Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress Themes Tutorial

If you aren’t already following along, I highly recommend checking out the How To Create A WordPress Theme tutorial series by Ian Stewart ( This 12-part series (8 complete at the time of this writing) aims to take you from nothing to a fully functional, semantically rich, flexible WordPress theme in digestible chunks. Along the way, Ian describes the changes being made, and why you are making them. In this way, you can gain a basic understanding of the roles of the various theme template files, and the code contained within them.

The lesson is broken down thusly:

  1. Introduction
  2. Theme Development Tools
  3. Creating a Theme HTML Structure
  4. Template and Directory Structure
  5. The Header Template
  6. The Index Template
  7. The Single Post, Post Attachment, & 404 Templates
  8. The Comments Template
  9. The Search Template & The Page Template
  10. The Archive, Author, Category & Tags Template
  11. The Sidebar Template
  12. Reset-Rebuild Theme CSS & Define Your Layouts

If you’ve ever thought about creating your own theme, but felt like the task was too big to tackle, this series of articles is for you. It’s a great bit of instruction that will introduce you to the core pieces of WordPress theming without overwhelming you or trying to cram too much into a single article.

Props, Ian!

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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11 Responses to WordPress Themes Tutorial

  1. Ian is a genius. He needs to get a publisher and write a book. If you compare his articles to all the other WordPress ‘this and that’ books on theme development, his posts are better written and more informative hands down. Rock on theme developer. Rock on.

  2. Stu says:

    I’ve got good mileage out of some of Ian’s articles before so I’ll definitely be giving this series a look. I may wait until the entire series is published before diving in though as I’m a bit of an ‘all in one go’ kinda guy and would no doubt get frustrated whilst waiting on the latest part.

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  4. Renee says:

    Wow..I would love to be able to create my own website. These tutorials seem simple enough. I have 2 blogs and would love to be able to do instead of…Being a newbie, I have learned very quickly you are limited with what you can do with .com. Great site and info.

  5. Dmitriy says:

    There is a new program that allows you to create and download WP themes directly from Photoshop (Divine plug-in). It will be interesting to both beginner and advanced WP users.

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  8. Jay says:

    Thanks for the post.. I actually have been doing Madison Web Design for awhile and I am just now getting into doing blogs and doing templates I have much to learn yet. Thanks again for this info!

  9. I have been installing / customizing themes for many of my clients , but have not tried creating a theme from scratch ,though I get quite good leads on it.
    I might give a try , as this article made things easier to learn on building themes from scratch.
    Good work 🙂

  10. With the old wp versions it was kind of an easy job to make your own themes With 3.0 is a bit harder to make it compatible. Maby time for a nice tutorial on that.

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