WordPress Themes – basics from square one

By Andy the stuff doer

I didn’t think getting the WordPress theme to my liking would be a long job. I’ve revised my thinking since.

What’s a Theme? The theme defines how the blog looks, its the page design that then calls up the content from the entries made in the database.  That’s the first bit I had to learn.

There’s more than one page design. The actual number of page types can vary according to the theme. Each page is made up from sections (or areas) that are called up. e.g. Header, content, comments, side bar, footer. The pages and sections of pages are defined in .php files

Each section (or area) is made up with some common elements e.g. Text styles, colours. These elements are defined in Style Sheets. The style sheets are .css files

So to change the overall look – I need to start at the lowest level and work my way up

  1. .css stylesheets, will change appearances all the way up
  2. .php sections, will change the content of sections (or areas)
  3. .php templates (pages), will change how the .php sections are put together to make a page

So it looks like I’ve got to get a good grasp of CSS and PHP. This is not going to be easy!

There are however, alternatives

  1. There are loads of free themes available to download
  2. There are themes available to purchase
  3. There are designers out there who will put a bespoke theme together

I had a look at some of the free themes, they are easy to download as zip file then open up through the WordPress dashboard.  Of the five I’ve looked at two came up with errors, when it’s free you take your chance. There is one I quite like that says it’s optimised for SEO and AdWords. 

Before I look at buying or commissioning a theme I’m going to have play at customising this. Two goals in mind, getting the right look for my blog and learning some of the programming involved.

Before I dive into it using the theme editor on WordPress I’ll investigate what off-line options are available.

Update:  I’ve had a good look round and found a few options.

Highly Recomendedwww.yvoschaap.com/wpthemegen/ This is free on-line generator . I really wish I had found this a few days ago. In fact I might give it ago as the code for Theme I’m working on seems to be all over the place.

www.artisteer.com Downloadable 1month free trial software

www.themedreamer.com This is plugin for Dreamweaver so Themes can be worked on easily with WYSIWIG.

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