Installing A Custom Header On Your WordPress Blog

Most bloggers would agree that it is important to choose the right theme for your blog. While there are a lot of great free themes out there most of them have a major flaw and that is they are way too hard to alter the way they look in order to claim it as your own. I mean what is the point of having your blog look like every other blog using the same theme. If you want your blog to stand out from the rest then it has to look different from all the others on the Internet.

One way to do this is to change the theme’s header. The problem is unless you know CSS and PHP it is very hard to do. I’ve lost count of all the themes that I discarded simply because I couldn’t work out how to change the header. I hate to think of the hundreds of hours I wasted in not only searching for those themes but in trying to work out whether or not I could change the header. That is until I got my hands on FlexSqueeze!

In my last tutorial I showed you how to do a post on WordPress. While most of us would take this for granted there would be a whole lot of people out there who I’m sure would love a how to guide just to make sure they don’t do anything wrong. In the above WordPress Tutorial I will be showing people how to fit a custom header to their blog. While FlexSqueeze comes with a lot of built in headers it’s always best to install one of your own, especially if you would like it to display a company logo or to represent your brand whatever that may be.

I reckon I’m actually getting a hang of doing these tutorials and it sure helps when you talk about something you enjoy doing. If you liked the video do ol’ Sire a favour and head on over to YouTube and give it the ol’ thumbs up! :thumbup_tb: Oh, a tweet wouldn’t go astray too :drunk_tb:

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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 66 Comments

  1. Very cool work as always Sire.

    It was a bit funny that I was watching the FlexSqueeze videos just a few minutes before coming to read your post.

    I actually started with the Flexibility 3 Theme (I think it was a cracked version or something) as I was still trying to find out what theme was I going to use for my own blog.

    It really looks the same but I know it’s not because there are plenty of features that were not available in the Flexibility 3 Theme from watching the FlexSqueeze videos (took me a while to figure this out lol)

    Anyway I’m still planning to buy a few more WP themes (I’m not collecting them, I have my reasons!) so when the time comes for FlexSqueeze, I’ll definitely come over.

    Thanks for sharing this Sire and I’m also very happy that you’re getting more comfortable recording these videos.

    I’m pretty sure that your knowledge will be of great use for a lot of us!

    Have a great day,
    Sergio ;)

    PS. Don’t worry going to my site man, I’m finally taking it off.

    1. Hey Sergio, Flexibility3 is actually the free version of FlexSqueeze which is why it doesn’t have all it’s features. I started off with Flexibilty and then moved onto FlexSqueeze.

      1. I have wasted time modifying headers also. Thanks for the tutorial and advising that Flexibility3 if free. Since Flexsqueeze costs $127, I going to try out Flexibility3 right now.

        1. Flexibility is OK but it pales against FlexSqueeze.

  2. I agree, Sire, changing the look of most themes is very hard to do if you’re not a coding ninja.

    The theme I use for the Prattle (it’s called 2010, I think) is an exception as far as the header goes. It comes bundled with a half dozen header images and a control on the dashboard to choose one. If none of those is what you want, you can do as I did and crop a photo of your own to the banner dimensions and tell it “use this one”. Then your own custom banner is a snap to pop into place.

    However, this is an exception. Most of the themes I’ve tried were impossib;e for someone without PHP and CSS skills to modify.

    1. Hey Allan, looks like someone has stolen your Gravatar :winkle:

      As to headers, even though you were limited to the size of header you could have at least you were able to use one of your own. Like you said that is a rare occurrence indeed.
      Sire recently posted…What Steps Have You Taken To Prevent Identity Theft?My Profile

      1. Huh… so it has. Durn internet gremlins; always snatching stuff if I turn my back for even a moment!

          1. Yes and no. Some blogs do not show my gravatar, but that is because they use Blogger and/or Discus and I’ve not jumped through the right hoops to please them. CommentLuv enabled blogs normally do slap my mug in there. I am getting notices of your responses to my e-mail address, so that should be correct. Probably just gremlins; nasty lil critters.

  3. You mentioned spending hours upon hours of time figuring out how to mod your headers.

    I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent trying to figure out how to correct the code I modified and screwed up…LOL!

    I think we all go through this. Thanks for the tutorial…:)

    Mark

    1. I think everybody goes through and they will keep going through it unless one of three things happen;
      1. They accept their theme for what it is
      2. they learn to code or
      3. They do what I did and buy a theme that has all the features they need built in. :wink_ee:
      Sire recently posted…WordPress Tutorials For The New UserMy Profile

  4. Another great video – I told you you were good at this!

    And, although I like the look and feel of my blog right now, I am very tempted to move over to this new theme.

    One question. Is it easy to change to this theme without losing stuff from my existing blog. I would hate for everything to simply disappear.

    Patrick.

    1. Hey Patrick, do you mean your blog posts? If so I can assure you I have never come across a theme that caused all my posts to disappear.

      The only thing that could possible go wrong is there may be a conflict with a plugin or two but that could happen with almost any theme.

      If you’re happy with your present theme though I don’t see any reason for you to change.

      Glad you liked the video too. :drunk_tb:
      Sire recently posted…Blogging Like Life Is All About ChoicesMy Profile

  5. Nice one Peter
    Custom header is a must.
    Looks so easy of Flexsqueeze.
    I’m using Genesis and they havec something similar.

    For designing headers, use Adobe Fireworks.
    Much cheaper and easier than Photoshop.

    BTW – noticed that there is a new Pagerank update – I’m still a 3 and very jealous of your pagerank 4.

    Good vid Peter – you are a natural.
    Keith Davis recently posted…The Coolest Voice on the InternetMy Profile

    1. Are you sure there has been another one so soon after the last one? Still either way it just goes to show you never know with Google. I stopped worrying about Page Rank a long time ago Keith, it was all too stressful and ruined my blogging experience.

      Good to know there are other theme designers who realise the importance of being able to change your header easily.
      Sire recently posted…When Will You People Get A Damn GravatarMy Profile

      1. Yeah Sire, there has definitely been a new update. My site wasn’t ranked and now it shows a Page Rank of 1. Yay! lol ;)

  6. Last day i spent about 4 hours trying to modify a parameter in the styles.css file of one of my friend’s blogs. That’s how annoying using a free theme could be. i personally prefer using paid themes but i know that this will not be always the case. Sometimes i find a great free WordPress theme that suits the niche blog i want to run it on, but unlucky for me i end up wasting hours modifying the code.

    1. Hey Edgar, they say time is money and that being the case if you add up all the hours wasted on trying to get a theme that works the way you want it to you’ll probably find that you could have paid for several themes. :smile1_ee:
      Sire recently posted…Caesar’s Palace Moving Statues Come To WassupBlogMy Profile

  7. I have used heatmap theme for my wordpress site and that is fine. But it seems to me FlexSqueeze is more user friendly. I don’t know css or php. I will definitely try this theme for my upcoming wordpress site. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial video.

    Thanks,
    Abhijit Saha.

  8. In my own opinion yes it still matters if you use a custom made banner instead of a plain text, this will not just help your branding but also it will beautify your site/blog as well.
    Vins recently posted…What are Triglycerides?My Profile

    1. What can be really devastating to your brand is trying to create a banner and failing horribly on it. Failing as in the banner not matching up with the background, blurry/distorted fonts, bad color schemes, etc..

      If you no nothing about graphics design, best to hire someone or maybe go ahead and use a Cufon font for your header (some themes already do use cufon out of the box).

      1. All god points Daniel. At least with FlexSqueeze it’s easy to match the blogs colours to the banner.

        Most of the banners I use are taken from my photos and so I don’t have to worry about them being to garish.
        Sire recently posted…Log Into Your Favorite Sites Using Face TechnologyMy Profile

  9. Hi,Peter,
    seems to me that FlexSqueeze got you out of trouble with theme issues and changing the headers. I think we all experience problems with this, so having a flexible solution as FlexSqueeze seems to be offering, is something worth checking out. I will be glad to compare it with Thesis and decide about it. Free themes can be exhausting whilst dealing with them…so many hours can be wasted.

    1. Hi Kristina, I use Thesis for my LoadOfBullshit blog, it was actually the first theme I ever paid for. Unfortunately while it is a good theme and does allow you to change the header it was no where near as easy to use as FlexSqueeze.

      You see to use Thesis properly I had to learn Hooks and I was having trouble with PHP and CSS so I sure as hell wasn’t going to learn Hooks and so the search was on until I found this one.

  10. I customized my header and most of the elements of the theme (I used the old Flexibility II theme) which of course took a lot of hours as I studied some PHP and CSS. I personalized the header by creating my own image and replacing one of the built-in header images in the images/header folder but keeping its original name (e.g header-retrodrip), and selecting it in the theme configuration.

    Cool to hear your voice again Sire. Thumbed up your vid. :)

    1. You did a really good job of it too James. I used the same technique you did in some of the other themes I used but it didn’t always work. So much easier with this one!

      Thanks for giving the video a thumbs up too James. It’s really appreciated. :lol_ee:

  11. Normally you’d only have to overwrite the banner pic on the ftp, but if your new banner has a different size it could get complicated. A normal user would definitely not be able to do it easily. I guess FlexSqueeze is a good solution for those situations.

    1. You’re darn tootin’ Martin, it’s actully a good solution for heaps of situations. :thumbup_tb:

  12. Hi Sally, I was going to delete your comment but then I though better of it because as you said you’re a newbie and simply deleting it wouldn’t be very instructive for you. The problem with your comment is it really didn’t add anything to the post itself other than trying to butter up bloggers in general.

    You could have related your own experience as a blogger when it comes to customising your theme or you could have joined in on any of the other comments adding to the general conversation. Just think of it this way, while leaving a really good comment may take extra time it has more chance of bringing people to your blog and definitely helps to build your brand

  13. Having our blogs visually attractive really makes a difference. It attracts more readers most especially, when at first glance it looks pleasant and interesting. Much more when we customize the headers rather than using ready to use themes or just plain text or image. This post is really commendable. Keep it up!
    Jane recently posted…Aug 1, Worst Weeds In The World?My Profile

    1. While I agree a little eye-candy can be good, I’ve seen some blogs just take it way over the edge to the point where they spent more time on eye-candy rather than their content (which turned out incredibly sloppy).

      Some people like eye-candy, some people don’t. It’s best to figure out what your visitors like and make the appropriate changes.

    2. Hey Jane and Daniel, for me it’s not all about making the blog attractive, it’s more about making it your own, different from everyone else who’s using the same theme. Naturally, making it appealing is always a good idea.
      Sire recently posted…Log Into Your Favorite Sites Using Face TechnologyMy Profile

  14. Each wordpress theme is different, but principle to edit and change header is same. I’m also using FlexSqueeze on few of my blogs, its extremely easy to create niche WordPress blogs and customize every small detail of blog from header to footer.

    FlexSqueeze comes with built-in squeeze page header images that are selectable in the theme options. Its also very easy to upload your own custom header images. This video tutorial would be really helpful to anyone who is starting with
    FlexSqueeze theme.

    1. What amazes me John is that even when you think you can’t improve it any more than it already is Ryan pull something out of the hat and makes even more improvements. The guy is a genius.
      Sire recently posted…Log Into Your Favorite Sites Using Face TechnologyMy Profile

      1. Totally agree with you Sire. Ryan Grabenstein is doing what he does best, he just keeps on adding additional features… Cannot find any other theme with such kind of value.

        1. Yep, the best thing I ever did was to purchase this theme and it’s also my best affiliate and to date I have not had one complaint. :thumbup_tb:
          Sire recently posted…How To Save PetrolMy Profile

  15. I upgraded from a fairly regular wordpress theme to Flexibility. I must say that it’s amazing regarding the customization. I really like it. I also noticed it nicely built to help SEO needs and it’s very attractive. Thanks you so much for the extra tips.

    1. Steven, if you think Flexibility3 is good, wait until you try out FlexSqueeze. :drunk_tb:
      Sire recently posted…How To Save PetrolMy Profile

      1. You know Sire…I’m seriously considering buying FlexSqueeze thanks to you…

        1. Steven, in all honesty I can safely say that it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
          Sire recently posted…How To Moderate Your CommentsMy Profile

          1. I replied to your last message on my blog and installed the suggested plugin..Thanks again:-)

            1. Always happy to help out a fellow blogger Steven. :grin1_ee:

  16. This is what I have been looking for Peter. I have been looking for ways on how to put a custom header on my blog to make it personalized but I end up bewildered and confused. I will try this one.

    Thanks. :-)

  17. Fortunately for me, I know CSS quite well and PHP well enough to work with it, so I usually don’t have much trouble changing headers on sites.

    However, I have friends and clients who would like to be able to change their own headers and other aspects of their themes, so this sounds like a great option for them. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about FlexSqueeze, and this looks like yet another positive review.

    Blake

    1. Flexsqueeze is the only theme I’ll install for my clients so that I can help them out if they require adjustments to be made and are too busy to do it themselves.
      Sire recently posted…How To Save PetrolMy Profile

  18. Haven’t tried flex squeeze, still using thesis which I like since I’m fairly decent with css, however I still haven’t found a favorite photo editing software. Do you know of any good ones other than paint.net to create a header in?

  19. FlexSqueeze comes in handy for matching the banner color with the blog theme.but modifying a theme is not a candy work..you need to be good in coding.Nice post though :)

    1. Actually Mith, FlexSqueeze does so much than just allowing me to adjust the header. I can modify every facet of the theme without having to know any coding whatsoever.

  20. Many of the premium themes out there today have a way to change the header image without coding at all.

    Others use custom “hooks” and are effective as well.

    What would be great if you could target different headers by geographic region to put something relevant there!

    Suggestions?

    1. Sorry mate, I’m not a programmer which is why I need a theme that does everything for me :tongue_wink_ee:

      I’m sure it could be done but you would need to put a suggestion in your theme’s designer.
      Sire recently posted…Update On Buy Online Lottery TicketsMy Profile

  21. Great tutorial Sire!
    Until now I’ve tried various free wordpress theme and a few paid theme by FlexiTheme.

    Barry Wheeler remind me an awesome theme for Joomla CMS that it’s an implemented function that change colour theme 2-3 times a day (morning,afternoon and evening/nigh), based on the time server or time specified by you, going from bright to dark colors

    1. Glad you liked it Albert.

      Changing the colour them is an interesting feature. What I wouldn’t mind having is one that changes the header depending on what page you are on. Must ask Ryan if he can incorporate that with the next update.
      Sire recently posted…Have You Been Getting Warnings From Avast?My Profile

  22. Indeed, the easiest way and could be the best way to have a wonderful header is to buy. However, if one knows how to use tools and possesses some creative skills, he/she can just simply make his/her own. More personalized because of having great design plus the fact that he/she doesn’t need to spend any single penny for this creation.

      1. Actually, I’m trying to do it by myself but not yet that successful in combining different cropped photos. Can you share some tutorials on how to make one? :smile_wp:

        1. Gee Maria, it all depends on the photo you choose.

  23. I have been working using wordpress on my online job and so far I guess I only know how to do the basic the basic things. I use to make a mistake with my url that I forget to edit it and ends up with the wp message. Your tutorial would be a very very great help. I am loving every bit of wp so thanks…

    1. I’m glad you find it useful Richard.

  24. I am starting to learn and create a website using WordPress and this would be a great help since I’m not that well verse in the technical side of it. But I know for sure that choosing the right theme would make any sense. Thanks for sharing

    1. Choosing the right theme is very important because most themes are very difficult to adapt to the way you want them to look and for the non technical people absolutely impossible. That’s why I use this theme.

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