Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic theme customization, part of Start with a Theme: Twenty Thirteen.
2013 has some basic theme customization options that give you the ability to change key elements of your site to make it your own. Most of these features are found under the theme customizer. You can get to the theme customizer in different ways. If you're on the front page of your site, and you're logged in, you can go to the WordPress tool bar and select Customize. This opens the theme customizer. From the back end, you can go to Appearance > Themes, and here you can either just choose Customize or you can go to the theme itself and select Customize from here.
All these options bring you to the same place, the theme customizer. And from here, you can work on select elements of the theme. Depending on what theme you're using, and what features are hooked into that theme, you may have different options. In the case of 2013, you have the options of changing Site Title and Tagline. Colors. Header Image. Navigation. And the Static Front Page. So let's look at them one by one. Site Title and Tagline allows you to edit the site title and tagline.
This is the same information you find under the settings. But here you can change it and preview that change right away. So for example, if I change my site title to Morten's Thinking Spot. You can see, it's now changed, and I see what it looks like with the font I have and the rest of the page. I can also choose to toggle the header text on and off. And this is really useful if you want to use an image that has a logo in it, because that way, the logo won't be covered by the text.
Under Site Title and Tagline, you have Colors. The only thing you can change here is the header text colors. So the text that you see up here. If you drop this down, you get a color picker. From here, you can pick any color under the sun. And you can also specify a hex value. To point to a specific color. But as you can tell, in most cases, black is the correct color, or if you have a dark background, you may want to choose white or some other type of gray. Header Image allows you to change the main header image on the page.
2013 ships with three header images. You have this one, which has these circles and pointers. You can also go with two other ones, one that's jagged and lighter, and one that's jagged. And darker. You can choose any one of these that are images, and use it throughout your site. Or, you can upload your own image. If you want to upload your own image, you need to either Save and Publish your changes so far, or Cancel, to go back. Then you have to go to Appearance > Header.
And from here you can choose a new file and upload it to the site so it can be used as a header image. Just keep in mind that that image needs to be exactly 1600 by 230 pixels to be used as is. Once those header images are uploaded, you will now have access to them in this drop down. Or, you can select them from the Header Image Manager, inside the Dashboard. Under Navigation, you can assign which custom menu you want to display in the main navigation area you see here.
The drop down will show you which custom menus you have available. And as you can see, right now, I only have one. If I want to add new custom menus, I, again, have to go back to my Dashboard. Go under Appearance, and this time, under Menus. And from here, I can create a new menu. And once that menu is created, I can assign it to that area. I can also assign it to that area by going to Manage Locations. And then pick from Navigation Menu, which is the theme location. Which menu I want to display. Finally, back in the customizer, I can use Static Front Page, to choose whether I want to show the default front page, which is my latest post, or if I want to assign a static page to my front page.
If you choose the second option, you also have to assign another static page to be your blog page. Otherwise there's no way to access your blog content. As you can see 2013 is meant to be used pretty much as is. But with the new header image and some basic alterations, you can still personalize your site and make it your own.