Last week I wrote about how I did my Blog Makeover with some tips for changing different elements. One of the items I changed was my sidebar headline images, footer image and post dividers. Here’s how I did that in my Hostgator dashboard.
Before you start changing things in your blog, you should back it up. That way if you make a mistake you can reload the current version.
Decide which images you want to change.
Look at the originals that came with your theme. I use the Pretty Young Thing theme with a Genesis Framework. So I looked at the image files that I downloaded when I moved to my WordPress blog back in May 2011. The sidebar images were files called “headline-sidebar.jpg” and they were 260 x 40 pixels.
I used Skitch to create new images that are the same width but slightly taller. The width is important so that they fit in your current sidebar.
Save the images using exactly the same name as the original images – that way you can change them over and not have to re-write any code in your blog.
Not sure of the name of the file? Work your way through the next few steps to find the image files for your blog and you should be able to work out which is the file name you need.
Changing the Images on your Blog
I use Hostgator for my blog hosting so I will be showing pictures from the Hostgator Dashboard for this tutorial. If you use another host provider, don’t despair. From what I hear, most hosts have a similar dashboard system so you may find very similar steps work just fine.
Log in to your Dashboard and look for the File Manager.
When you click on it, this screen should pop up. Choose the Home Directory and tick “Show Hidden Files”, then click “Go”.
You should see all the files from your blog with some buttons along the top of the page. We want to find the image files for your current blog theme.
Look for the “public html” folder and click the + to open it. Then look for the “wp-content” folder and open it. In that one look for the “themes” folder and open it. My theme is called “pretty” so I opened that folder next, but look for your theme and open that folder. Then open the “images” folder. Pretty has three colour schemes so in that folder there are three different colours. I opened next the folder for the colour set I use on my blog right now – “yellow”.
Work your way through until you can see image files like these in the right hand part of your screen. These are the images that are on your blog right now. I changed three of these files one by one, but for this tutorial we’re looking at the headline-sidebar file.
Click on the headline-sidebar file so it is highlighted like this.
Optional step: If you don’t have a copy of this file on your computer, click “download” first to copy this to your computer. Then if you mess up later, at least you know where this one is! If you know you have a copy there on your computer, you don’t need to download this one.
So you have the file highlighted, right? Now click the “delete” button at the top of that page. Yes, we’re deleting it from your blog so you can load the new one in the next step.
Next, click “upload” to load the new image you made. A screen like this will pop up. Click choose file and select your lovely new png file. As it uploads, you will see it at the bottom left of the screen.
Once it loads you’re done! When you load your blog, you should see the new headline image behind your sidebar headline.
Note: If you have a cache plugin running, like WP Super Cache, you will see the old image which is saved in the cache. Go to the cache settings in your blog dashboard and turn off the cache. Then load your blog and you should see the new image. (Mine took a couple of refreshes of the screen to load so be patient.)
To change the footer and the post dividers I went through the same steps and changed the “footer.png” file and the “post.png” file. Your files might have different names. If you’re not sure which one is the one you want to change, download it and look at it!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which just helps pay for the cup of coffee I’m drinking as I write this post. More info on my Disclosure page.Disclaimer: I’m no expert. I have taught myself this stuff. I take no responsibility if something goes wrong when you try to change your blog files. That said, if I can do it, you can too, so take your time and have a go. You can always change it back if you don’t like it!