WordPress Theme Development: The Pre-Coding Homework You Ought to do

The razmataz of the WordPress realm continues to beam and grow at an unprecedented rate as more and more webmasters lean towards it, choosing to host their blog on a CMS platform that gives them the maximum room to innovate and ideate. WordPress fits the fill, ever so obligingly.

Pre-Coding Homework You what to do

Pre-Coding Homework You what to do
Pre-Coding Homework You what to do

Now, there are folks who would rather develop their own WordPress theme rather than going in with the deluge of free and paid themes that are available on on the web. And they do draw a lot of confidence from their exceptional coding abilities. Besides, they want their own name up there on WordPress.org as a theme contributor. But, is a darn too coding procedure all that there is to developing an impressive WordPress theme? Arguably not.

There are hordes of things for you to consider before you begin writing the codes, and this is what this article aims to introduce you with:

To Begin With

With increasing number of developments making their way into the WordPress ambit, creating your own WordPress theme is becoming easier by the day. The standard way of starting to building a theme is having an index.php and style.css file and you are good to go.

That said, is that all you need when the agenda is to stand out from the herd? Not really. What you need is to branch out to the seemingly uncharted territories and strive to innovate. And this is where you would need a comprehensive knowledge of HTML and CSS so that you can dig in your heels deeper and get down to the fibre of theme development. Having hands-on expertise in HTML5 and CSS3 is what would make difference at the end of the day. Working on WordPress becomes an exercise with much-greater benefits once you know your way around these two tools.

Furthermore, you need to be clear-eyed about the fact that your theme should create no compatibility hassles with the latest versions of WordPress (upgrading to which is critically important at all times). Besides, the plugins you wish to install should work in perfect unison with your theme.

Chart Out Your Tasks Well in Advance

As iterated earlier, theme development goes beyond coding. And there are a bunch of considerations to keep in mind. You should have time as luxury for:

  • Constantly upgrading the theme and applying patches to it
  • Be responsive to the customer issues
  • Ensure theme maintainability at all times

What would rather serve you the best is a detailed study of the WordPress documentation.

Look at Few Themes for the Influence and Know Your Files

There are some exceptionally impressive and inspiration WordPress themes out there to learn from. I won’t mention any specific as it would rather serve you better if you do a fair bit of research and get a diversified idea.

Now, there are files that form the very fibre of any WordPress website. Get to know them:

  • index.php
  • single.php
  • page.php
  • style.css
  • functions.php
  • search.php
  • header.php
  • sidebar.php
  • footer.php
  • archive.php
  • comments.php
  • 404.php

Evidently, any Wordpres theme consists of a diverse range of PHP template files and you have to get them in order for every element of your theme to work appropriately.

Coming back to the documentation and the WordPress submission guidelines, make sure you don’t skimp over the basic ones.

The APIs Will Help You Sail Through

The basic process of writing a WordPress theme has to be accompanied with knowing the APIs inside out. The APIs cover several aspects of theme development and having a clear-eyed idea of how they would assist you in deliverables like theme customization, widgets, shortcodes, among others, will go a long way in streamlining your exercise.


You would need to be sure about elements like licensing and the architecure. Now you can use any of the several services that provide you with necessary tools to create themes without worrying about APIs, compatibility, licensing, etc. that is, if you are willing to spend a bomb. Note: avoid using the theme generators, as they are more often than not rejected by WordPress.org

Let your theme development endeavor have a sense of order and half the ground is covered. For the rest of it, your coding talent should suffice.


Published by

Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker is a blogger cum WordPress developer. She loves writing information-rich blogs on PSD to WordPress conversion services and social media. Currently, she is employed with Designs2HTML Ltd, a leading markup conversion services company that has delivered top-grade markup conversion services since 5 years.

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