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WordPress

16 Apr 10

How to Create Your Very Own WordPress Theme

Creating a wordpress theme is quite simple; well actually it’s more about editing a ready-made wordpress theme. I think that most WordPress themes were not created from scratch, but edited from the Default or Classic theme, or any other existing theme available. If you come to think of it, it would be quite troublesome to create a theme from scratch when all you can do is edit and customize an existing one that suits you best, and then call it your own. :-D

Creating a New Theme from the Default Theme

Here’s how you create your own WordPress theme from another WordPress theme. I recommend using Fifty Fifth Street or the Default WordPress theme as these themes have a clean layout and standard PHP and CSS files and codes. Both these themes use a 2-column layout so if you want a different layout, you’ve got to look for another theme.

Ok so here are the steps you should take:
1. Download the default folder (/wp-content/themes/default) to your computer using your favourite FTP client (e.g. FileZilla)
2. Now rename that default folder you have just downloaded to any name you wish (e.g. mememe)
3. Open style.css and change the current theme description (the text at the beginning of the file within the /* */ comment tags) to your own preference. Refer below for guidelines.

/*
Theme Name: your-theme-name (Mememe)
Theme URI: the-theme's-homepage (http://mememe.com)
Description: a-brief-description (A cool and colourful theme for everyone!)
Author: your-name (Johnny Mememe)
Author URI: your-URI (http://www.johnnymememe.com)
[optional] Version: a-number (1.0)
[optional] Tags: describe-your-theme (2-columns, fixed-width, 8 colours)
*/

4. I recommend begin editing the theme files later once everything is working fine. So for now, don’t touch anything else.
5. Upload style.css back into the mememe folder in the server.
6. Now login to your WordPress Admin panel and click Themes. You should see the new theme you’ve just created! Hmmm but the thumbnail shows that of the Default theme? That’s because you didn’t change the screenshot image file. You can upload a screenshot of your completed theme later.
7. Now click Activate and you’re done! You may now customize your very own WordPress theme!

If you really have to confirm that you’re using your new theme, check the source codes of a web page in your site and look for your theme name:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://mememe.com/
wp-content/themes/mememe/style.css" type="text/css"
media="screen" />

References

You may refer to the WordPress Codex http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development to learn more.