How to Use CSS in WordPress (Edit, Add, & Customize Your Site’s Look)

wordpress css

Want to try editing WordPress CSS, but no idea where to start? With CSS styling, you can edit your site’s appearance globally or on certain pages. Add colors, space out certain elements, design a layout, and basically change exactly how anything in your WordPress theme looks.

If you want to get more familiar with WordPress’ development environment, or just have finer control over your website’s appearance, you’ll need to know how to add CSS in WordPress (plus how to change what’s already there).

By editing your theme and including additional CSS of your own, you’ll be able to optimize each and every visual element on your site. Today, we’ll take a closer look at it.

Ready to start? Let’s do it!

What Is CSS Editing?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and it’s the most popular web language besides HTML. The two of them go hand-in-hand, as CSS is used to style HTML elements. HTML lays the groundwork of a website’s appearance and CSS is used to further style it.

Example of CSS code (Source: w3schools.com)

CSS gives you the ability to make a website responsive, add colors, change fonts, modify the layout, and in general fine-tune a website’s visual presentation. Like HTML and JavaScript, CSS is a frontend client-side language, which means it executes on the user’s end, rather than on the backend server.

When diving into WordPress development, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP are the languages you’ll need to know. This is what the core CMS is built in, as well as its many themes and plugins.

But even if you’re not a web designer or developer, it’s good to pick up a little CSS, as you can use it to move or style elements on your website, or make small aesthetic changes to your theme to better suit you.

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WordPress and CSS

Within WordPress, CSS is a little bit different. It’s controlled by themes, which are made up of template files, template tags, and of course the CSS stylesheet. Though generated by your theme, all of these are editable by you.

Template files split parts of your website into sections (such as header.php or archive.php), and template tags are used to call on them and other content from your database. These files are actually made up of mostly PHP and HTML, though you could add CSS if you needed to.

What you’re really looking for is the stylesheet, or style.css. To change how your website looks, you’ll need to learn how to add and edit code in this file.

How to Customize Your WordPress Theme with CSS

If you want to customize your theme and change how your site looks with CSS, you’ll need to either add your own code or edit what’s already there. There are ways to add CSS without ever needing to touch any theme files but to change existing theme code, you’ll have to access your site’s stylesheet.

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This article was written by Matteo Duò and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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