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WordPress Theme Development - Beginner's Guide


With a little knowledge of HTML and CSS, you can kiss goodbye to third-party themes for your self-hosted WordPress sites and start building your own. This beginner's guide shows you how in plain language and clear instructions.

  • Learn how to design WordPress themes and build them from scratchli>
  • Learn how to create a WordPress theme design using HTML5 and CSS3
  • With clear and easy to follow worked examples to help you build your first WordPress theme if you've never done it before

In Detail

If you've been using WordPress to build websites for yourself or clients, you've probably reached a point where you need to build your own theme. Being able to build your own themes means you can build beautiful, bespoke websites using WordPress and means you’re not limited to the themes you can download.

WordPress Theme Development Beginner’s Guide will take you through the process of building your first WordPress theme. It will show you how to write the HTML and CSS your theme will be based on, then convert that code to PHP for use in WordPress. Once you’ve done that you'll learn how to add more features to your theme and make it responsive, accessible and SEO-friendly.

Start by designing your theme using HTML and CSS, then work through the steps to turn this into a fully functioning WordPress theme, including creating template files, adding template tags and PHP to display content, and giving your theme extra goodies like menus, widget areas and more.

Create a gorgeous, responsive and standards-compliant design for your theme using HTML5 and CSS3. Take your HTML and use it to create PHP template files using the WordPress template hierarchy, then add in template tags and the loop to display pages and posts in your theme. Add widget areas, menus and featured images. Learn how to debug your theme and validate it, ensuring it's standards-compliant and accessible. Find out what steps you need to take to release your theme to the public, and finally learn some extra tips and tricks such as how to enhance your theme for SEO and how to add support for the WordPress theme customizer.

At the end of WordPress Theme Development Beginner's Guide you'll have the skills you need to build quality WordPress themes using your own designs. Working through a straightforward worked example, you’ll learn the steps you need to follow to create a theme from scratch.

What you will learn from this book

  • Design a responsive mock-up for your theme using HTML and CSS
  • Convert your HTML to PHP files to create a WordPress theme
  • Add extra theme files making use of the template hierarchy
  • Add template tags and the loop to display content in your theme
  • Give your theme extra features like menus, widgets and featured images
  • Make your theme SEO-friendly, responsive and accessible
  • Debug and validate your theme to ensure it’s of high quality
  • Learn how to release your theme to the public


A Beginner's Guide packed with clear step-by-step instructions to create powerful and professional themes for your WordPress website

Who this book is written for

If you've used WordPress to create self-hosted websites using themes you've downloaded but want to start building your own, this book is for you. You will need an understanding of how to use WordPress and some understanding of HTML and CSS. Simple PHP will be included in the book but you don’t need any prior PHP knowledge or experience – it will all be explained for you.

(HTML tags aren't allowed.)

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