First Steps Towards the WP Theme

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I would have liked to talk to Justin before starting out on my WordPress theme adventure. I did try to get in touch with him, but he is a busy man and has not had the time to get back to me. Hopefully I will be able to talk to him a bit later on in the process. So when I couldn’t get in touch with an expert I had to figure out the answers to my questions on my own.

Where to start?

WordPress for starters, is basically a publishing platform normally associated with blogging. In order to understand how a Theme works, you can say that a WordPress blog consists of two separate things: The content; text, images, videos etc. and The design; header image, background, link colour etc. the design is what we call a theme. The theme is totally separate from the content, that’s why you can change the look and feel of you blog without changing the content.

This is what WordPress says about Themes

“Fundamentally, the WordPress Theme system is a way to “skin” your weblog. Yet, it is more than just a “skin.” Skinning your site implies that only the design is changed. WordPress Themes can provide much more control over the look and presentation of the material on your website.”

Before getting into all the advanced stuff with coding and all that, you need to know what kind of theme you want to design. Most themes are pretty generic in the sense that they fit many wordpress blogs. When creating a theme think about in what context it is going to be used, do you want it to be used on many blogs, or is it for one particular blog. My theme will specifically be targeted at this blog, this means that it will probably include elements that will only have relevance to this blog and it’s content.

What you need!

Even though a WordPress Theme is only about presentation you still need the full WordPress blog to fully develop your theme. As WordPress is a CMS that runs on a server, you will need to install one on your personal computer. I will not go into too much detail about this, people that want to create WordPress themes, would be familiar with installing WordPress either on a local server or remote.

Cre8te-design has a pretty useful list for what you need when stepping into the world if WordPress Themes. If you are familiar with the concepts and software mentioned here, you should have no worries in attempting to create your own theme.

Templates…

Are basically what you will be working with throughout the process, you will not modify any WordPress files, you will only work with you own template files. That is why your theme can be used with any Wordpres blog out there. You can download templates from the official WordPress Theme Directory. This will give you an idea of what is about and what you will be working with. It is also a good place to get inspiration for new themes.

Also follow my progress on Twitter and Delicious

/Kasper

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3 Comments »

  1. Syahid A. Said:

    Hey, nice article! Thanks for the link love!

  2. Justin Said:

    It’s nice to see more folks working on WordPress themes. Sorry I missed your email. I’ve been in the process of moving from Korea back to my home in the States. Just shoot over another one with whatever questions you might have, and I’ll see if I can answer them.

  3. Kasper Sorensen Said:

    Thanks for your comments guys.

    No problem Justin, I have sent you a few questions and I’m looking forward to your answers.


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