Alright, so I mentioned in my previous blog that templating for WordPress is a bit on the complicated side. In my opinion, if you ever want to be taken seriously as a web designer, then learning how to do this can be a good start.
Now, when it comes to templating, how do you start on such an endeavor? I would recommend a good start is to start Googling (I will post some more specific resources on the basics later on in the blog). Another good way to get started is to take a look at other templates. Taking a look at the code and all the files will be overwhelming, but it’ll help you with my next point: taking a template and modifying it.
Taking a pre-existing theme and modifying can help greatly, and fiddling around with them can help you realize how the template system for WordPress works. If anything however, I should use this as a training exercise. If you were to use a template for anyone else, or for yourself (maybe), then I would say creating your own would be better.
Why is Designing Your Own in the End Better?
Well, for starters, it gives you more credibility. If you were looking for a job, and your only method of dealing with WordPress templates is modifying pre-existing ones, it wouldn’t look as good as making your own. Plus, it’s a good learning experience, as it’s kind of like the next step above modifying templates. Much like everything else, the only way to get good at it is to actually do it.
Once you have successfully made your own, that means you’re also able to help others as well! For example, you can be helping others with your resources, and your own methods and shortcuts for creating the theme. I mean, you never know, you might end up teaching a group of your very own students one day the basics of templating for WordPress!
As I mentioned earlier, here are some good resources to use:
This is from the main WordPress website. This is a good place to read up on the different parts of making a theme from whom better than the creators themselves?
This place I found to be pretty good for an actual in depth look into making a theme, rather than discussing it.
This place is a collaboration of tutorials, with the first couple really catching my eye. Those talk about making a bare bones template, which is a really good place to start for building a theme.
In conclusion, WordPress theme creation can be on the complicated side. With how big the community is, there’s tons of places to look out there for tutorials and resources to look at. For starting however, I would recommend also taking a look at and modifying pre-existing templates; if only just familiarize yourself with the templating structure. The most important thing about being a templating beginner?
Keep It Simple. If there’s one thing to keep in mind when starting out, is making a bare bones template. So out of all my resources, I’d say take a gander at that last link there. Starting simple will help you not feel overwhelmed when making a template, and from then you can expand your knowledge, and therefore, template making capabilities.