How To Learn WordPress Theme Development?


Are you among one of them who want to learn theme development? Well, I was also among one of theme and after giving a lots of time and working hard I am now a WordPress theme developer. And obviously if you also work hard and follow my instruction then you will also be able to learn theme development for WordPress. In this post i am going to give you some idea and what basic knowledge need for developing a WordPress theme.

Basic knowledge for WordPress theme development

There are some basic knowledge you should already have in you to start learning WP theme development. These are knowledge in PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. That means you need knowledge in web design and basic web development skill with PHP. Well you don’t need to be very skillful in PHP or web development. But it is needed to be good in web design skill. More good in web designing means you can develop more nice theme.

Start learning

Now you can start learning WordPress theme development if you fulfill all the required knowledge that is needed to start learning theme development. The two required files inside a WP theme which will show it in the list of install theme are a style.css file and an index.php file. in style.php file you need to put several informations about the theme. here is an example:

Theme Name: Twenty Thirteen
Theme URI:
Author: the WordPress team
Author URI:
Description: The 2013 theme for WordPress takes us back to the blog, featuring a full range of post formats, each displayed beautifully in their own unique way. Design details abound, starting with a vibrant color scheme and matching header images, beautiful typography and icons, and a flexible layout that looks great on any device, big or small.
Version: 1.0
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:
Tags: black, brown, orange, tan, white, yellow, light, one-column, two-columns, right-sidebar, flexible-width, custom-header, custom-menu, editor-style, featured-images, microformats, post-formats, rtl-language-support, sticky-post, translation-ready
Text Domain: twentythirteen

This theme, like WordPress, is licensed under the GPL.
Use it to make something cool, have fun, and share what you've learned with others.

Also you should create a functions.php file inside your WordPress theme. This file is very important to adding features and functionality to a WordPress site. The first thing is to understand the PHP loop which will show you the posts. The structure looks like this:

if ( have_posts() ) {
	while ( have_posts() ) {
		// Post Content here
	} // end while
} // end if

Learn about it on official WordPress site – The Loop – WordPress.

You can know about theme development on official WordPress site Theme Development.

How to learn theme development for WordPress

Now I want to say that learning theme development is not a one or two day work. It needs a lots of time. You need to search a lots on internet and need to practice a lots by installing WordPress on your local server. When I started, I was using XAMPP and even now also using XAMPP server for developing and practicing WordPress theme. You need to do hard and give a lots time every day and every day you should read the WP theme developing related blog posts like I did.

Many times it can be found that web designers losing passion and give up learning. But to become a theme developer for WordPress you must have to stick to it and continue the learning process. There are many things you have to know by searching from search engines for theme development. Some of these are:

  1. How to register menus in theme?
  2. how to register sidebar?
  3. how to build custom navigation menu walker?

And lots more you need to know.


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