How to upgrade your WordPress theme

After selecting your WordPress theme and you are still not happy with some of its elements like theme’s font sizes, column sizes and other similar styles, you can customize the theme’s CSS through custom CSS.

Unlike with self-hosted blogs however, in WordPress.com blogs, you need to buy credits from WordPress.com via PayPal. (I have not tried buying credits for this purpose, but I imagine that with the purchased credits, you will be given an extra command in your dashboard control panel which would allow you to “edit” the stylesheet.) Based on the WPMU version I am using, to upgrade a WordPress theme, you need to pay something like $14.97 which is good for one year.

Did I hear you asking “What is a custom CSS?” If you did, then the Upgrade is not for you. The upgrade is for advanced users only. As the “Upgrades” page on my WordPress.com dashboard page states:

“This upgrade allows you to add custom CSS to customize any theme on this current blog. This is recommended mostly for advanced users who understand CSS.”

With that upgrade requirement, how then do you customize your site?

Yes, the operative word is “site” and not “theme” since customizing a theme would mean adding custom CSS which may be outside the current knowledge of a beginner or outside his/her budget.

But don’t fret. Even if you cannot add custom CSS to a theme under the current WordPress.com free blogs environment, still you can change the looks of your site and make it a little bit different from other sites using the same theme.

We will tackle that in our next posts.

How to start a blog at WordPress.com (A quick digression)

After sending my link to this site to friends, someone told me why I don’t have the customary intro post like “How to start a blog at WordPress.com”.

I realize that in a tutorial that should be the first post, but I intentionally omitted that subject since it is assumed that the readers of my posts are already WordPress.com account holders. All they want to see are practical tips on how to go around their WordPress.com’s “My Dashboard.”

I hope my response reflects my tagline: “Sharing techniques with friends who at times fumble on their way to their blogs at WordPress.com, but are afraid to ask!”

Anyway, thanks for visiting. And please don’t be restricted from commenting and asking. I also learn from your questions.

How to blog at WordPress.com

For the last few five years or so, we have been using WordPress as a blog platform or a CMS in most of our websites. Being an open-source, we can tap onto the creative and ingenuous works of WordPress community of bloggers, developers and designers to produce easy-to-manage websites.

As a result of our 24/7 encounters with WordPress, we have developed a knowledge base of information on how to select themes, install plugins and other customisation works which we are sharing with others with self-hosted blogs.

The expert-information needs of those with blogs hosted at WordPress.com however are different. Compared with self-hosted blogs, WordPress.com-hosted blogs are understandably restricted when it comes to design customization and plugins installation and usages.

It is in this light that we have created a blog at WordPress. Hopefully, we should be able to get a better understanding of how to run a blog at WordPress.com from which we can help our friends on how they can best maximize and optimize their blogging efforts at WordPress.

Our next entry: How to select a WordPress theme

Updated 22 October 2009: After this first entry, we have posted 15 other observations on how to blog at WordPress.com. Thanks to those who have sent their feedback using the comments box in this site or through our private email.

Updated 11 November 2009: Upon the request of some friends, we have re-published this and other articles in A Matter of Sharing | How to blog at WordPress.com