WordPress – .com vs. .org – custom header

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Custom Header

.com makes it easy                      .org is more difficult

Almost no WordPress blog stays with the basic blue and white text header for very long.  One possible exception would be the content driven Iranian Redneck.  WordPress.com makes it fairly simple to add your own picture in the header of your blog (just like above).  When logged in as administrator, click Appearance then Custom Header and follow the instructions.  The instructions will simply lead you through uploading the image from your PC and then “cropping” the image to the correct size, which is 740 x 192 pixels.  You won’t need to worry about how to measure pixels, or even what they are,  WordPress.com will show you the correct size as a little rectangle.  You’ll just need to match up the part of the picture you want to show in the rectangle, which is also what’s going to show as your blog header once it’s saved.  Here’s the url to the WordPress help documentation.

WordPress.org, the version you run yourself,  is missing this simple approach.  First you’ll need to crop your picture before uploading.  If you’re into PhotoShop or a similar program, this probably isn’t a big deal.  If you’re not, you’ll need to find and learn enough about a photo editor to crop your picture.  The Gimp is an open source free photo editor that’s very powerful.  Here’s the download link for the Windows version of GIMP.  Here’s where that 740 x 192 pixels information is needed.  That’s the target size of your cropped image.  Once cropped, you just need to upload the image to your web site.

Find your WordPress themes/default/images directory on your web site.  Usually something like this;  pubic_html/wordPress/wp-content/themes/default/images.  In the directory find a kubrickheader.jpg file.  Back it up using a copy to something like kubrickheader.jpg.bak.  Then upload your new header image to this directory and rename it kubrickheader.jpg.    Couldn’t be easier?  Yes it could’ve be easier as well as it could’ve been easier finding this information. 

Here’s a url to Figaro’s blog.  This is where I found the information this time.  Yes, I actually found all this one time before from a different source, but forgot where everything was.  Here’s the specific post which talks about this and more.

This information is specific to the default Kubrick theme that comes with a fresh WordPress.org install.  Other themes may be easier to work with or store the images under different file names or directories.  As always there may be plugins which help with this process.  I found some, but they didn’t sound like they made life much easier.

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