Beginner’s Guide: How to Create a WordPress Theme

Beginner’s Guide: How to Create a WordPress Theme

You have to invest countless resources and hours to create a WordPress theme. It’s a laborious activity if you want to create a decent theme. A best-selling theme requires intense research, professional coding skills, much patience, solid marketing, and a little bit of good luck.

However, it’s pretty straightforward to create a basic WordPress theme.

There are a few reasons why you should try to create a theme. First, there is no better way to learn than through practice so that you will learn a lot about WordPress. Second, you will sharpen your coding skills. Finally, you will become a genuine WordPress theme developer, an accomplishment you can be proud of!

Without any further ado, here is a beginner’s guide to creating a WordPress theme. It won’t teach you how to design a new best-selling theme, but it’s the perfect start.

The Components of a WordPress Theme

People who have used WordPress for at least a few months have probably heard about the functions.php or index.php files. But you’ll probably need a short recap of the components of a WordPress theme before creating your first theme:

  • header.php: a global file that displays a web page’s header.
  • footer.php: a global file that displays a web page’s footer.
  • sidebar.php: the file responsible for managing the sidebars. The users insert the content into these files through the WordPress dashboard.
  • index.php: a vital file. A theme won’t run without this file. By default, it displays the latest blog posts.
  • style.css: a file that contains the CSS stylesheet and specifies the theme name and its author. It’s another must-have for a WordPress theme.

Setting Up a Working Environment

Before you can create the first files, you need to set up a working environment. It’s the base of the site that will run on your WordPress theme.

There are two options for setting up a working environment:

  1. An online testing site. This method is used less frequently, but it works just fine. In plain English, you buy a domain name and a hosting package to test themes, plugins, or other things.
  2. A local development environment. This approach is more effective. You can install some software to create a local environment. Local by Flywheel or DesktopServer are two effective options for creating the environment. Both are relatively simple to install and configure. Just follow the instructions listed on the official sites. Local by Flywheel and DesktopServer has versions for Windows and Mac.

Create the Theme’s Folder

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This article was written by Daniel Pintilie and originally published on WP Pluginsify.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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