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Creating my own Theme (24 posts)

  1. adeking
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hi,

    Not sure if I am just being really dumb, but I would consider myself pretty knowledgable when it comes to CSS and XHTML, and I have created a few websites in my time.

    I have a wordpress site, but I want to create my own theme, I just cant seem to get my head round how to do it, does anyone know of a WordPress themes for dummies style approach to how to create your own theme, I do not seem to be getting anywhere with the documentation.

    Thanks

    Ade

  2. greenpete
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Me too! I have tried to read the how too's here but my brain just seizes up!
    So I have tried just throwing my self in and editing the Kubrick theme.
    I have been moderately successful but cannot get everything to work.
    So please guys, help us two out and tell us in the 'dummies' style!
    Thanks, Peter

  3. mindclash
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    How come everytime I find a really good question that pertains to my problems there is never an answer for?

  4. moshu
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Well, "dummies" shouldn't ever try to modify the Kubrick - it's a pain in the ass if you don't know extremely well the theme system!

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development - there is no other way than to go through all the knowledge collected there (+the related links)

    The basic idea (what gets the most often in the way of understanding the template files): imagine a huge index.php file and a style.css. A simple theme should work with those. However, to make the design and customization more flexible, the index file has been sliced in several pieces; see here a visual explanation.

    P.S. for mindclash: there was no real, concrete question in the posts above, just whining...

  5. Drawer
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I don't think anyone was whining. I built my own website, and I'd like to at least change a theme for my new blog, but I haven't seen exact instructions on HOW TO CHANGE A THEME.

  6. 409industries
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I too would be intereted in a dummies approach to editing a theme to make it fit the color scheme, layout of an existing website.

  7. mindclash
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    "does anyone know of a WordPress themes for dummies style approach to how to create your own theme?" I believe that was the actual question but you would probably miss it if you have a reading disability.

  8. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Anyone actually click those links that moshu provided?

    Now, I gave a google query a try. A couple more links that jumped out (and folks, there are TONS of 'em and some are going to be found via moshu's first link):

    http://theundersigned.net/2006/05/from-xhtmlcss-to-wordpress/

    http://www.anekostudios.com/2006/09/21/how-to-create-a-wordpress-template-or-theme/

    http://www.cre8d-design.com/blog/2007/01/02/wordpress-theme-creating-a-layout-step-1/

  9. Drawer
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    HandySolo,
    yes, I did look at what moshu linked to. And now that I've seen your post, I looked at your links. I hadn't seen the aneko, and the cre8d one looks the best as far as how easy it is.

    But all of these suggestions- (and I think you have to assume that we all used google EXTENSIVELY to try to understand this on our own) are for designing a theme, as if we were coders. Or techies. Or just that smart. maybe adeking could understand these. But not the rest of us dummies.

    It has taken me an entire month - and I see that's how long I've been a member - to begin to understand relationships, a little css, and how to just begin to make Firefox's Web Developer help me out a little.

    I understand that volunteers here are trying to help. But I've seen a lot of sarcasm, smart aleck answers, and replies that say, "Just add sckwerhhw to clkihkjer and put in div tags."

    Those of us who commented above humbly say we need dummie help. Codex is almost impossible to understand, the way it is written. I think most people who come here for help, who don't understand css (and I know html pretty darn well, but that didn't help me for css) give up.

    Here is what a Dummies page would say in Codex:
    How to change the colors
    How to change the fonts
    How to get Firefox Web Dev going to read the Style file, and practice making quick changes
    Why the Style file is so important (it gives the "clothes", colors and the visual instructions for every other section)
    A mini dictionary of basic css ( a means..., p means...)

    Oh, and this one took me days to understand: All the files in the theme editor say "If this file were writable you could edit it." What the h*ll is that supposed to mean??? Why not be clear and say you need to change permissions in your whatever, so you can edit this and change your theme? Tell people it's easy, just make a backup, fool around with it, try things out?

    Okay, that's it. Now I have to go look at my questions still up and hope that someone will give me an answer to any of them.

  10. moshu
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    A mini dictionary of basic css ( a means..., p means...)

    Those are NOT WP issues. Those are basic CSS questions. The WP documentation should NOT try to give introductory lessons in basic HTML and/or CSS.
    They already exist: http://www.w3schools.com/default.asp

    WP promises a 5 minutes install. It never says a 5 mintues "customization".

  11. btomo
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Further to Moshu's W3 Schools link (and in addition to the codex docs), have a look at the following sandbox theme -

    http://www.plaintxt.org/themes/sandbox/

    The benefit to these minimalist type themes / skeleton structures when you are starting out in wordpress is they are very light on excess code - you shouldn't have too much trouble seeing exactly what generates what on the final output. It has simple .css / .php files and the directory structure is fairly clean.

    Don't grab something like K2 or similar with lots of features for your first few attempts at hacking up a theme. Also, don't skip the learning - know css / html and at least some PHP before trying to work templates (W3 schools have everything you need).

    Re Drawer / directory not writable - search the help / codex for CHMOD - your directory structure isn't allowing write permissions for the web process / etc.

  12. whooami
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    How to change the colors
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Developing_a_Colour_Scheme

    How to change the fonts
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Playing_With_Fonts

    How to get Firefox Web Dev going to read the Style file, and practice making quick changes
    How bout letting the author of the tool provide that ...this IS the WordPress support forum.

    Why the Style file is so important (it gives the "clothes", colors and the visual instructions for every other section)
    A mini dictionary of basic css ( a means..., p means...)

    http://codex.wordpress.org/CSS

    Lastly:
    http://www.tamba2.org.uk/wordpress/1css/

    There is enough information on the codex to choke my dog twice over. If its not enough to suit your tastes, you, yes you, can always add to it. It's user generated content, in case you didnt know that before complaining.

  13. Drawer
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Moshu: I guess I just like to make things better! I looked at EVERY 3 column theme in the themeviewer, but there was always something I wanted to tweak. And there is no little tweaks here, just big ones.

    btomo, thanks, I did study the sandbox and one other. Sometimes I got stuck on the tiniest thing that wasn't spelled out in detail. But I didn't want to design my own site. Just change a designer's hard work a little. I've actually tried quite a few templates, and each one needed work, to my eyes.

    Whooami, Thanks, I've seen you help a lot of people. That is exactly what I discovered: I had to go to several spots to round up enough information to do anything at all. I think tamba is excellent. To me, some pages of Codex are unintelligible. I began to use Codex more as I understood what I needed, and where to begin at all. To many people, it's a whole new vocabulary- it sure was to me.

    And yes, you're right, I could add to it. I thought maybe I was, by my comments here! :)

    I still say that "If this file were writable you could edit it." is the worst thing about WordPress. How about:
    "Feel free to change your permissions (defined in Codex) so that you can edit any or all of the files here. Make a copy of each file for backup. This is your blog! Make it look the way you want it to."

    Of course it doesn't have to be these words. But this lets a blogger know that things can be changed, and gives her a way to start that, if she wants to. Just my ideas!

  14. Root
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    This is a fundamental aspect of WordPress. The theme system is infinitely flexible. Depending on your viewpoint that is either a very difficult challenge or a really great opportunity. I have often thought about WordPress CSS tutorials but the fact is that in order to develop themes folk need a good grasp of xhtml plus the CSS. Plus although they do not need php it is handy to understand how it integrates with the xhtml. But they do need to understand the way php can be used to put a page together by including common elements which is the basis of the WP template system. All of which adds up to quite a steep learning curve. There are masses of themes out there. But everyone who wants to do their own thing has to start learning stuff. It is not easy. It takes time. Some people frankly do not have the aptitude, the time or the interest. OK.
    But putting simple (for dummies) stuff together is not easy. The reason? Dummies should not be doing it in the first place. :)

  15. Godsgirl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Well, I have spent 2 days asking questions and the only answer seems to be to defend Moshu & send me back to the pages I HAVE ALREADY READ several time. Is there anywhere else where a WordPress dummie can get help in words of one or 2 syllables or do you just send us back to the Codex stuff we already do not understand.

  16. Root
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Well it is no good people saying that the tutorials look as if they are written for coders or techies. They are. That is what you need to do to write or edit themes. Be a coder (OK use a scripting language).If I teach someone to fly and I say *push the joystick* it is no good if they say *I am not a techie can you make it simple?*.

  17. mindclash
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Godsgirl I know exactly what you mean. I find it extremely confusing too. Ive stopped trying to read those pages because unless your a coder, it doesn't seem to be working. I have actually chosen two themes I like, and tried editing the CSS files and changing the images to make it closer to what I actually want. Its still not like I would like it to be because its all coded but I am working on it little by little. You can try it too see what happens...

  18. 4k
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    If you are in grade three and you pick up a grade 10 math book it might look completely unintelligible. However, if you complete all the necessary steps on the way to grade 10 it becomes clearer.

    And so it is with PHP and CSS.

    I still get cross eyed and am far from being as knowledgeable as the regulars here. BUT if you read this forum, see where things go, practise, make small mods, read the codex in small doses, google for tutorials....

    Soon you will see it making sense. And you may even gain a greater appreciation for the regulars, mods and plugin developers who spend so much time helping others for no other return than a thanks and often just a bunch of carping that they didn't do the work for the person.

  19. Root
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    4k makes a very good point. There isn't any such thing as a matrix of priorities or complexities in web dev. It would be very handy if there were. The truth is that many folk who appear half knowledgeable on the forum have been at it for years. It's is richly satisfying. But no one said it was easy. If they weren't (understandably) so impatient - I would like to see a lot of people take a step back. Go to w3schools. Learn some html. Learn how to add CSS. Then go from there.
    But it is a fact that many tutorial do not say *grade 10 only*. That is bound to be confusing.

  20. Drawer
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    4k, I completely disagree. Nothing would change if people didn't complain or explain their problem! I think WordPress is one of the most confusing programs/projects I've ever seen. Everyone is VERY grateful for help from volunteers. But sometimes they don't even understand that it IS help, since they can't understand what has been said.

    And volunteers, or even moderators or senior helpers can be very annoying when they get snarky, sarcastic, or say "Didn't you read Codex?" over and over.

    I was so afraid of being put down or belittled here that I would spend hours on my own before I gave up and asked a question. But even so, it was shocking when someone said something mean.

    I am quite sure that WP would have many many more bloggers and members if they only did something to help beginners more. Not everyone is as persistent and OC as me!

    I don't think you have to know CSS completely. But you do have to know that editing the Stylesheet will help MOST of your changes, and that you can test out which paragraph there affects which part of the page you wish to change by trial and error. Also, you have to have the Firefox Web Developer on, to help you make trial changes quickly, and help you see what is what! (The element tag there is quite useful for outlining any little part of your blog and giving it a name and a size, so you can quickly find it in your stylesheet!)

    If this helps one person, I'll be happy.

  21. Root
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    The thing is that WP is built by integrating 3 or more protocols / languages. HTML / CSS / and PHP. To get the best out of it the more anyone knows about those 3 the easier it is. Whare a lot of folk are disagreeing consistently is that we do not believe WP is the right place to be teaching these skills. They are independent skills - each with their own support networks of tutorials and forums. Its all out there. Many people who post here are self taught off the net.

  22. whooami
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    4k, root, both well said.

  23. smccormicky
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    If you have no experience with css making your own wp themes is just going to be hard.But the good thing is css is a relatively easy language to learn.
    If you are as OC as you say you are this is definately the hobby for you!

  24. phred42
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I am very new to WP and I'd really like to be able to creat my own page layouts (Ok Themes) but I have to agree that the WP Doc is not the place to teach the skillsets required to create themes.

    I've created a number of websites and I know some html but I use Dreamweaver to do the heavy lifting. I dont want to have to code in order to get things done. I agree too that Code is Poetry - but I'm not a poet and I have no desire to take the time to become one. Not everyone has the soul of a poet. It's the 21st century for crying out loud - isn't there a wysisyg tool that will create the code for us?

    Someone mentioned that there is a lot of wasted space on the sides - I agree, I'd like to use that space (additional sidebars?).

    Just reading this string gave me a headache. Before, I was only depressed ;-) If I have to take the time to learn coding in at least three languages (CSS, XHTML, PHP) before I can do the tweaks I want - I'm just way over my head and WP isn't the tool for me.

    Codeing to me is not fun or interesting. having a blog is way to get something done. For me in this case, getting there is not half the fun it's chewing up way more time than I have. I don't want to take the time to learn how to build an engine I just want to get in the car and drive.

    Sorry for the rant - frustrated.

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