Welcome! WordPress themes are one of the most important topics that one must understand to be good at WordPress development. Themes underlie the entire visual half of WordPress sites, but often grow to do even more. Because of the visual importance, they’re a great place to dive in if you’re interested in getting to the “code-side” of WordPress. I myself “cut my teeth” on WordPress themes back in 2007 and 2008. WordPress themes were where I started to come to grips with the power (and limits) of PHP, CSS, and HTML. So this course is great for newbies, and those just looking to confirm their understanding of the whole system.
An editor’s note before we dive in: 2021 is an exciting year for the future of WordPress themes. For the first time since… kind of forever (that is: the start of WordPress itself)… what themes look like could change pretty dramatically. But today, in April 2021, that future is still a little unclear. And even when that future is clearer (and less likely to change) it’ll still be vital that WordPress developers understand “classic” WordPress themes for a long time. After all, as seasoned WordPress freelancers are well aware, WordPress sites can live for a long time with little more than security updates. So we’ve updated our classic and still vital little free course on WordPress themes as they are in early-2021. Enjoy!
Understanding this Free WP Theme Development Course
This is an brief introduction to the core concepts of WordPress theme development and comes from the Third Edition of our “learn WordPress development” course Up and Running. We’ve worked hard over the years to write some of the best tutorials on WordPress development, and give them away to readers here at WPShout.
Up and Running is our effort to consolidate all that teaching into a single step-by-step resource for people new to the world of WordPress coding. Hopefully, it’s also a little easier to navigate than the mess of links that is this (or any) modern website.
This post consolidates a few of that chapters from Up and Running together. While the course is much more exhaustive on both WordPress theme and plugin development than this is, we’re sure this will give you a very solid foundation to start from. The three important concepts of WordPress theme development we’ll cover here are:
- The WordPress Template Hierarchy
- Processing Posts with The Loop
- Adding Functionality with
We’ll take you through each one on the linked articles at the bottom of every section. Those are a very accurate representation of what you’d find in Up and Running. Although on the real course site, it’s a little easier to keep your place. We have a completion-tracking WordPress plugin for that ?. Like you’ll find in Up and Running, all of the linked chapters here have a Summary Limerick and Quiz to reinforce what you’ve learned at their end. ?
This article was written by David Hayes and originally published on WPShout.