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Designing for WordPress

Joined: 11/28/2008

Ok I know some of you have to have a WordPress powered site or blog and I have been trying very hard to dip my hands into creating custom themes for WordPress, but have been having a problem finding the right tutorial and where to start. I would love if you guys could help me with this. I could start out by learning how to do a very simple design, then make my way up, but most places either try to charge you or just lack valuable information when dealing with the code aspect of it all. It's always difficult for someone who doesn't know php, like me.

Any help? I am pretty much just looking for websites that could really help from beginning to end.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of Lord our God" Psalm 20:7

Joined: 04/07/2007
Free Idea

Sorry, I haven't dipped my toe in that pond yet.

Here's a free idea though: Checkout the websites that offer the free Wordpress Themes and compare a dozen or so of them to get a feel for what the PHP does... I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I think it would pay off.

There is a Themes TestDrive module for Wordpress that makes it easy for you to see the results of the Themes and then you can study the PHP offline...

Joined: 12/09/2008

Are you familiar with PHP? Or straight HTML? I taught myself Wordpress by just modifying themes. Go find a free theme that is similar to your layout. Install it on a test server, and then use the theme editor to play around until things start looking right. I recommend the Firebug extension for Firefox (or Widerbug if you're on a widescreen monitor). Once it's installed, right click on any page element and choose "Inspect Element". This will let you look at the CSS selectors that are being used to style the element, etc. It's a great help!

Joined: 09/25/2008
Learning WP

Another addon for Firefox that I like is simply called Web Developer. It is similar to Firebug from what I understand.

Anyway, the best thing to do is to take a theme, either the default or one you like, and just go into design-theme editor and look at each file and see what it is doing. You will learn the different files and their purpose as well as the CSS file usage.

Sorry I don't know of a WP tutorial. Lorelle's WordPress site is usually very useful though. See if she has anything that can help you.

Joined: 12/01/2008
a couple helpful links

I recently started learning about how to theme for wordpress and i found one tutorial that helped me gain the basics of creating a theme starting from scratch and moving on to a finished product. WPDesigner . I basically followed his instructions for creating a basic theme and then used Google searches and places like http://www.w3schools.com/ to get it to look the way i wanted. hope this was helpful.

God Bless,

Joined: 11/28/2008
Web Developer Toolbar is by

Web Developer Toolbar is by Chris Pederick and is available at his site, http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer/.

Microsoft makes a Web Developer Tool for Internet Explorer that is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?fa....

I do most of my development in Firefox, but the Microsoft tool is nice for finding cross-browser problems.

Jack L. Wolfgang II
Volunteer WebServant, First Christian Church-Tallahassee, FL & Tri-State Christian Fellowship

FD's picture
Joined: 01/30/2009
some more

Something similar like WPDesigner:


lots of shorter but there is additional info on site:


..and of course the most important site:


Joined: 04/04/2009
Thanks JackWolfgang

Thanks JackWolfgang, I did know know about the Developer Tool for Internet Explorer. I am out of the loop :-)

KJV Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Joined: 04/04/2009
Great information for

Great information for wordpress here.


Go to the link above and scroll down to the Design and Layout section. Once there start reading. After you have read for a bit and know a little bit about the structure of wordpress themes, I would go into your wordpress folder, and then go to wp-content->themes and open the default or the classics folder. This is where the starter themes are, and I would open all the files there and look and play with them but make sure to make a back up of these folders before playing with them. Anyways this is what got me started and happy designing.

KJV Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.