How to Correctly Add WordPress Background Images to Your Website?

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Is adding WordPress background images to your website easy? The answer is yes for the most part unless your theme does not support it. 

The truth is, many WordPress themes these days have offered some effortless ways to add and change existing background images. 

You can also change WordPress background images using CSS or a plugin, which opens up options to set the background image on pages, posts, and categories.

This article will show you how to do all of the above to make your website stand out with an eye-catching look and feel.

What are WordPress Background Images?

A WordPress background image is a picture applied behind the main content. Instead of being the main focus of your website, like a hero image, they are often more subtle and complement other content on your web pages.

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In addition to helping create web pages that provide a better reading experience, WP background images offer many design possibilities that set your website apart from the competitors.

Being different from the competitors means raising your brand awareness by putting extra effort into your website design, which is not always easy. In such cases, you can ask a digital agency for professional web design services.

But why do you want to change the background? Well, the default one may not appeal to you or not resemble your brand. Or, maybe it is not an image at all, just a solid color. Or perhaps you loved the existing one at first, but you have got bored with it now.

Whatever the reason, let’s experiment with changing it.

Use the Default WordPress Customizer to Add a WordPress Background Image

WordPress themes usually offer an effortless way to use a color or image in the background. Most people choose to change the background color that better matches their site’s brand and taste.

In this guide, we will use Woostify—a fantastic theme for eCommerce sites. Depending on your theme, the method may differ slightly.

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Wallpaper/ Background or Appearance > Customize > Wallpaper.
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  1. Click on the Select Image button to open the Media Library.
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  1. Pick your desired image. You can upload it from your computer or select an existing one from the Media Library.
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  1. Click the Choose Image button when you are happy.
  2. If you like what you see on the Preview, click the Publish button. And that is it!
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In addition, WordPress offers a simple background image editing tool. You can experiment with it to see what size, position, etc. is the best. 

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Do not worry about getting stuck with anything. It is easy to go back to the settings and change the background (and related options) anytime you want.

Use the Elementor Page Builder to Add WordPress Background Images to a Post/Page

Elementor is a prevalent page builder that speeds up website production dramatically. It offers a free plugin that you can use to add WordPress background images.

  1. To get started, you need to install and activate the Elementor plugin.
  2. First, go to the post or page of your choice. Once on the default WordPress page editor, click on the Edit with Elementor button.
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The Elementor Editor will be opened. On the left side, you’ll see a menu that lists all the drag-and-drop blocks for building and editing your post/page.

  1. Click on the small settings icon at the bottom left corner of the page builder.
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  1. Then, choose the Style tab.
  1. After that, click on the paintbrush icon to add a WordPress background image.
  1. Next, click on the Choose Image button to bring up the Media Library.
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  1. Pick your desired image. You can upload it from your computer or select an existing one from the Media Library. 
  1. Then, click the ‘Insert Media’ button at the bottom right corner.

Now, the selected background image should appear in the preview on the right. You may need to adjust other content to ensure items like images and text show up correctly.

  1. Remember to press the ‘UPDATE’ button to save all changes and update the post/page.
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In addition, Elementor provides some adjusting for WordPress background images like Position, Attachment, Repeat, etc. Feel free to experiment with them to figure out the best background.

Use a Plugin to Add WordPress Background Images

There are several free but excellent plugins that can do the job of adding WordPress background images. For example Simple Full Screen Background Image, Advanced WordPress Backgrounds, Full Background Manager, etc.

Add a WordPress Background Image for the Entire Site

In this guide, we will use the Simple Full Screen Background Image as it is simple, hence its name.

This plugin provides straightforward installation and setup of a WordPress background image for your website. It automatically scales the image with the browser. So it always fills the screen, no matter what devices your visitors are using.

To put it into action requires just a few simple steps. There is a paid version available that adds extra features. However, the free one is all we need.

  1. Install and activate the Simple Screen Background Image plugin.
  2. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Fullscreen BG Image.
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  1. Click on the Choose Image button to open the Media Library.
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  1. Pick your desired image. You can upload it from your computer or select an existing one from the Media Library.
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  1. Click on the Choose Image button when you are happy.
  2. Finally, click on the ‘Save Options’ button and check out your website. The image should now display on the site as a fullscreen WordPress background image.
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Note that the plugin’s setting for WordPress background images overrides the default WordPress Customizer. This is not a bad thing of any kind, just something to bear in mind.

Add WordPress Background Images on a Specific Page/Post

In this guide, we will use the Advanced WordPress Backgrounds plugin we mentioned above.

This plugin allows adding backgrounds using Gutenberg blocks. You can set a color, image, or even video as the WordPress background. They are all viewable on mobile devices. In addition, you can add a parallax effect to WordPress background images and videos.

In this case, we will only add a static background image to the content area, specifically posts/pages.

Because this works with Gutenberg blocks, make sure to switch from Classic Editor mode if you need to.

  1. Install and activate the plugin.
  2. Open an existing post/page or create a new one.
  3. Click the plus button on the top left corner. Then, scroll down to the Design section, and choose the AWB block. A top icon bar and a side menu column will appear alongside the block.
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  1. Click the Image button on the side column. Then click the Select Image button below it to open the Media Library.
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  1. Pick the desired image. Then, click the Select button. Once you have done that, you should see the background image.
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  1. On the top icon bar, click on the hamburger shape icon. Then, choose the Full Width option to cover the entire width. This is entirely optional.
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In the side column, you can change the WordPress background image’s size, spacing, position, and many more. Feel free to experiment with it.

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Now, all that remains is to add content inside the block. If you are editing an existing post/page, just cut and paste the content into the block.

Remember to save the post/page when you are happy with the result. 

Use CSS to Add WordPress Background Images

Now, we will explore how to change WordPress background images using CSS. This can be done to the entire site or for specific categories using the WordPress Customizer.

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Customize to access the WordPress Customizer.
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  1. Scroll down and click on the Additional CSS section.
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  1. Copy and paste the appropriate code below into the CSS field:
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Add a WordPress Background Image for the Entire Site

body {
background-image: url('imageURL');
background-position: center center;
background-size: cover;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: fixed;
}

Be sure to replace the placeholder text ‘imageURL’ with the actual image file URL. To see this, select your desired image in the Media Library to view the image information.

And if you know CSS, feel free to tweak it however you like.

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Add WordPress Background Images on a Specific Category Page

body.category-categoryid {
background-image: url('imageURL');
background-position: center center;
background-size: cover;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: fixed;
}

Be sure to replace the placeholder text ‘imageURL’ with the actual image file URL and ‘categoryid’ with the proper category name.

To know the category ID, follow the instructions below:

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > Categories.
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  1. Mouse over the Edit text of the category you want to reference. You will see the URL at the bottom left of the page, showing the category ID.
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Best Practices for Using Background Images in WordPress

Setting a custom background image on WordPress seems like an easy task. Yes! It is true in most cases, but not always.

Therefore, we recommend following WordPress background image best practices to eliminate as many problems as possible.

Check Background Image Support Before Using a WordPress Theme

Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes support custom background images. It is usually because backgrounds do not match the theme’s overall design. Therefore, the developers chose to turn it off completely.

Therefore, you should check the list of features when downloading a new theme, especially if you plan to pay for a premium one. Many websites that sell themes provide information on whether a WordPress theme supports background images or not.

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Stick with High-Quality Images

The resolution of your intended background images often makes or breaks its presentation. You might think that a photo you took with your phone is good enough for a background. But chances are it needs to be of much higher quality.

You can pay for royalty-free photos from sites like Shutterstock. These sites often have professional-grade images ready to be uploaded as large background images. You can also find a lot of them on free stock image sites.

The background image may not be fully visible on your WordPress site, as most of it is covered by the content. However, it is still displayed on the entire screen. Therefore, you run the risk of seeing a stretched background if you do not use a high-quality image.

Optimize Background Images 

As with all photos uploaded to your WordPress site, you should optimize background images before publishing. 

This is especially important for background images as they often show up on multiple pages throughout your site. Plus, they are large photos and take up a lot of screen space. In addition, larger images put a significant amount of strain on the server. Therefore, remember to optimize your background images so your site loads quickly.

You have two options here:

  • Optimize background images (and all of your website photos) before uploading them to the server. You can complete this manual process with the help of tools like Photoshop, GIMP, and Pixlr.
  • Automate the optimization process by installing a WordPress plugin that resizes and shrinks images on upload.

Final Thoughts

Adding WordPress background images to your website may seem like a small thing. But if done well, it can make a huge impact. 

In addition, it can help keep your online presence fresh. Therefore, your visitors do not get bored seeing the same photos over and over again.

Ideally, use the WordPress Customizer to add a background image whenever possible, as it is specifically designed to work as intended.

However, you also have other options to add and change WordPress background images, as we have shown above.

Now, go ahead and get creative with your website background to engage your visitors visually.

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