Best Free Tutorial Series for Designing Wordpress Themes
Wordpress is the most popular CMS system on the web and thousands of designers use it daily to create websites for their clients. Once thought of as primarily a blogging platform, it has become the standard for just about any type of website imaginable – including blogs, portfolios, ecommerce, business websites, news sites, and more. Designers have become quite versed in the platform, and have used their ingenuity to use Wordpress in unique and unheard of ways. With the popularity of the CMS, it is no wonder that thousands of new plugins, themes and tutorials are appearing everyday.
Newbie designers wanting to get a handle on designing Wordpress themes, should have no trouble learning what they need freely on the web. Generous designers have provided tutorials, and shared their secrets on creating an amazing Wordpress theme. After hours of going through Wordpress tutorials, I have come up with 3 of the best tutorial series on the web. There are others - but if you go through these below, you should get a good handle on all you need to know.
Also take a look at: Responsive Wordpress Themes
How to Build a Portfolio Wordpress Theme
Chris Spooner of Spoon Graphics describes how to create a Wordpress portfolio theme from scratch. In this three part series, he begins by going over the design concept stage. This process is done in Photoshop, by designing graphics, website elements and overall layout. This is basically your planning stage. Find this tutorial here: Wordpress Portfolio Theme.
In the second part, you will get a chance to use that layout to design a Wordpress theme in HTML and CSS, using that basic PSD concept. The first part goes over exporting graphics. Next, he begins building the HTML in steps, beginning with a basic structure and navigation menu. A full preview of the HTML structure is provided next, which will be quite helpful for the novice web designer. Next comes CSS styling, browser testing and finishing up internal pages.
In the final part, Chris covers the theme files and how to add a blog to your theme.
This tutorial is fast and covers a lot of the basics of HTML, CSS and file structure. When you are well versed in this tutorial. consider moving on to the next.
Wordpress Template Design – Personal Homepage
Now that you have some grounding in Wordpress theme design, take a look at Chris Coyier’s 3 part tutorial over at CSS Tricks. This is a video series, which in some ways is easier to follow than the previous one. Part 1 covers downloading and installing a theme. In part 2 Chris goes over some plugins and some basic settings, and adjusting layout, fonts and colors. Some CSS is also covered here. In part 3, the site structure is finished. Other topics are typography, sidebar and footer setup, RSS feed, and social links. Overall, its a very thorough and helpful tutorial for the newbie Wordpress designer.
How to build Wordpress Themes
Ready for a more advanced Wordpress theme tutorial? Ian Stewart over at Themeshaper shares 17 detailed lessons for building a Wordpress theme. Check out all the lessons below.
- WordPress Theme Tutorial Introduction
- Developing Theme Sense
- Theme Development Tools
- Creating a Theme HTML Structure
- Template and Directory Structure
- Setting Up Your Theme Functions
- Secure Your WordPress Theme
- The Header Template
- The Index Template
- The Single Post, Post Attachment, & 404 Templates
- The Comments Template
- The Search Template & The Page Template
- The Archive Template
- The Sidebar Template & The Footer Template
- Reset-Rebuild Theme CSS & Define Your Layouts
- Custom Background & Custom Header
- Distributing Your WordPress Theme
When you a have gone through these tutorials, the learning doesn’t stop there. Use your new knowledge by creating some Wordpress themes of your own. If you run into problems, search for answers online at Wordpress, coding and webmaster forums.
Learning how to design themes for Wordpress is an ongoing process, and you will have to keep up with upgrades to the Wordpress CMS, and up to date HTML5 and CSS3.
I wish you lots of good fortune in your pursuit to learn how to design themes for Wordpress.
Before you leave, you may want to check out another Wordpress article: