The Theme Diaries: Getting Off Your Butt

Making a theme isn’t as easy as most people say it is, especially if you’re a person with a very limited experience on coding. If you’re a person with a very limited experience on designing, I think that makes it pretty hard as well. If you’re a person with limited experience in both coding and designing. I think it would be best to know you’re going to need all the help you can get.

Theme designing generally seems to fall under 2 categories.

  1. Programers
  2. Designers

It’s always been said that if you’re more of a programer, design will always be the last thing on your mind. The cool factor there rests with the fact that you’re able to turn code into poetry and blend practical funtionality into the design. In short really, the code would be nothing but perfect.

Same goes for a designer, you can’t really expect to come up with ingenious hacks or shortcuts for your site. What you can expect is for people to be at awe with what you designed your page with, the graphics, the colours, the intuitive design that serves to disguise the simple functionality of your site.

So where do I stand? Basically, I have enough experience to just go with being a designer. So the rest of my theme design is going to be based on just that. So first thing first though are the resources for theme design. For me, it generally came from three sites.

  1. The WordPress Codex
  2. Lorelle
  3. Urban Giraffe

The point is to read all of it through and through and get as much ideas as you can. Don’t be frightened of by the sheer amount of information that you have to read. I didn’t have to worry about absorbing anything at all (not that I’m in a position to absorb anything at all because I’m on holiday), but I’m keeping those resources handy because I’m going to be going back to them over and over again throughout the course of my theme design.

Last but not least, ask someone else who’s experienced in designing a WordPress theme what you need to do and where you need to go. Having all the resources is good but if you don’t have anyone to point to you where you ned to start, that’s not going to be of much help. In my case, I found that help in the ever friendly and ever humourous #wordpress IRC channel on the freenode network.

So that’s about it really. The first step of Theme design for complete newbies is to know exactly what you’re going to do and where you need to start. You may have an idea in your head but its not going to be of much use if it stays in your head. Know what you’re getting into first and be mentally prepared for it, otherwise it’ll just be an unfinished project. And that isn’t what you want isn’t it?

3 thoughts on “The Theme Diaries: Getting Off Your Butt

  1. You are so right. It’s important to “know” all that you can about what you are doing before you begin designing a Theme for WordPress or any website or blog. Too many people boldly go forth, and they do great things, but they end up with little problems because they missed a step or didn’t understand web standards and guidelines that make what we do possible, and that there are limits. Currently, while there is a lot you can do with web page design, there are still a lot of limits and constraints that make this process not as easy as it looks.

    Those little W3C buttons at the bottom of your page don’t have to be there but for those who carry them, they are saying to the world that “I work within professional standards and this page will work on any browser in any country and any operating system, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.”

    You have listed some great informatin and resources as well as reasons why research and learning is so important. Thanks for spreading the right knowledge!

  2. Hey hey, thanks…that means alot coming from you. I’ll try and keep it all within the standards and stuff. Hopefully…I can get it. Hopefully. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

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