How To Change Your WordPress Theme Header

I have always maintained that no matter what theme you are using it’s always best to change it in some small way so as to make it your own, so that it’s different from any of the other blogs out there. This is just another way to make your blog stand out from the rest, so that when people visit you they know without a doubt they are on the right blog.

The best way to do this is to change your header image. This is easily done if you’re using FlexSqueeze as all you do is point to the directory with your header image file. It’s still pretty easy if your using a normal theme as long as you choose one that has an image in the header :laugh_tb:

The first thing you do is to find the name of the image being used. It may be header.jpg but it could be anything. Rename that to headerold.jpg so that you can keep it as a backup. Now all you need do is upload your new image that you’ve named the same as your old image and voila, you have a new header. It’s always a good idea to keep the same dimensions so that it doesn’t screw up the rest of your theme.

So where do you get a new header image? You could search the net looking for a free one or you could pay for one at a site such us Dreamstime, which also has free stock photos.

The problem with those options is that someone else may be using the same image and so once again your blog theme is not truly unique. The way to get a really unique banner is to make your own, and that isn’t as hard as it sounds as long as you have a digital camera. Most of the headers I use are from photos I’ve taken, including the one I am using now. You can see the original photo on my Photos2Blog blog.  I almost used this one as my header;

As you can see it was taken from the same photo, and I may even use it at a later date.

So, you see, it’s not all that hard to change your header, and it’s another of the many benefits from hosting your own blog, and if you ever decide to go that route I always recommend BlueHost because it’s the one I use.

That particular photo was take with my Panasonic Lumix.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 96 Comments

  1. I used thesis theme then everything is implemented through its hooks. Thanks

    1. Yeah, what a con that was. Would have been nice if they said before you bought the theme that you had to learn all about Hooks to get the most out of the theme. That’s why I like this one so much more.

      1. Having played with both thesis and headway now, I couldn’t agree more Sire. Without learning (or paying!) you end up with a site that screams “thesis” at the visitor. Very frustrating!

        1. Gee, your the second person that’s mentioned Headway and yet I’ve never heard of it. Probably because I stopped looking after I found FlexSqueeze.

          1. Probably. I’m not running it yet. Decided to keep my super pretty look. But if I had my time over, it’s definitely what I’d have chosen to build GAB. There’s so much stuff out there, I tend to start with a search in the WP free theme directory but Headway is great (and much, much, much!) easier to get looking spiffy than thesis.

            1. Yep, I did the free theme route and it wasn’t all a waste because it forced me to learn a little about how to modify the way a theme looks, but I much prefer the ease of use of my current theme.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Particularly, I loved Dreamtime- a site for which I was searching for so long.
    Thanks for helping me out.

  3. I heard first time about Dreamtime.I would like to know how much I have to paid to use this service.

  4. Nice one Sire, on my last visit to your blog I wanted to tell you that I like your new header, but I just didn’t lol!

    I do change the header from time to time but because I have the logo and some other elements on the top, I can not use a wide image to cover the whole area, I use some PNG images that has transparent backgrounds to add some light touch!

  5. Wow, I was just tinkering with the Twenty Ten Theme (the new WP 3.0 default theme) header and when I came here, you were discussing about changing headers. :)

    I was not just experimenting with new header images (in a localhost server test blog) but also with the header height. The Twenty Ten header is so humongous it eats up half the visible page.

    I recognize the AC/DC pic on the right there. “Gimme water, gimme wine, Gonna show you a good time.” ;) Cool Aussies.

    1. As you probably know James changing the header height can sometimes cause havoc and may involve changing a bit of code in header.php, which isn’t a problem as long as you’ve kept the original as a backup.

      Yeah, ACDC are pretty cool aren’t they. Had a concert here not that long ago and you could hear them from miles.
      Sire recently posted…Applying SEO To Your Category PagesMy Profile

      1. I did change some code in the functions.php file to change the header height. Then I learned later that the changes I made may be overwritten in the next update. What I should do, I found out, is to make a child theme instead. I’m planning to study further about child themes. Seems like a fun area to study.

        1. OK, I’ll bite, what’s a child theme?

          I don’t have to worry about the size of my header because there’s a section in the theme settings for that, so that when new updates come along all the setting get carried through.

  6. We actually share the same principle. Using ready-made templates or themes does not guarantee uniqueness to your blog as a lot of bloggers can also use them. So I always tweak the templates I use to make it a bit different from others.

    1. That’s the thing about us humans, we all want to be a little different, to stand out from the crowd, even if it’s in a small way, so why should our blogs be any different.
      Sire recently posted…Sharing Something Unique About Where You LiveMy Profile

  7. Thanks for the directions sire. I also offer some free headers at bloggertalk.net. Of course I need to design some new ones for bloggers to use, but it’s the time thing. I like your header by the way.

    1. Always a pleasure Rose.

  8. I love creating my own headers, funny thing is I haven’t done that yet with my newest site. The problem is, I’m still undecided as to what exactly I want to use? I’ll have to check out Flex Squeeze eventually, I used paid themes for some of my other sites, but went with a free theme for Celebrate Life.

    Oh you have a photo site? I’ll have to check it out. I used to have a photo site, I’m thinking of bringing it back.

    Off topic but…
    How did you get your smileys to show up? I downloaded the same plug-in a few days ago, along with the LMB^Box Comment Quicktags, but it won’t show up. I’ll hunt online for a tutorial.

    1. You have to add some code to your comment.php for it to work properly Moondancer, and from memory you need the LMB^Box Smileys plugin as well as Quicktags for it to work.

      Oh, and as to the photoblogs, I actually have two of them :smile2_ee:

      Let me know if you can’t find the code.

      1. Sire, thanks I have the smileys Plug in too. I guess I should have read the instructions included with the plugin right? ;)

        Wow, you have two photoblogs? You are a busy photographer.

  9. Hi again Sire
    BTW thanks for your generous comment over at my site. Wow, didn’t expect a busy blogger to visit so soon after I posted :-)
    I am not Gen X or Gen Y and find all the techie stuff soooo difficult! Get my Gen Y niece to do my graphics and thru a blogging course I chose Headway! wish now I had chosen Flex but does that mean I have to stay with what I have.
    I feel nervous even when they say to update to latest one!!! I have had all sorts of problems when I install new plugins as one even locked me out of my own site!
    Programmers are very expensive and as a new blogger just setting up don’t really have the money to employ one….yet.
    Hopefully when my blog is running well and I begin to do it as a business I can outsource all the techie stuff and just enjoy writing articles and visiting other blogs to comment :-)
    Sorry, just thought of another question for you and the techies out there….my gravitar comes up on all the sites I visit but not on my own site when I comment. Any suggestions?! Thanks
    Patricia Perth Australia
    http://www.lavenderuses.com
    all things lavender

    1. Hi Patricia, I try to make it a point of following a commentator to their blog and leaving a comment. The only time I may not is if they’ve left a below average comment or if they use Blogger, Disqus or something.

      As to your Gravatar problem it may be because you don’t have your ‘general settings’ set up correctly. Go into you blogs admin, go scroll down until you get to the Settings category and click on general and fill in the required information. I assume you’ve left some of that blank as your name is not click-able on your blog and it should be.

      1. Thanks for the techie advice. I checked my settings and they were filled in! Anything else I should do?
        btw another reply to your comment on my site. Hope it encourages you :-)
        Patricia Perth Australia

        1. That’s weird because when you leave a comment on your blog there is no link. One would assume that means that you haven’t filled out the url correctly in that area. If you have a look at my name on this comment, the url points to this blog.

          1. I’ll ask my blogging coach what the problem is. Don’t want to mess around with settings I don’t understand. Will get back to you and let you know when it fixed.
            After I approve the comments, if I click on ppl’s URL it does take me back to them. Is that what you are saying?
            When I just check my CommentLuv profile in the section for Username I have lavenderuses but when I come onto ppls sites to comment I put my own name as requested. Does that make any difference?
            Told you I would have heaps of questions :-)

            1. Thanks Sire. Now I can’t even get into my site!!! Will get in touch with my Host and see if they can go in and fix for me. Will then do as you have suggested.
              Roll on when I am successful biz blog and can employ a programmer eh??!!
              Thanks again for all your support. If only techie stuff was as easy as growing lavenders lol
              Patricia

            2. Sorry Patricia, I sent you to the wrong area. Got to the admin section of your blog then go to users and then check you admin settings to make sure it has the right email.
              Sire recently posted…How A Woman Made Me Change My Evil WaysMy Profile

            3. Techie stuff never is. Your site’s back, it was probably due to host issues. Happens every now and again.

  10. Hi again Sire
    Just tried to post but it disappeared? Have a question for you techies out there. I use Headway and as I am neither Gen X or Gen Y find all the techie stuff difficult. Can I change without too much fuss to Flex? Should have chosen it to start with but didn’t know enough when starting a blogging course to know which one to choose.
    I have had problems with plugins when updating….one even locked me out of my own site and my hosting company couldn’t find out which one so 3 that should be up are not as I don’t want to be locked out again.
    Once I start putting products up on my site to sell I want to know it is secure so getting a bit nervous about it all.
    Programmers too expensive for me to use till I have established biz then will definitely outsource so I can just enjoy writing articles and visiting other blogs to continue learning and even commenting at times :-)
    BTW thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment. Really appreciate how busy you are on your own site. I left a comment so you can have some success with those lavenders you are trying to grow too.
    Patricia sunny Perth

    1. If your comment ever seem to have disappeared on this blog, just refresh the page as it didn’t populate properly. Sometimes the plugin I use plays up some.

      Changing to FlexSqueeze or any other theme shouldn’t be a problem Patricia. Sometimes you will find a plugin that didn’t work with one theme works fine with another.

      In regards to changing themes, all that is necessary is to upload the new theme to your host, got to your admin panel, scroll down to Appearance and then click on Themes. From there you can select your new theme. If you’re using the latest WordPress you can even preview it to see it works fine before selecting it. Hope that helps.

      As to the commenting, it’s what I do and I always recommend others to do the same. I’ve even started the F-Group for those willing to make the commitment.
      Sire recently posted…Have You Ever Thought “It Should Have Been Me”My Profile

      1. I got in touch with blogging coach. He told me what to do but don’t think it is fixed. Just waiting for UK to wake up and hopefully he will test for me.
        Something not working this morning as I comment on 2 dofollow sites that I thought would be ok and both comments disappeared!
        Will go back later see if they come up again or if there is in fact something wrong with my CommentLuv settings!
        Give me gardening any day :-)
        Patricia Perth Australia

        1. Your commentluv settings are fine, otherwise they wouldn’t be working on this blog. Could be the comments went into moderation for approval or something.
          Sire recently posted…Applying SEO To Your Category PagesMy Profile

          1. Thanks Sire for your reply. Do you ever sleep??!! I got it sorted and you are right, sometimes it was other ppls connections as now I can comment wherever and it okay. Cos of my lack of techie knowledge always assume it must be me or my site when often it is just the net taking longer than 2 nanoseconds to do what I want it to lol
            Thanks again for your support.
            BTW had another lavender lover who is a blogging coach visit my site today who also grows them but doesn’t know what species in his garden! Suggested he visit my site more often and pick up some gardneing tips :-)
            Sun still shinging in Perth but the farmers do need the rain.
            Patricia Perth Australia

            1. Yippee it is all now working. had to fill out one section that was blank and all okay. Thanks so much for all your help and support. It is much appreciated.
              Patricia

            2. Yeah, we need more rain over here as well, although we have had more than in previous years.

              Did you check your setting against the image (via a link) I posted in the comment above?

              Yes, I do sleep. :tongue_wink_ee:


    2. Twitter:
      One other thing to tell you is that when you change themes, anything that you’d put onto the other theme that you still want will have to be put onto the new theme as well. For instance, if you had Adsense or anything else on your old theme that you had popped into a widget, you’re going to have to redo that because it doesn’t carry over.

      1. Actually Mitch I’ve found that whatever is in the widget does carry through with the themes I’ve tried. What you do lose is any editing you’ve done in the theme’s PHP files.
        Sire recently posted…How To Change Your WordPress Theme HeaderMy Profile


        1. Twitter:
          That’s what I mean, Sire. I’m always altering those. :innocent1_tb:

          1. Yeah, me too, at least I did until I settled on this theme, now I don’t have a need to change anymore.

    1. I’ve taught myself some basic html Brian, because I always knew the importance of uniqueness on the web. Then I found this theme and while the knowledge is always there I find it a lot easier not to have to worry about it.
      Sire recently posted…Saving Money So You Can Host Your Own BlogMy Profile

  11. Yes it is good to change at least some stuff in the theme. I used to change a lot, but not I started to use paid themes for most of my new sites and I only change the logo in the header.
    I used to think that it is very important to have unique design, but now I prefer to have beautiful and easy design (from paid theme) instead of unique.


  12. Twitter:
    Hi Sire,

    That is a very cool header … I particularly like the way that you incorporated the RSS icon into the little billboard … quite creative. :-)

    1. Thanks Todd. Wish I could take credit for the RSS Billboard mate, but I’m afraid it’s part of the them I use. I can select different RSS graphics, amongst other things, and I can also change the positioning of it. It just happened to be the right graphic in the right spot.
      Sire recently posted…Sharing Something Unique About Where You LiveMy Profile


  13. Twitter:
    Hey Sire,

    You know, I’d been thinking about changing my header somewhat but I’d been a little hesitant. But I decided to go ahead and do it, and make some other chances as well. You’ll have to stop by and take a look. Course, I’m not mentioning it on my blog, as I want to see if anyone notices it on their own, so don’t say anything over there.


      1. Twitter:
        Just an image I created a long time ago that I never could do anything with. It was between that one and another red one, but I liked the bright yellow streak in this one.

        1. Good choice I reckon Mitch.


          1. Twitter:
            Thanks; and I can always change it whenever the mood strikes me. I’m glad I read this post as I hadn’t been thinking about it beforehand.

  14. Makes note to self to change header. We are guilty of having the default header that Thesis comes with, of which is nothing, really.

  15. Hi Sire :smile_wp:
    I have a real thing about sites that looks the same as everything else out there. It does my head in! I finally found something that I love for my personal blog. The layout was perfect for me. But it was far too dark. I literally spent hours hanging out in photoshop, lightening all the image files that made up the theme. It took forever. But now I’m finally satisfied. It won’t be everyone’s cuppa tea but it’s me and mine and I love it. :cool1_tb:

    1. In the long run I think that’s all that matters, and even though it took ages for it to be just right I’m sure it was worth all the effort.

      1. Well I love it so :tongue_rolleye_ee: to everyone else. Seriously though, I’ve come to realise this last month or so that it’s about being yourself. And how the site looks is part of that.

        Oooh, and forgot to say, thanks for the DreamsTime tip off. I get a lot from freedigitalphotos.net but it’s always great to have an extra place to look.

        Night night :smile_wp:

        1. Yep, and people love you for it. Sweet dreams El.

          1. Awww, thank you :blush_tb:

            (And I was saying good night to you. I saw the time on your comments and it said 3am. But actually, that’s not right either is it? Time difference? Ouch :wallbash_tb: Here we’ve only just done breakfast!)

            But I really should go and persuade these children to get dressed and ready for the day. Have a good one, whatever time it is!

            1. Yeah, it certainly wasn’t up at that time. Just so you know as I’m writing this is 10:04pm

  16. Great, i like this post. i use some wordpress theme that can alow me to change the header (custom header). But flexsqueeze can make it simple. Thanks for your information..

    1. No worries, always willing to help.

  17. @ Patricia So glad to be of help. :drunk_tb:

  18. Headers are great fun to play around with on WordPress. I could spend hours uploading random graphics and photos and seeing what looks good.

    1. I used to spend hours looking for them but now I make my own.

  19. Thanks for the info. I do believe that it is very important to put a little piece of your self into everything that you do is very important. And change your header is a great way to put your own style in your site

  20. Thanks for the info. I’m a totally noob at wordpress and have been struggling with customizing my blogs header. It’s really frustrating searching out tutorials for such little things but now this issue is solved!

  21. Thanks for the advice. I still had issues, probably because of the white space around the header. So instead I imported the header into Corel and then pasted my text logo and graphic onto it and saved it as a new header. Worked out perfectly.

    1. That’s the way Paul, sometimes all it takes is a little manipulation to get things just right.

  22. I always I make sure that any theme I choose has a graphic type header as these are so easy to change. You simply change one image for another.

    1. It’s the only way to go John.

  23. It takes me hours to find the right WordPress theme that I like with a customizable header. When I do find one, there are other factors I don’t like such as the color is not my taste, etc. and I end up looking for another. FlexSqueeze shall be the answer to my problem here. Thanks!

  24. Change my header? I only do so 3x weekly. Once I found out how and Blue Bunny wanted new looks, what choice did I have?? :0

    xo
    Jannie Funster recently posted…Song Baby a flash 55 poemMy Profile

    1. Damn Blue Bunny :guns_tb: :laugh_tb:

      Still I reckon he figures if he keeps you busy you’ll stay out of trouble :innocent1_tb:

  25. First of all let me say that I love the ENERGY of your site, wonderful!

    OK, I have 3 new WordPress sites that I’m building and, can I say it, I really, OK hate the way they look.

    I know I need to change them but I’m tech challenged so I’m saving that for later.

    Gonna bookmark this and take action when the fear wears off.

    Great post!!!

    Lesley

    1. What you need Leslie is a theme like FlexSqueeze, it’s the one I use and it’s the easiest theme I’ve come across that allows you to change almost all facets of the way it looks without having to know any coding.

  26. I think custom the nice header will help visitor come back to your website again.

  27. Nice and easy tip for everyone. I suggest people use Firebug plug in and click Inspect Element to quickly find the image and any css style applies for that element. So if you want to know the name of the header file, just inspect the header, it’s the fastest way.

    1. Thanks for the tip Mike, that could sure save some time.

  28. I am using flexsqueeze for my Halloween sites but my first site I’m not. I have only been doing this for about 4 months and I muddled my way through. When I wanted to change headers with another theme I went to forums and they would say things like use this code and put it into your header code and I could not figure out where in the world to do it so I gave up and figured I’d have to learn css or something. If I persisted in the forum I got the feeling others were getting frustrated with me. But I’ll get it if i keep prowling around sites like this.

  29. Solid idea! I’ve always found it stressful trying to either come up with new layout designs or colour schemes for websites, but the concept of just changing the header is simple enough, and provides that small bit of change that we need.

    1. keeping it all simple is what I’m all about gram.

  30. Your headers are from photos you have taken. Did you edit the photos in anyway? Or use Photoshop or another photo editor to put pieces of different pictures together to make something for you header?

    1. Hey Doug, that would be too time consuming mate. :tongue_wink_ee: All I did was select the part of the photo I wanted and then to re-size it to the dimensions I needed.
      Sire recently posted…How To Save Time Replying To CommentsMy Profile

  31. This is indeed a nice and easy tip for everyone which has been ignored by many experts & professionals. I suggest people use Firebug plug in and click Inspect Element to quickly find the image and any css style applies for that element.You have done a great job by bringing this topic into light. I hope quality discussions follow this post. Great job.

  32. I only have one other blog other than these Halloween sites and I’ve been kind of ignoring it since these are taking my time, but I plan on using converting to flexsqueeze when I get back to my mail blog.

  33. I agree with you here. You need to make your theme look different, especially if you use one of the popular premium WordPress themes. I use BusyBee on my blog and just changed it a little bit in order to suit my needs.

    1. Thanks Julius, it’s always nice when someone agrees with me. ;)

  34. I never make that mistake of leaving the default header each time I install a new free theme. I ain’t a designer but I kinda know my way around Macromedia’s Firework so creating my own headers ain’t so difficult ;-)

  35. Even though I don’t run a wordpress blog I would like to share that I downloaded a free theme for my site but I edited the header myself. I combined 3 itunes gift cards into a large header. It’s not super fancy but I am proud of it since none of my competitors have it.

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