Support » Themes and Templates » Guide to writing WordPress 1.5 themes from scratch?

  • Since it wouldn’t do for a would-be professional web designer to make do with the standard theme, I’m having to undertake the building of my own WordPress theme. Many of the ones I see are just edits of Kubrick, but given the choice I’d rather make one from scratch.

    Are there any guides and tutorials to doing so, other than which is labelled incomplete?

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  • If you go through all that AND read also all the pages linked… and willing to dissect several themes – you’ll be on your way 🙂

    Just because an article in the Codex is labeled as open for editing and “incomplete” doesn’t mean that it is. It is a standard tab that is posted when a document is still in evolution. Changes will be coming with the next release, so this document may change. Doesn’t mean the information is wrong.

    Look here:

    Even though an article in the codex is in evolution, it’s still incomplete in this instance and therefore not a complete guide which is what the OP is probably after.

    Still, many of the links, even though the codex in this respect is incomplete are perfectly good at helping you understand. I take it you haven’t read them? These are the links on the Theme Development page:

    What I would like to see is one standard template and multiple CSS for that template which contains core functions as a theme – this would mean that you don’t have to play with template itself, but just style everything via css. This would make this whole process of creating new themes so much easier when all you need to do is change the css and images, and not have to mess around with the template.

    Additionally there are quite a few threads on how to go about starting a theme from scratch it might be worth gaining some info from those by doing a search.

    Good luck

    Thanks Lorelle, that link was just what I was looking for. I’ll hack apart Kubrick and see what I can glean from that.

    Anyone have any further suggestions?

    Too bad the Classic is lacking a few templates (archive, page, single) so it isn’t as complex as K., because for understanding the code and the structure of a theme – Classic makes more sense! Compare the two header.php files and you’ll see what I mean 🙂

    i wouldn’t hack apart Kubrick, it does things too differently, and you won’t find many themes that follow the path of K when it comes to template design. As Moshu says, Classic is a mucb better choice – itmay not look as aesthetically pleasing it will help you much more. Failing that, select one ofhte 200 or so other themes available and hack one of those to your liking. is a good resource – check out the Gemini template. Clean code where templates and styling are completely seperated are the better ones.

    Jinsan, for an incomplete document, Theme Development lists those articles and a bunch more. Take another peek. 😉

    Actually, they’ve been there for a long time, but I did take another look at the document and cleaned it up, including adding a bunch of links to recent articles on the Codex that will help Theme authors.

    Documents are being added to the Codex so fast, flames are shooting out. And more are welcome. If you, or anyone, is interested in contributing with articles, editing, or any requests, see

    I would just like to add my 2c and support what the guys have said. A lot of very experienced theme devs do not use Kubrick/default at all. They build off the Classic because it is cleaner code.

    What confuses me, and what I don’t see spelled out is, what is the difference between the index.php file in the root wp directory and the index.php file found in the theme directory? How are they related?
    If I’m creating a new theme, should I only concern myself with the ones in the theme dir?

    Just stick to the theme index php.

    I very recently installed WordPress and built my own custom theme for my first one simply by following the first in this series of articles:

    It basically showed me what needed to be dealt with. Once I realized that 90% of it was in the css I grabbed the ball and ran for the touchdown– and scored. There are two more in the series that I’m sure will be helpful to those who are maybe not so css familiar.

    Good luck!

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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