Customizing your WordPress has never been the easiest task. It used to involve either spending time to learn how to make CSS changes yourself, or you had to hire a web designer to make those changes for you.
Even if you found the perfect WordPress theme, you’ll probably still want to make changes to the overall design to match your brand one hundred percent. The only way to do this is to change the CSS code.
Luckily, several plugins can help you do just that, even if you don’t know how to code.
Below we dive deep into the benefits of using a WordPress CSS plugin, and we highlight the five best WordPress CSS plugins out there today, so you can decide which plugin is best for your website.
What to Look for in a WordPress CSS Plugin?
The exact features you’re looking for in a WordPress CSS plugin will depend on your current programming experience.
Some people might prefer a plugin that completely relies upon a visual editor (meaning no programming skills are required), while others will want more control and will prefer a plugin that allows for multiple forms of CSS editing.
If you are a total beginner, then you’ll need to look for a live editing plugin that lets you click and make changes. Then the plugin will automatically create the functional CSS code for you. Some CSS plugins even have a design library you can tap into instead of having to rely solely on your creativity.
Here are some questions to think about as you search for the perfect WordPress CSS plugin:
- Is it compatible with the theme I’m currently using?
- Does it come equipped with pre-made CSS templates/suggestions?
- Does the plugin include a visual editor?
- Can you preview your changes in real-time?
Your answers to these questions will dictate which plugin is best for your website and editing needs.
Top 5 WordPress CSS Plugins
There are a ton of different CSS plugins on the market today. The good news is not every plugin will be a good fit for your site and your design goals.
There is no “best” CSS plugin, but instead the best CSS plugin for you. That being said here are five of the best WordPress CSS plugins available today:
1. CSS Hero
CSS Hero is a premium plugin, but it gives you the ability to visually customize nearly every aspect of your current theme.
To make changes just point and click whatever elements you want to edit. Plus, you can make all of these customizations without having to enter a single line of code.
It’s equipped with some unique features too, like the ability to save your edits as you make them. This way, if you make a mistake you can simply revert to a previous save point.
It also has a variety of styles and skins you can apply. This allows you to test out different design elements to see what works best with your site, even if you have no previous design experience. This functionality makes it operate in a similar fashion to a WordPress website building plugin. Although not as robust, the pre-made templates can help you easily add advanced design features to your website.
When you’re using the live editor you’ll also get an explanation of what each CSS selector does. So, you’re not only making changes to your site, but you’re learning along the way.
In terms of theme compatibility, it’s 100% compatible with any theme in the CSS Hero library, it’ll also provide you with a compatibility score, so you can see how well it’ll work with your current theme.
2. SiteOrigin CSS
SiteOrigin CSS is an incredibly feature-packed plugin. Plus, it’s entirely free. It has a live editing feature and is compatible with every WordPress theme. Seriously, no matter what theme you’re using you’ll be able to use this plugin to make changes to it.
The sheer amount of features this plugin contains allows it to compete with the other premium options featured on this list. No matter your skill level you’ll be able to utilize this plugin for your editing needs.
Beginner users will love the visual editor. It’s intuitive and easy to use and lets you make changes to things like your overall style of layout, colors, fonts, and more. Just a few clicks and you can change up the style of your site. The plugin will automatically create new CSS code as you make edits.
If you’re a more advanced user, you can use the dynamic selector function to find the exact CSS selector you want to edit. This is one of the most difficult parts of editing your CSS code, so it’s incredibly valuable.
Also, there’s a self-complete code option, which will help you write fully-functional CSS code. It can also be used to help find errors in your code before you decide to publish it live.
3. Advanced CSS Editor
Advanced CSS Editor is a lightweight CSS editing plugin. It’s very easy to use and lets you make CSS changes directly from the live editor, so you can see your changes in real-time.
There’s even a unique feature that lets you make CSS changes for individual devices and screen sizes, whether that’s desktop, mobile devices, or tablets.
However, this plugin is better suited for more advanced level users, hence the term “Advanced” in the plugin title. There is no click to select feature, so if you don’t already know CSS you’re not going to find much value in this plugin.
It’s a tool to help you code more efficiently. Just select a device you want to start writing CSS for and get to work. If you’re already experienced with CSS and want a tool that includes a live preview feature and the ability to create specific styles for certain devices, then this is worth checking out.
Plus, it’s entirely free.
Microthemer is an easy to use visual CSS editor. It’s a more lightweight option (meaning it isn’t equipped with all kinds of extra features), but this also means that it won’t slow down your site.
Since it’s so lightweight, it’s also very versatile and can be used to change the appearance of virtually any theme or plugin currently available.
You can also work in what’s called Draft Mode. This allows you to try out a bunch of different design changes without having to push them live. So, you can spend hours changing the design of your site and then push all those changes live at the same time.
Finally, you can design for a specific screen size as well. So, you can create specific site elements that appear when your site is being viewed on a mobile device or tablet.
It is a premium WordPress plugin, but it only requires a one-time fee to get access to the plugin for life.
5. TJ Custom CSS
TJ Custom CSS is a free WordPress plugin that gives you a front-end interface to customize the CSS code on your site.
Essentially, this plugin makes it easy to customize the appearance of your themes and plugins without having to edit to CSS code associated with each of these elements. In a way, this plugin acts as a makeshift child theme. This feature is great because you know your CSS (and thus the design of your site) won’t be affected every time you update your themes or plugins.
However, this is a more advanced plugin. You’ll need to know how to write CSS code to make the most of this plugin. Without existing CSS skills you really won’t be able to do much at all.
But, for more advanced users this plugin can be very helpful. You can also preview your changes in real-time. So instead of having to refresh your screen, or save your changes, you can see how your code directly affects the design in real-time.
Overall, it’s a lightweight WordPress plugin that’ll help more advanced developers make CSS changes to their site, and see what those changes look like the moment you make them.
Benefits of Using a WordPress CSS Plugin
In the past, making visual changes to your WordPress theme took a lot of work and required programming knowledge.
Today, a WordPress CSS plugin gives you advanced editing skills without having to know a line of code.
Here are some of of the biggest benefits that a CSS plugin can provide:
1. Helps You Identify CSS Selectors
One of the more difficult parts of adjusting CSS code is finding the right CSS selector, along with various elements that could be nested. Without finding the right selector you could end up changing the wrong CSS element, or make a change only to have your site still look the same.
A CSS plugin can help you find the right element to edit and can also present you with options you can change (in case you don’t want to write the CSS code yourself).
2. You Can See Your Changes in Real-Time
In the past, making CSS changes to your site meant editing the file, saving it, and refreshing your WordPress site to see how the changes look. Sometimes you’d even have to clear the cache, otherwise the changes wouldn’t show up.
This meant a lot of back and forth and a ton of time wasted. But with a WordPress CSS plugin, you can make a change and see how it looks in real-time, this allows for much more experimentation and creative control.
3. You Can Edit Virtually Any WordPress Theme
Most quality WordPress CSS plugins are compatible with a wide range of different themes. This means you aren’t bottlenecked by your choice of themes.
This can also be helpful if you’re running multiple sites that are all using different themes. So, this kind of plugin can help to improve your workflow, since you’ll be familiar with how to make changes no matter what theme you’re running in the background.
4. They’re Beginner Friendly
Now, not every WordPress CSS plugin will be built for beginners. Some are built to help advanced level users edit CSS code more effectively.
However, a large handful of these plugins are built for those with no previous coding experience. With these plugins, it’s very easy to make design customizations. Some plugins (as you’ll learn below) even come equipped with design templates, skins, and styles, to choose from.
5. Keep Style Changes During Theme Updates
If you don’t update your theme or plugin CSS styles the right way, these changes can get overwritten once you do a theme or plugin upgrade.
However, when you make changes with a CSS plugin these are all saved within that plugin. So, your design changes will hold, even through all of your WordPress updates.
This is a real time saver!
Which WordPress CSS Plugin Is Best for Your Website?
By now you should have a solid understanding of how CSS plugins can be used and how they can transform the WordPress site-building experience.
All of the plugins mentioned on the list above are solid options. However, they still won’t be the right fit for every kind of website owner. For example, the TJ Custom CSS plugin is built for more advanced WordPress users who already know how to write CSS code. other plugins, like CSS Hero and SiteOrigin CSS, are built for complete beginners.
Whichever plugin you end up going with you should spend some time reading the user reviews and looking through the documentation and tutorials. This will help you get a good idea of whether or not you can easily use the plugin.
After all, the better you can use the plugin the more unique designs you’ll be able to create.