<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/twittericon_1.png”>Though most Twitter members make use of one or more Twitter client applications to post and read tweets, many of us still like to customize our Twitter homepage to convey something about our personality, business, or interests.
The default settings of Twitter provide some lightweight customization tools in which you can change the background image and the colors of the text, links, sidebar, and sidebar border of your homepage. But for those who don’t know, I will cover the default settings for making changes and then describe a few third-party sites and advanced settings that can help jazz up your Twitter homepage.
Default Twitter Design Changes
To use Twitter’s pre-designed themes, do the following:
- Log into your Twitter account and select “Settings” under your username.
- Click on “Design” on the top menu bar of the page.
- On the Twitter Design page, you can choose from 20 different pre-designed themes.
- Click the “Change design colors” button, which enables you to make color changes to the background, text, links, sidebar and sidebar border. You will get a preview of the changes you make, but nothing is etched in stone until you click the “Save Changes” button.
Change The Background Image
If Twitter’s pre-designed themes are a little too generic for you, you can haul out Photoshop or a similar image design application and create your own background. Here’s how:
- Create an image that is 1280 x 800 pixels, which will give you 108px on each side of the main widest column of your Twitter page. Your background can consist of whatever you want, including photos and text. Just remember, backgrounds can’t be more than 800KB.
- Once your image is set, go back to the Design Setting page and click on the “Change background image” button. Click the Choose button; browse for your image, and then click Save. Unfortunately, unlike with previewing design color changes, you can’t see what your background image will look like on your Twitter page until you click the “Save Changes” button.
If rolling your own background is not your thing, there are plenty of free designs that you can download and use. Here are a few sources:
Twitter Backgrounds offers several hundred themes in a couple of dozen categories, including Cars, Fantasy, Girly, Holidays, Movies, and Sports.
Their free offerings can be downloaded to your hard drive and personalized to your hearts content. The site also includes instructions for tweaking a selected design once you get it uploaded to your Twitter account.
This is a similar site to the one above. It features free nature, artistic, photo, sports, and simple backgrounds that can be downloaded for free or uploaded directly to your account after you provide the site authorization to make changes. It cost $9.95 for personalized backgrounds.
Another popular way to customize your Twitter page is to make the sidebar transparent so that viewers can see more of the background. For example, in this background the photos are partially hidden by the green, nearly opaque sidebar.
After adding some code, I was able to make it transparent, so it now looks like this:
To create a transparent sidebar, do the following:
- Go the Twitter Design Settings as described above.
- Click on the “Change design colors” button and then select “sidebar“. Do not change the color, just select it.
- Copy and paste the following code in the URL address bar of your Twitter :
Thanks to JustinParks.com for this code.
- Now hit the Enter or return key to apply the changes.
- Click the “Save Changes” button and refresh to your homepage.
While you may not visit your Twitter page a lot, customizing it can be a creative form of self-expression. Let us know in the comments how you customized your Twitter page and also let us know what free resources you have used.
Image credit: Shutterstock