This Wednesday afternoon, I’m teaching a 3-hour workshop on WordPress themes. If you know HTML and CSS, or you’ve designed for another CMS, but you don’t understand how WordPress themes work, this workshop will get you comfortable with WordPress’s little quirks: the Loop, the template hierarchy, conditional tags, child themes — the works.
I’m going to show you the creation of a WordPress theme, start to finish. I’ll start with a standard HTML file and show you how to add WordPress template tags to turn it into a theme. Then I’ll go over the different template files that make up a theme and show you how to use them to change the appearance of your site in different contexts: home page, archives, search results, and so forth.
Once you’ve learned the basics, I’ll show you how to create an advanced theme: one that you could distribute on wordpress.org, or one that could become a standard design for a network of interconnected sites for businesses or schools. I’ll show you the various ways to let users customize a theme: custom headers, backgrounds, and theme options. I’ll talk about how child themes work, and how you can use them to customize an existing WordPress theme while keeping the original theme files intact.
I will go over the new theme features in 3.0, but I’ll show you how to accomplish the same things right now in 2.9, and I’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each method. In particular, I’ll talk about the new navigation menu system, and why this cool new feature might not be the ideal solution for your site.
My workshop is part of a full day on WordPress (and a whole week of CMS workshops). Matt Harris is teaching the morning session, and based on our conversation Saturday, I think his session is going to cover the basics of plugin development.
If you’d like to sign up, you can use the code WPLEARYS to receive a 10% discount off your registration.