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Template Difficult for average Designers?

  • I’ve been trying to ask the designer to originally create a theme set (main, page, header, and footer). However, the designer says he hasn’t touched WP before and not sure if he completely be able to make it. I know a bit of HTML and CSS, but surely not enough to modify and create templates.

    So WP designers, please answer this question…

    Is it that difficult for designers to prepare WP template although they are well experieced in HTML/CSS/PHP/MYSQL with more than 200 site creation backgrounds?

    I’m talking about 1.5 theme system here.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Moderator James Huff


    Have him take a look at this: http://codex.wordpress.org/Blog_Design_and_Layout

    That should be all he needs to know (and that’s all we have).


    What are the average durations needed for traning designers to be able to originally design WP 1.5 theme /WP 1.2 theme?

    And how about plugins?

    Thanks in advance!

    I don’t think there’s a need to train someone to create a WordPress template. All they need to do is develop a template that looks like it could be made into a blog, then insert the WordPress Template Tags into the template where they want things to show up (and The Loop, of course), and finally style all that stuff with the CSS…

    Yup, RustIndy is right. That’s what I do, design the basic template and then start inserting the WordPress tags.

    It’s nice to hear about the idea of RustIndy. Since the designer couldn’t understand fully, perhaps my explanation wasn’t good enough (oops).

    Thanks everyone for your answers!

    The WP templates are very simple IMHO – and there is enough documentation on the codex. Plus a ‘good’ web designer should be able to study the code and work out how it works anyway. WP template are not rocket science …


    It’s not that designing these themes is hard. The process is not hard.

    However, there are many things which do stand in the way of a hand coder’s progress, and can seem more like php authoring than css and html design work. Especially for one who is set in their ways.

    My first effort was back on B2 and all i could do was design my own page, and then stick the Loop into the page. I found the prospect of creating a “theme” totally daunting.

    After several years of experience, i am comfortable with the language, and know my way about an index.php a little bit better.

    So essentially, while it is not “hard” it is very much an enculturation process. Getting to know the language, and becoming (if not flexible enough then at least) accustomed to what’s required for WP to function and not fall apart is really important for producing worthwhile results.

    That said, even with all my experience, my favorite designs to date break in IE, or only work well under certain conditions.

    I’ve taken to using the images in the new 1.5 default theme, and customizing the better part of my installs this way, then using CSS to customize further.

    I’m pleased with this process, and it’s visual variety and perceived complexity, but it’s not as much fun as coding from scratch without language, limits, or unintegrated code to consider.

    I have a pretty good knowledge of HTML, OK knowledge of CSS, and very very little knowledge of PHP. I find creating a wordpress theme (even with 1.5) fairly easy, even if time consuming. I create my template, then copy the code I need from default templates in WordPress. Then I change things around a little, and use CSS to fix the wordpress part of the code the way I want.

    Anyone who considers themselves a “designer” should be able to do it, even without the template tag documentation (I do anyways).

    In order to create a WP 1.2/1.5 theme (in my opinion) one needs a fairly good grasp of HTML and CSS, some good reference links handy (maybe PHP reference, wordpress support/wiki).

    Where do I place the loop? in the header?

    The Loop goes in the body; review the default index.php to see where.

    HTML has advanced over the years. The WordPress template (index.php) is essentially table-less design controlled and styled by CSS. Designers who are only familiar with structuring pages in tables will have a learning curve in going to table-less design … and, as noted, there are some things to wrap one’s wits around before it becomes easy and before one can create layouts that look the same in multiple browsers. Then there are the mySQL and PHP issues to deal with.

    Depending on the level of your designer’s current understanding — which would include basic HTML and CSS — this can take a long time or not. If your designer depends on a WYSIWYG program such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage, I’d guess that it would take quite a bit of doing on his/her part to redesign the WordPress template.

    I’ve been a table designer for the past few years. this tableless thing is still new to me

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