In certain circumstances, and if done properly, a background image can make your website more engaging and captivating for your users.

Adding a fullscreen background image in WordPress is pretty easy, like you’ll see in this article.

Adding a background image using WordPress’ Customize feature

Click here if you want to jump straight to the video tutorial.

If your theme supports custom backgrounds, then this will be a straightforward job. All you have to do is to:

  • Go to Appearance -> Customize;
  • Click on Background Image;
  • wordpress background image
  • Press the Select Image button to upload / choose the image for your background;
  • Select Background Image in WordPress
  • After the image was uploaded, choose “Fill Screen” as Preset and “Center” as Image Position;
  • WordPress Background settings
  • Click the Save & Publish button and that’s it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5v-k-1eC60



Adding a background image using a plugin

If your WordPress theme doesn’t support a custom background feature, then you’ll have to use a plugin.

Using a plugin will also allow you to have more features and flexibility. For example, you can add different backgrounds in different areas: pages, posts, categories, etc. Or you can add an YouTube video as your background, a feature which the below plugin provides.

Related article: How to install a WordPress plugin using 3 different methods.

After searching quite a bit, the only free plugin I’ve found that’s tested with the current WordPress version (4.8) is All-in-One Custom Backgrounds Lite. It has some nice features.

After you install it, you have to set up a group by going to Appearance -> Background Group. There you have to:

  • Add a group name;
  • Select “Image” for Type;
  • Choose your image;
  • Select “Stretch” for Mode;
  • Click the Publish button on the right;

All-in-One Custom Backgrounds Lite

After you published the background group, go to Appearance -> Background Options, select your group and press Save Changes.

All-in-One Custom Backgrounds Lite options

That’s it! Your background image should appear now.

Note that you can’t use a background image on themes that use a full-width layout. You need a theme with a boxed layout.

Guidelines

  1. High-quality – Make sure the image has a high-quality resolution, otherwise it can get blurry;
  2. Size – You need to choose an image size that will look well on a wide variety of screen sizes. It is generally recommended to add an image between 1400px and 1920px in width, and at least 800px in height. You should go for a size of 1600×800;
  3. Optimization – Images can burden the loading time, so they need to be as optimized as possible.



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