4 Invaluable Resources for Designing Your Own WordPress Themes

Because the platform has gained so much popularity in recent years (according to its homepage, it is currently being used on hundreds of thousands of blogs and websites), WordPress themes have become a very hot medium among web designers.  In fact, there are designers who are building entire businesses around designing and/or selling WordPress themes.  Whether you want to sell premium WordPress, want to give away free WordPress themes to promote your design skills or simply want to create a couple of custom WordPress themes to give your own online properties a completely unique look, you can do a lot of different things once you learn how to design a WordPress theme.

However, before you can start pumping out amazing looking WordPress themes, you need to educate yourself about how to create your own themes.  Obviously, because you are a designer, you will have a big head start over someone who is completely new to the world of design, but there are still certain things that you will need to get a grasp of before you can start making themes.

Like most topics related to open source, the Internet is full of resources and tutorials on designing your own WordPress themes.  However, because not all of these resources are up to par, I have compiled a list of the best resources that will get you on track to design your own WordPress themes in no time:

Developing a WordPress Theme: This detailed post is a great introduction to the world of WordPress themes.  The post breaks down the anatomy of WordPress themes, and provides details on each of the files that you will be working with, including header.php, index.php, sidebar.php, footer.php, comments.php and style.css.

WordPress Codex: Once you have read over the post above, you should have a fairly strong grasp about all of the elements that make a WordPress theme function.  If you are comfortable with everything you read in the first post, you can dive a little deeper by reading through some of the official documentation at the WordPress Codex.

Like most pieces of official documentation, the WordPress Codex is filled with extremely detailed information.  While you probably won’t read every article in the WordPress Codex right away, I think there are a lot of benefits to taking some time and checking out all of the high quality information that this resource has to offer.

Create a Theme from Scratch: If you feel comfortable with the knowledge you have gained, you can dive right in and try your hand at developing a theme from scratch.  Thanks to the this step-by-step guide, you will have a document that can hold your hand from the beginning of the process to the very end.

The Photoshop Mock Up: Since most of you are probably most comfortable working in Photoshop, the last resource on this list will provide you with everything you need to know about designing a theme within Photoshop.  Like the resource above, this guide goes step-by-step from start to finish.

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