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What is: Custom Headers

Custom headers is a WordPress theme feature that allows you to make changes to your header and header image.

Your website header appears at the top of each page on your WordPress site and is the first thing your visitors will see. There are many ways website owners can use this space to give a better first impression and make it more useful for their website visitors.

Depending on your theme, you can make changes to your header using the WordPress theme customizer or the WordPress full site editor. You can also customize your website’s header using a plugin or code.

What Is Custom Headers in WordPress?

What Is a Header in WordPress

Your website header is the top section of every page on your WordPress website, and the first thing your visitors will see. A custom header can make a good first impression on your users.

The header usually displays your website logo and title, navigation menus, and other important elements that you want users to see first. Here’s WPBeginner’s custom header.

The WPBeginner Header

Why Customize Your WordPress Header?

You can customize the WordPress header with your own branding and to help your users navigate your website and discover your best content.

You might like to customize your header by changing the color scheme, tweaking the layout, or changing font sizes. You could even add images, a widget area, or even use different headers for separate areas of your website.

Depending on your WordPress theme, you may be able to add a full-width image to the header with a tagline or a call-to-action button. Some WordPress themes may allow you to change the position of the logo, navigation menus, and header image.

We’ll include some more ideas for customizing your WordPress header below, but first, let’s take a look at how to change your header.

How to Customize a Header in WordPress

There are a number of ways you can customize your WordPress header, and we cover them in detail in our beginner’s guide on how to customize your WordPress header.

Here’s a brief overview of each method.

Customize Your Header Using the WordPress Theme Customizer

Many popular WordPress themes let you use the WordPress theme customizer to make changes to the header area of your WordPress layout. You can find the customizer by navigating to Appearance » Customize in your WordPress admin area.

Your theme may add a ‘Header’ section to the customizer, or add header options under the ‘Color’ section, but this varies from theme to theme.

The Twenty Sixteen Theme Lets You Add Random Header Images

For more details, see our ultimate guide on how to use the WordPress theme customizer.

Customize Your Header Using the WordPress Full Site Editor

WordPress added full-site editing to WordPress in version 5.9. If your theme supports this new feature, then it replaces the theme customizer.

That means you won’t have an Appearance » Customize page in your admin area. Instead, you should navigate to Appearance » Editor.

This will launch the full site editor, which is just like the block editor you use to write WordPress posts and pages. When you click the header, you will notice the name of the template at the top of the page changes to ‘Page Header’.

Change the Full Site Editor Template to 'Page Header'

To learn more about how the full site editor works, see our beginner’s guide on how to customize your WordPress theme.

Customize Your Header Using a Theme Builder Plugin

If you want to have total control over your headers, footers, and sidebars to give your website a unique design, then we recommend using SeedProd.

SeedProd is the best WordPress theme builder plugin and allows you to easily create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code. This includes creating headers, footers, and everything else needed for an attractive WordPress theme.

SeedProd Offers an Easy to Use Theme Builder

You can learn how by following our guide on how to easily create a custom WordPress theme without any code.

Once you’ve done this, SeedProd makes it simple to customize your header. All you need to do is click the ‘Edit Design’ link found under the header.

Customizing the Header Background Color in SeedProd

Now you can use SeedProd’s drag and drop editor to easily customize your header by adding new blocks. You can also click on an existing block to edit its color, text, and other options.

Add Code to Your Header Using WPCode

You may need to add some custom CSS or Javascript code to your WordPress header or footer. This may be necessary if you want to embed a video player, add calculators, or integrate your site with web services like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

By default, WordPress doesn’t provide an option to insert code in your website’s header and footer. That’s why our team built WPCode, a popular plugin that makes it easy to add code snippets to your header, footer, and functions.php file.

Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

You can learn more about why we created WPCode and how it can future-proof your website in our announcement post.

To learn how to use the plugin, see our guide on how to add header and footer code in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to easily add Javascript to WordPress pages or posts.

Useful Header Customizations

Here are a few useful ways you can customize your WordPress header.

Add a Custom Logo to Your WordPress Website

Logos depict a visual representation of an organization’s business, values, and mission and play an important role in how customers see a brand. Most WordPress themes let you upload a custom logo.

You may need to resize your logo to look right on your website. A logo that’s too small won’t stand out and one that’s too big can negatively impact the design of your website.

Depending on the WordPress theme you use, sometimes it’s not clear how to change your logo size. You can learn how by following our guide on how to change your WordPress logo size with any theme.

If you don’t already have a custom logo and don’t want to hire a professional designer, then take a look at our guide on the best places to get a custom logo for your WordPress website within a small budget.

You can also use a free logo maker to create a professional logo without any design skills.

Create a Logo Without Design Skills Using a Free Logo Maker

Customize Your Navigation Menu

A custom navigation menu is another way to upgrade the header area of your WordPress site.

In our guide on how to add custom navigation menus, we show you how to do this using code and page builder plugins like SeedProd.

However, if your theme supports Full Site Editing, then you can learn how to add a custom menu to the header area by following our beginner’s guide on how to add a navigation menu in WordPress.

Navigational menu setting in FSE

You can also add social media icons to your header navigation menu.

You may also want to see our guides on how to style WordPress navigation menus and how to add a button to your WordPress header menu.

Add a WordPress Widget to Your Header

Some websites use a WordPress widget in the header to capture the visitors’ attention. Widgets allow you to add content blocks to specific sections of your theme easily, but not every theme includes a header widget area.

It’s easy to add widgets to your header using the SeedProd theme builder, and some themes let you add them using the WordPress theme customizer.

But if your theme doesn’t include a WordPress widget area in the header, then you can add one by pasting code snippets into your theme files. To learn how, see our guide on how to add a WordPress widget to your website header.

Custom header widget area

Display a Different Header for Each WordPress Category

Most websites display the same header on all posts, pages, categories, and archive pages. However, you can display a different header for each WordPress category.

This can be done using a theme builder or by adding code to your theme files. For more details, see our guide on how to add a custom header, footer, or sidebar for each category.

Make the Custom Header Visible Only for Certain Categories

We hope this article helped you learn more about custom headers in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

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