WordPress

WordPress themes

I’m never quite satisfied with WordPress themes. There’s always some niggling little thing that I have to change or that I want doing differently. In the past, I’ve created a child theme or used the Custom CSS plugin, which is very easy to use and works very well. Most recently, I’ve moved the theme-specific custom CSS from the plug-in to the Additional CSS tab in the WordPress Customiser.

I’m pretty happy with the one I’m using at the time of writing this, which is the Make theme, but you have to pay for the fancy bells and whistles. This might be ok for a business website — the target users are business, after all — but not for my personal site.

Writing my own theme

The time has now come to write my very own theme. There are various ways of doing this, for example, taking a basic bootstrap theme that someone else has written, for example, underscores (_s), and customising that. But I am going to build my own from scratch.

Skills required

This will require many skills. I’ll have to up my game on PHP, which WordPress is written in, HTML5 and CSS3. I will have to learn about designing a user interface, and giving the user a good experience. I need to make sure different screen sizes are accounted for dynamically.

But before I do any of that, I need to learn how to write a WordPress theme. This involves reading through the Theme Handbook and the Theme Development codex.

Current progress

I’m currently wading through the Theme Handbook. It’s very long. As soon as I’ve done that, I’ll plod through the codex, and then I’ll be ready to roll with the first of what I hope will be many WordPress themes. I intend to design themes for different uses, such as magazines, food blogs and photograph galleries. I’ll probably start with an ordinary blog site, much like this one.

If I can get a theme half as sophisticated as the Make theme, I’ll be happy for a while.

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