DIY: Customize & Design a New WordPress Header
Branding your website is a huge and important part of business. From choosing colors, to photos, to a tagline… there are a lot of decisions to be made.
And, sometimes it takes a few tries (over a few years) to really hit it out of the ballpark. At least it usually does for me.
The tricky part is, if you have two or ten blogs. Unless you learn how to tweak your headers yourself, you have to pay every time you want to change even one word. Then you have to know how to load up the new header to your site. And, if you're smart, you're going to want to update your Facebook and Twitter graphics to match.
That can cost a bundle. UNLESS – you learn how to do it yourself. 🙂
The good news is that my friend, Angela Wills, is going to be teaching monthly DIY workshops all about taking control of your WordPress websites.
And she's starting from the top. Headers.
When we brainstormed about it, I also asked her if she could include training about Facebook covers and the new Twitter graphics as well, and she said “Sure!”
Here's a quick Q&A with some common questions you might have about WordPress Headers.
How to Update your Own WordPress Headers
by Angela Wills
1. What's a website header?
You know that graphics across the top of most websites, the first thing you see when you get there? That's the header graphic. The header itself is usually defined as whatever is above the website navigation and main site content. It usually has the name of the site and some other images that visually suggest what you'll find on that website.Headers often have pictures of the website owner in them or business logos and taglines. A good website header connects with your target marketing immediately, draws them in and invites them to learn more. That's a big job for one graphic, but it's totally do-able.
2. What's the difference between a header and a logo?
A logo is more of an ‘official' branding piece for your business. In most cases a logo never changes. You know the golden arches, right? If they suddenly were green wouldn't you freak out and wonder what's happening at McDonald's head office, and if someone had lost their mind? That's because the logo is ingrained in your mind as an identification of the company, just as the company name itself identifies it.
A header on the other hand can change. You want your header to definitely represent your brand but it can be something that changes are your business focus shifts and you define your target market more clearly. In most cases you don't want your header to be just a logo unless you're trying to look ‘corporate'. These days it's not necessary to try to make your company look like a big operation to get the trust and business you deserve, so get creative with your header and let it shine with personality that gets you more business!
3. How do I get a new header for my website?
You can hire someone, that's definitely an option. You might be surprised to learn that you can also make your own headers with a free program called Gimp and a few simple graphics techniques.
- grab a beautiful stock photo from DepositPhoto.com (or Nicole's favorite Big Stock Photo),
- open it in Gimp,
- add your website name in a nice-looking font,
- save it and you've got yourself a header.
Sometimes simple really is best.
4. I want to make matching branded cover graphics for my social media sites too, can I do that with Gimp?
Oh for sure! Once you've got a source file for your website header you can then copy parts of that over to new images that you make for your facebook timeline cover and your new twitter cover, too. This will create great consistency in your branding across all of your marketing and allow people to recognize your business a lot faster. That's a very good thing.
5. Really? Me? I can make a website header? Even if I've never done any graphics in my life?
Really you can. If you can move your mouse around you really can learn some simple techniques that include you clicking some buttons and getting some stuff done. Look, I'm not going to try to convince you that you'll be winning awards for your graphical design skills or anything in the first week of opening the program. I can promise you that it is possible to master enough techniques to make simple, clean and professional-looking headers and other designs (those are my favorite kind).
Here's the link again to my new 3 hour workshops PLUS Q&A calls: Click here to Get Ongoing WordPress Training
Cool Photo Edits For Your Website
Awhile back, Angela did a surprise guest blog post for me where she demonstrated some of the cool things that you can do once you understand how to use Gimp.
Here are those graphics, dug up from my archives. Cute eh?
Blast from the past. Angela surprised me with these in a guest blog post a year ago.
I decided to have a little fun with Nicole’s picture to use as an example of what you can do. Here’s the picture I swiped from the header here:
And let’s jump right to the results, shall we? Have a look at what I made Nicole say. The last photo edit is my favorite! (hehe)…
Here's the scoop with Angela's new program.
If you want to take control of your own WordPress sites or your clients', this may be for you.
Each month, you'll get:
- Pre-Workshop Materials Checklist
- A Monthly Three Hour Workshop Session
- Follow-Up Q&A and Catch-Up Session (One week after Workshop)
- Recordings of all sessions.
If that sounds like something you can use, be sure to check out Angela's program here:
Click here to Get Ongoing WordPress Training
You can get just the header workshop on that page or sign up for all of the ongoing training. She's got the introductory price of the ongoing training set really low to build her members' base. The price will increase at the end of the month.
Got questions? Please ask. I'll have Angela swing by and answer them here. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
PS. If you don't have a graphics editing program, be sure to download Gimp – a FREE Program to Create and Edit Graphics.
Click here -> To learn How to Download Gimp for free.
I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.
MarciaOctober 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm
will the workshop work on all banners or only ones for wordpress?
Angela WillsOctober 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm
Hi Marcia. Thanks for asking: I will be teaching how to make a website banner/header using Gimp in this session. You can use the header anywhere you like, not just on WordPress and not only on websites. I will also be talking about converting this to covers for facebook and twitter and how to add your header to WordPress.
The graphics techniques you’ll learn could be used on anything you want really.
Hope that helps and do let me know if you have any other questions.
Nicole DeanOctober 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm
Thanks for responding, Angela. I thought so, but wasn’t sure.
BobbyOctober 10, 2012 at 10:25 am
Hi Angela Wills
I am planing to move to WordPress, Thanks for your online class on WordPress.