Support » Themes and Templates » Creating my own Theme

  • 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.



Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
  • 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

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

    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! – 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…

    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.

    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.

    “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.

    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):

    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.

    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:

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

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

    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.




    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
    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…)


    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.

    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!

    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. 🙂

    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.

    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?*.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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