Learning How To Create A WordPress Theme

Creative Commons License photo credit: karindalzielkarindalziel

I’m helping convert a Blogger blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is not for the faint of heart or the beginning blogger or other non-technical types.

When I encounter non-technical or semi-technical folks who have been told to use a self-hosted WordPress blog I always think, “There’s got to be a better way.” Of course, a lot of times these folks haven’t been told to hire someone to help them. Some of them go off thinking that WordPress.com was what they’re suppose to be looking at. Yes, there are differences between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress from WordPress.org.

I’ve listed quite a few sporadic questions in my blog post 101 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Blog that you don’t know about until you start blogging for a while and run up against some walls that can make blogging a challenge.

Now, I’m not down on a self-hosted WordPress blog, but for the average Jane and Joe it’s a big undertaking that leads them to the, “There’s got to be a better way.”

Anyway, in my quest to learn how to create and/or alter a WordPress theme, I found a bunch of excellent tutorials and information in general. I’ve listed them here.

Before goofing around with WordPress themes, it’s a good idea to learn a bit about CSS – Cascading Style Sheets as well as PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor. Both very heavy concepts for newbies, but not if you have the time and motivation to want to learn these attributes of WordPress.

Grab a good editor:

Fire up your browser and read these two articles to learn how to run WordPress locally on your computer so you can goof around with WordPress:

Check out WampServer here. I’ve been running WampServer lately and it’s been working just fine. However, my goal when working with a local server on my PC is to have the ability to move (copy) the whole local environment between a couple different PCs and a notebook. Depending on where I’m at and what I’m working on. WampServer doesn’t seem to like to be copied from one place to another. However the other two work fine when moving between different computers.

After you get that accomplished read some of the following articles for a great run down of what WordPress is made of.

So You Want To Create WordPress Theme Huh? by Small Potato

Designing A WordPress Theme From Scratch by Lorelle On WordPress

How To Create A WordPress Theme by Jonathon’s Tutorials

Theme Development by WordPress

WordPress Theme Generator

Useful Resources For Creating A WordPress Theme by cre8d design

On another note, here’s a great article from last week on writing blog articles from Leo Babauta’s new Write to Done blog titled 12 Essential Blogwriting Tips For Building A Successful Blog.

This week I also downloaded and installed a new WordPress plugin called PhotoDropper. That’s how I inserted the photo at the top of this blog. After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll see an extra box below your WordPress editor (see below).

Photo Dropper

PhotoDropper allows you to search for photographs directly from Flickr’s CreativeCommons selections. Read Skellie’s article here on using Flickr’s CreativeCommons photographs.


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