Why to edit a WordPress header
The header sits right at the top of your web pages. Therefore, it’s typically the first part of your site that visitors see. That’s why it’s a great idea to include your most significant elements here.
By default, you’ll have a built-in header that’s determined by your active theme. This often consists of your navigation menu, site title, and sometimes your business logo.
However, you might be wondering how to edit a WordPress header so that you can create a more unique layout. Not only can you modify aspects of the design, but you can also bring certain elements to your audience’s attention.
For instance, you might add links to your most popular pages. Additionally, it can be useful to add your contact details so that visitors don’t need to search your website to find them.
What’s more, it’s a great idea to add social icons to your header. This way, you can drive organic traffic to your social accounts. Meanwhile, you might want to insert a search bar to improve the User Experience (UX).
How to edit a WordPress header
Now that you know why you might want to edit your WordPress header, here are a few simple ways to do it.
1. Use the WordPress Customizer 🎨
If you’re wondering how to edit a WordPress header with a classic theme, the simplest way is to use the WordPress Customizer. However, the level of customization that you can achieve with the Customizer depends entirely on your theme. For example, some themes won’t let you edit the header at all.
To open the Customizer, go to Appearance → Customize. If your theme allows you to edit the header, you should see a Header option in the tabs to the left:
With Neve, you can upload a logo, adjust the dimensions, and apply new colors. However, you’ll also get access to a full header builder where you can add different components to the layout:
For instance, you might add a call-to-action button, insert a cart icon, or include a search form. Better yet, you can shuffle the elements around using the simple drag-and-drop editor.
Alternatively, click on the + icon within the builder to choose the elements you want to add:
If you click on the element that you’ve added to the header, you can also alter the appearance of the feature. For example, you might change the colors, text, or padding. Better yet, with Neve, you can access header presets where you can apply a pre-designed header layout to your site.
Then, view your site on the front end to make sure you’re happy with the edits:
Now, click on Publish.
2. Access the Full Site Editor (FSE) ⚙️
If you’re wondering how to edit a WordPress header with a block theme, the best way is to use the Full Site Editor (FSE). You can access this by going to Appearance → Editor. Then, click on Patterns → Header.
If you’re using a theme like Neve FSE, you might be able to choose from a number of header layouts to get started. So, make your selection and click on the pencil icon to open the editor:
Now, using the toolbar, you can change the alignment of your menu items and your site title. However, if you click on the + icon, you can insert a whole range of blocks inside your header.
For example, you might want to add a site logo. If this is the case, insert the relevant block. Then, click on the placeholder logo to upload a design from your Media Library:
Additionally, you might want to display your latest posts. Simply select the Latest Posts block and open the Block settings to configure the appearance of the block:
For instance, you can change the number of post items, change the order of posts, and display a featured image.
Meanwhile, if you select the Social Icons block, you can click on the + icon to add different platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook:
You’ll need to select the relevant icon to add your social media URL. Then, use the arrows in the toolbar to adjust the position of the block within your header. In the Block settings, you can stack icons vertically or horizontally and modify the shape and color of icons.
3. Install a page builder 🖱️
Current Version: 3.15.3
If you already use a page-builder plugin to edit content pages, you might prefer to edit your WordPress header using one, too. Not all page builders facilitate this. However, some page builders (like Elementor) provide options to build theme layouts like headers and footers.
However, to use the Elementor header builder, you’ll need to activate the Hello Elementor theme and install the Elementor page-builder plugin. Then, go to Appearance → Customize in your dashboard.
Click on Header & Footer:
Now, select Start Here. This will open your header within the Elementor interface. From here, click on Header.
You can disable your site logo, tagline, and menu in the Site Settings. Plus, you can change the alignment, width, and background color:
Under the Site Logo tab, you can change the typography for your site title and adjust the spacing. Meanwhile, expand the Menu tab to select a new navigation menu for your layout.
Here, you can also determine whether your menu displays as a horizontal or drop-down menu. And again, you can change the text color, toggle color, and typography of your menu items:
Now, click on Update to save your changes. The free version of Elementor will limit your design options. However, if you install Elementor Pro, you can access a full header builder with more advanced widgets.
👉 Check out our Elementor review if you want to learn more about how this tool can help you build sites.
4. Create a custom header with a plugin 🔌
Current Version: 1.6.15
Now, if you don’t want to use any of the methods above, you can create a custom header using a plugin like Elementor Header & Footer Builder. This way, you can build your layout using the Elementor widgets. Then, you can display it in any location across your site.
To get started, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin within your WordPress dashboard. You’ll also need to install the Elementor page-builder plugin.
Then, go to Appearance → Elementor Header & Footer Builder and click on Add New. Give your template a name and select Header from the Type of template drop-down menu:
Then, you can configure display rules or choose Entire Website so that your header is visible across all your web pages. Click on Publish. Then, select Edit with Elementor.
This will open the Elementor editor, where you’ll build your custom header:
The downside is that you’ll need Elementor Pro to be able to use advanced widgets like menus and forms. However, you can build a simple header using buttons, images, and icons with the free version.
5. Add a custom code snippet 👨💻
Current Version: 3.2.6
You might be wondering how to edit a WordPress header as an advanced user. In this instance, you can add a custom code snippet to your website. However, this requires you to edit your site files, which can be risky since one wrong move can break your entire site.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to use a code plugin like Head, Footer and Post Injections. Upon successful activation, navigate to Settings → Head and Footer.
Now, enter the custom code snippet into one of the head sections. The plugin even allows you to set custom code snippets for the homepage and for the standard pages.
Click on Save. And just like that, your code snippet will be printed in the
<head> section of your site.
While your chosen theme will provide a default header for your website, you might want to edit a WordPress header to achieve a more unique design. Additionally, you can add tons of useful elements to your layout, like social icons, logos, and posts.
📌 To recap, here’s how to edit a WordPress header:
- 🎨 Use the WordPress Customizer.
- ⚙️ Access the Full Site Editor (FSE).
- 🖱️ Install a page builder.
- 🔌 Create a custom header with a plugin.
- 👨💻 Add a custom code snippet.
Do you have any questions about how to edit a WordPress header? Let us know in the comments below!
This content was originally published here.