So, you’ve found what looks like the perfect WooCommerce theme for your online store, but as great as it may look, it doesn’t exactly reflect your brand the way you’d like it to.
That’s where this step-by-step guide comes in.
Below, we’ll show you how to customize your WooCommerce WordPress theme from start to finish, outlining everything you need to know to make that theme your own and put it to work on generating sales for your new eCommerce business.
Before We Begin: A Word About Theme Variations
For this tutorial, we’ll be using the popular Astra theme.
Ranked highly in our guide to the 35 best eCommerce themes, Astra’s 1 million plus downloads are thanks in no small part to its effortless customization and vast array of templates for every kind of website.
If you decide to use a different theme, you should still be able to follow this tutorial, as most of the steps towards building an eCommerce store are the same regardless of the theme used.
That said, the location of functions and features varies from theme to theme. So, if you need help finding a particular feature or customization option we’ve shown you in this tutorial, please refer to your theme’s documentation to help you find it.
Customizing a WooCommerce Theme: Step-by-Step Tutorial
1. Launch the Theme Setup Wizard
It’s common for modern WooCommerce themes to have a beginner-friendly setup wizard, which makes it easy to get started.
Astra is no exception.
You can access the setup wizard via the notification on your dashboard after you’ve installed the theme.
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Click Get Started, and then on the next screen, select Build Your Website Now.
2. Select a Page Builder
Customizing a WooCommerce theme can be made easier using a visual-based page builder tool.
Here, Astra offers us three such tools; the standard WordPress block editor, Elementor, and Beaver Builder.
Of the three, we’re going to choose Elementor because, as you’ll read in our comprehensive Elementor review, it’s one of the most accessible and feature-rich page editing tools around.
3. Pick a Starter Template
From there, you can pick the basic website template you’ll later customize to create your online store.
Like many popular themes released over the last few years, Astra has an abundance of different starter templates for every imaginable niche and purpose.
To save time, narrow your choices by selecting the eCommerce option from the menu.
You can then narrow it down even further if you want to create a particular type of store, such as clothing, jewelry, or books.
For the rest of this tutorial, we will work with our favorite Astra WooCommerce template, Custom Printing
4. Upload Your Logo
When you’ve found the template you want, simply click on it to start customizing it.
Your first step is to upload a logo.
Click the logo box and upload an image or select one you’ve already uploaded from your media library.
Once your logo is uploaded, you can use the Logo Width slider to change its size, which will be reflected in the real-time preview on the right.
When that’s done, tap Continue
5. Select Colors and Fonts
Your next task is to select a color scheme for your store.
Again, the colors you pick will be reflected in the right-hand preview.
You can also select your font choices, then tap Continue
6. Build Your WooCommerce Site
The last part of the setup process involves importing the template, settings, and demo content into your new site.
Here, you can also choose to fill in the form at the top, though since all this does is sign you up for Astra’s newsletter, you may want to skip this stage.
For the best results, keep all the options checked and hit Submit & Build My Website.
When you’re done, you’ll have a basic website ready to be customized.
7. Use the Customizer to Fine-Tune Your WooCommerce WordPress Theme
Now that you’ve got the basics in place, it’s time to dive deep into your theme’s customization options and really make this WooCommerce site your own.
To begin, navigate to Appearance – Customize from your WordPress dashboard.
Here, you’ll see a preview of your website, which updates in real time whenever you make any changes using the vast menu of customization options on the left.
Let’s look at some of the main options and how they affect your site.
A. Global Styling Options
Global styling options affect your entire site and allow you to tweak some of the settings you configured earlier.
For example, if you weren’t happy with the font group you chose during the theme setup, you can tap Typography.
This will allow you to customize the font face, size, and styling of individual headings as well as your body text.
Likewise, if the colors you selected aren’t quite cutting it for you, select Colors, where you can edit the colors for individual elements across your site.
Clicking on any of the colored circles at the top will give you access to a full color palette so that you can fine-tune your color choices to get exactly the right tone.
Elsewhere, you can also:
Change every last detail of your Call to Action buttons, including their size, shape, color, and borders.
Improve usability by enabling scroll to the top
By default, most WooCommerce themes arrange their headers to provide the optimum shopping experience for your customers.
The logo appears on the left so that customers know exactly which store they’re visiting. A shopping cart icon appears on the right so that those customers can quickly access their shopping cart to review their purchases and initiate the checkout process, and a navigation menu is placed in between so that customers can navigate around your store.
If you decide to do things differently, you can do that by selecting the custom header builder option.
Here, you can use the columns at the bottom of the screen to rearrange the three essential header elements.
In this example, we dragged our logo and navigation menu into the center.
From the Custom Header section, you can also access more logo options, such as the ability to use a different logo for retina devices, change your site title and visibility, and more.
Selecting Cart will allow you to change the icon that represents a user’s shopping cart and customize other details, such as whether a customer’s cart total is displayed, its position in the header, and the action that occurs when a user clicks their shopping cart.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of footers, but they prove just as invaluable to your customer experience as your header, giving people quick and easy access to important items such as:
- Terms & Conditions
- Shipping information
- Company contact details
- Links to social media.
To customize your WooCommerce theme’s footer, tap the Footer Builder option from the customization menu.
Your footer is built by using widgets which you can rearrange and edit however you like.
You can use the columns at the bottom of your Footer Builder to rearrange their position.
Just click on any widget and drag it into your preferred position.
From there, click on any of the names of any widget in the left-hand panel to customize it and add your own content.
Clicking on the Social Icons tab, for example, will allow you to add URLs to your social media profiles and change the icon representing each platform.
If your theme showcases icons for social platforms you’re not active on, it’s easy to delete them simply by tapping the *x* symbol in the corner of that icon.
You can then use the Add Social Icon feature to add links to a host of third-party platforms.
D. Customize Your WooCommerce Options
Finally, select WooCommerce from the customization menu to edit your store’s eCommerce elements and features.
Here, you have many different options to play with. Some of the main options you’ll want to look at include the following:
Use this tab to set your product pages’ general layout and positioning.
Under Product Catalog, you can customize the general layout of the catalog pages that display all of your items.
This section also allows you to determine what details are displayed on your catalog pages and how they’re structured.
Single Product Page
Selecting Single Product gives you more options to fine-tune the look of your product pages, including which information to display, its on-page structure, and whether to enable the *Sticky Add to Cart* feature to boost conversions.
8. Customize Your Design and Content
With all your options set, it’s time to get on with the fun of customizing your pages and adding content.
This is where the Elementor page builder comes into its own.
To begin, open any page on your website that you want to customize and click Edit With Elementor.
This will open up the page in a user-friendly editor, which gives you carte blanche to change the content on your page.
For example, you can click on individual text elements to change the wording, customize the size and alignment, and add links.
Clicking Style gives you more options to change the style of individual elements, including editing the color, font, and shadow.
Adding new elements to your page is as simple as selecting them from the menu, dragging them onto the page, and dropping them into place.
In the example above, we created a new Featured Products section by dragging an Inner Section element into place to create columns.
We can then fill these columns with image placeholders and CTA buttons.
Clicking on the image placeholder allows you to upload and insert your own product images while tapping the button brings up a customization menu where you can change the text on your button and link it to the correct product page for that item.
When you’ve made all the edits you want to make, click Update and they’ll be reflected on the live version of your site.
Repeat this process for your products, ‘About Us’ content, contact page, and any other content you have on your website, and that’s all there is to it. Your WooCommerce WordPress theme is now fully customized and ready to help you start attracting customers and generating sales for your online business.
Customizing Your WooCommerce WordPress Theme: A Final Piece of Advice
As you can see, there’s an almost infinite number of ways you could potentially customize your WooCommerce WordPress theme. Using a combination of a quality theme, customization menus, and a page builder like Elementor, you’ll have complete control over practically every pixel.
Still, if there’s one final piece of advice we could leave you with today, it’s this:
Please don’t overdo it.
As fun as it can be to create your online store, it’s easy to get carried away, adding and editing elements just because you can. By doing so, you risk overloading your site with so many features that it negatively affects your page load speeds and overwhelms your customers.
Remember, the key to eCommerce success is to create enjoyable shopping experiences, making it as easy as possible for customers to find the products they want and pay for them quickly and effortlessly.
With that in mind, keep your end users first and foremost in mind when considering how to customize your WooCommerce theme, and only make those changes if you’re convinced that it’s going to deliver the kind of smooth, enjoyable experience that will keep those users coming back to your store time and time again.
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