Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt

How to create a WordPress theme: A WordPress theme tutorial

Want to learn how to create a WordPress theme?  I’ve found an awesome WordPress theme tutorial that rocks, and I want to share it with you.  I’ve used this tutorial to help clear up some of the issues and questions that I have had about WordPress theme development, and if you’re interested in learning how WordPress themes are structured and built, this is an excellent resource for you.

Ian Stuart is the head guy at ThemeShaper.com, and back in 2009 he wrote a series that will walk you through the creation of a custom WordPress theme. There are 11 lessons total, and I was able to go through all of them in a few hours.

Ian did a terrific job of optimizing the theme you’ll create.  Here are a few of the features of the theme he’ll show you how to build:

  • All the search-engine optimization you’ll really need
  • Including google-supported Microformat markup
  • Valid and logical semantic markup structure than can be used to create ANY layout
  • Smart default CSS layouts
  • Dynamic Body, post and comment classes
  • Separated trackbacks and threaded comments
  • 2 widget areas coded to disappear when they’re empty
  • And all the typical WordPress stuff you expect from a theme

Here are all the lessons as well:

  1. WordPress Theme Tutorial 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

It’s thorough, and in the end you’ll have a WordPress theme that is optimized, and ready for use in a production website.

Thank you Ian for putting together such an incredible, and useful tutorial!  You can follow Ian on Twitter also.

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