MicroThemer is a powerful WordPress plugin from ThemeOver that lets you customise your themes visually. Described as a “WordPress theme options on steroids”, it’s a great plugin for those of you who aren’t comfortable modifying themes using CSS and HTML.
In the main MicroThemer user interface page you will see a list of all the main sections of your site such as the body, header, content, posts and navigation. It is essentially a visual representation of your themes stylesheet. At the right hand side of the page is an export and import section and a useful button for viewing your site (settings can be saved first).
Each section has a number of different CSS selectors that can be modified. By clicking on the edit styles link you can see a list of all the property groups for that selector. New selectors can also be added via this interface as well.
Once you click on a selector you will see a list of all properties. Every single property can be modified easily from here. Different properties can be modified in different ways. For example, colour pickers pop up when you are choosing the colour of a property and when choosing the position of a property a drop down list appears that allows you to choose left top, left center, left bottom, right top etc.
The editor works really well though the plugins biggest selling point is its visual editor. To load the visual editor you simply need to click on the question mark icon at the top of each selector. Your website will then appear in a pop up. By enabling highlighting you can highlight the area of your site that you are modifying. This is a great addition and will prove to helpful to users who aren’t sure which area of their site a selector modifies.
You can then load the editor screen and modify your design directly (it’s worth hiding the highlighting if you do this). It works in a similar way to the visual editor that the Headway theme framework. Changes aren’t made in real time so you need to click the save button so that the page reloads again.
The video below shows you how easy it is to use Microthemer to customise your design. It also illustrates how you can use the plugin to apply CSS3 rounded corners and gradients to selectors.
MicroThemer also has a useful options page for managing all of your themes. From here you can edit the meta information for a style and the readme text file. You can also view, delete and upload non theme files such as the screenshot that is used in the appearance section of WordPress. It’s not entirely necessarily for a plugin such as MicroThemer but it’s very useful nonetheless.
In the preferences section you can customise how MicroThemer works. Links to help videos and the front end admin bar can be disabled and the visit URL link can be modified too (if for example you want to load your blog page rather than your home page).
The background images that can be selected can be filtered by theme if you wish and you can also show update notices to Internet Explorer 7 & 8 users.
I was really impressed with what MicroThemer can do. It lets you modify your stylesheet and customise your design without knowing any CSS whatsoever. This makes it a great tool for those who don’t have much experience with coding. The main limitation of the plugin is that it only works with selected themes.
If you are using one of those designs mentioned above and would like a user friendly way of customising your design, I highly recommend having a look at MicroThemer. A license for MicroThemer retails for $25 from CodeCanyon.