header and Footer Plugins

For better editing capabilities, you can install a WordPress plugin like WPCode and Header Footer Code Manager. These plugins let you add custom scripts or code snippets to your header or footer without modifying theme files directly.

And with some plugins, you can add custom CSS or JavaScript code to your site. That can be useful for making styling or functional changes to your header or footer.

Using Core Theme Files

For users comfortable with code editing, modifying the theme files directly offers the most control.

Your theme’s header.php and footer.php files typically control the header and footer content, respectively. You can find these files within the wp-content/themes/[your-theme-name] folder on your server.

These files contain PHP code that generates the header and footer structure. You’ll need to have a basic understanding of PHP and HTML to edit them effectively.

Again, make sure you backup your WordPress website before making core edits. And if you are not comfortable with code edits, hire dedicated WordPress experts.

How to Edit a Navigation Menu in WordPress?

A well-structured navigation menu is crucial for a user-friendly WordPress website. It guides visitors through your content and helps them find what they’re looking for quickly. Here’s a breakdown of how to edit your navigation menu in WordPress:

Step 1: Log into your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Go to Appearance > Menus.

Step 3: Next, select the menu to edit. If you have multiple menus, choose the one you want to edit from the dropdown menu at the top of the page.

If you don’t have a menu yet, you can create a new one by clicking on the “create a new menu” link.

Step 4: On the left side of the menu editor screen, you’ll see a list of options for adding menu items. These typically include:

  • Pages: A list of all your existing WordPress pages.
  • Posts: A list of all your published blog posts (if you have a blog section).
  • Categories: If you use categories to organize your content, you can add them to your menu.
  • Custom Links: Allows you to link to external websites or specific sections within your website using a custom URL.

Step 5: Click on the desired item type (e.g., Pages) to expand it and view the available options. Simply click on the page, post, category, or custom link you want to add to your menu. The selected item will appear on the right side of the screen under “Menu Structure”.

Step 6: Once you’ve added your desired items, you can easily rearrange them using a drag-and-drop interface. Click, hold, and drag the menu items up or down to change their order in the navigation menu.

Step 7: At the bottom of the menu editor screen, you’ll see a section titled “Menu Settings”. Here you can choose where your edited menu will be displayed on your website.

Common options include “Primary Menu” (usually displayed at the top of your website) or “Footer Menu”. You can select multiple locations if your theme supports it.

Step 8: Once you’ve finished editing your menu, click the “Save Menu” button at the bottom of the page. Your changes will be applied to your website.

Make sure you keep the menu concise, easy to navigate, and with descriptive labels. And aim for 5-7 main menu items for optimal usability. Moreover, you can create submenus for large websites to categorize content and avoid overwhelming visitors.

You can consult with a professional WordPress development company to get a better idea on editing and customizing the navigation menu.

Benefits of Editing a WordPress Website

WordPress empowers you to take control of your online presence. But what exactly do you get by editing your website? Here are a few benefits:

  • Enhanced User Experience: A well-edited website offers a clear, intuitive layout and easy navigation. This keeps visitors engaged and allows them to find the information they need quickly.
  • Improved Brand Identity: Through strategic editing, you can tailor your website’s design and content to reflect your brand personality and values. Consistency in fonts, colors, and messaging creates a professional and memorable user experience.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): By optimizing your content with relevant keywords and proper formatting, you can improve your website’s ranking in search results. This translates to increased organic traffic and potential customers.
  • Boosted Conversion Rates: Clear calls to action, compelling product descriptions, and easy-to-use forms all contribute to higher conversion rates. It will help whether you’re aiming for sales, sign-ups, or other desired actions.
  • Content Management Flexibility: WordPress allows you to edit and update your website content as needed. This empowers you to stay current with industry trends, showcase new products or services, and keep your audience engaged with fresh content.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to hiring a professional for every edit, WordPress allows you to make significant changes yourself. This can save you money in the long run, especially for ongoing content updates and minor design tweaks.
  • Increased Control and Independence: Editing your WordPress website empowers you to take charge of your online presence. You’re not reliant on external developers for simple changes, allowing for greater flexibility and responsiveness to your website’s needs.

It’s about creating a user-friendly, informative, and strategically designed platform. That will help attract visitors, convert them into leads or customers, and ultimately support your online goals.

FAQs on Editing a WordPress Website

How do I optimize my content for search engines (SEO)?
There are various plugins and techniques to improve your content's SEO ranking. Here are a few of the key WordPress SEO strategies:
  • Use relevant keywords throughout your content.
  • Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions.
  • Include high-quality images with alt text descriptions.
  • Ensure your website loads quickly and is mobile-friendly.
Should I edit the theme files directly?
It's generally not recommended to edit the main theme files directly. Edits can be overwritten during theme updates. Use a child theme for safe and sustainable customization.
Should I edit my website code if I'm a beginner?
If you're new to WordPress and coding, it's advisable to start with the built-in editing options and explore resources before diving into code editing. Consider seeking help from dedicated WordPress developers for complex customizations.


From crafting engaging content to fine-tuning the design, WordPress empowers you to create a website that reflects your unique vision. Editing a website can help improve the user experience, SEO, mobile responsiveness, security, performance, and conversions.

Remember, the best approach depends on your comfort level and the complexity of the edits you want to make. The beginners would be better off with the built-in dashboard and plugins. The advanced users can use HTML, CSS, and potentially PHP to make significant customizations through child themes.

If you’re not comfortable with editing the website yourself, hire our expert WordPress developers today!

Want help with your WordPress website?

Chinmay Pandya is an accomplished tech enthusiast specializing in PHP, WordPress, and Laravel. With a solid background in web development, he brings expertise in crafting innovative solutions and optimizing performance for various projects.

Leave a comment