At present, there is a wide variety of WordPress themes available. However, finding one that perfectly matches the look and feels of a brand is quite tricky. Businesses today mostly prefer to use themes that appeal to the target audience.
The task of wordpress template customization might seem a bit overwhelming, especially for beginners. However, the process of creating customized WordPress themes is relatively easier. The best part one does not require having any technical knowledge or coding experience. Customizing WordPress themes help a brand to create a lasting impression on the minds of potential buyers.
This article is a complete guide for beginners in developing WordPress themes. The following section gives a step-by-step approach to creating custom WordPress themes from scratch.
Now let’s take a look at the process of creating a custom WordPress theme. To begin with, one needs to have their WordPress website along with a proper hosting plan.
Web page owners with knowledge of the local staging environment will indeed have an advantage over others. Similarly, understanding PHP and CSS is also beneficial. A starter theme makes the process of custom theme creation less complex.
A starter theme is nothing but a simple WordPress template that one can use as the basis of their custom theme. Starter themes help create a solid infrastructure and eliminate complexities related to coding. It also gives users a clear idea of how the WordPress theme works. There is a wide range of starter themes like Under strap, Underscores, Bones, and more.
The example below uses Underscores which is a popular choice for beginners. This starter theme only comes with essential features and offers a safe and compatible environment for theme building.
Steps To Develop A Custom WordPress Theme
Here we will be using a starter theme for wordpress template customization. However, users can choose to create a template from scratch, but it will require a comprehensive understanding of coding and web development.
Step 1: Setting up a local environment
The very first step involves the creation of a local development environment. It is essentially a server that one needs to install on the computer to help develop and manage local WordPress websites. Local sites are much safer and reliable for theme development without affecting the performance of the live site.
A local environment can be created in different ways, and here we will use DesktopServer for installing the local WordPress version. Moreover, this tool is compatible with windows and Mac. After selecting the free version of the desktop server, complete the login process and download the installer.
After successful completion of the download, users can run the application. The program asks to configure new local environments, and the local WordPress site is ready in a couple of minutes. After installation, the new template will function just like a WordPress website.
Step 2: Download and install the starter theme
Just like every other starter theme Under strap is also very easy to begin with. Visit the website and enter the desired theme name. Users can also choose to customize the base theme using advanced options. This section allows the inclusion of additional information and theme description. It also offers various CSS-compatible functions like nesting, math operator, variables, and more.
Next, click on the generate option to download the zip file containing the starter theme. It serves as a base around which one can develop a custom theme and install it on the website; after installation, users can preview its functioning and looks.
Step 3: Working On WordPress Themes
Before customizing a theme, it is essential to understand its various components and how they function. Template files are the primary building blocks of a WordPress theme that determine the visual appeal and layout. WordPress selects template files for each page of a website using template hierarchy.
Another critical factor is the loop. WordPress uses this code for displaying content in various ways. It is the most important functioning unit of a website.
Step 4: Theme Configuration
People mostly believe that themes are purely for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a website, but they significantly impact its functionality in reality.
Hooks are small code fragments that are part of template files. It helps in the integration and running of PHP action for different sections of a website. Hooks directly influence the core functioning of WordPress themes.
Step 5: Export Theme
When all the theme manipulation is done, one needs to make sure it functions properly. Always test the theme to ensure that it can perform under all possible circumstances. Every theme must comply with necessary standards before exporting.
The process of creating a custom WordPress theme is quite extensive; however, it’s not very complex. Business can also consider hiring hire wordpress developers for custom WordPress theme development services.