WordPress Themes: underlying, unifying design for a blog
WordPress Themesunderlying, unifying design for a blog
My Background● Father● Husband● Developer● Ninja● Creating themes & plugins for past five years● Built hundreds of blogs● Plugins: thousands of downloads worldwide
What is a theme?!A WordPress Theme is a collection of files thatwork together to produce a graphical interfacewith an underlying, unifying design for a blog.Huh? In English...● Gives your blog its appearance● What visitors see● Graphics & Colors● Typography● Responsiveness & Awesomeness
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."...and sometimes not so awesome.
Not All Themes Are Created EqualFree Themes Premium Themes Freemium Themes
Free Themes● Cost: Free● Lack flexibility & customization● Less features● Plain appearance● Great for content delivery● Straight to the point● Unsupported or slow development● Often outdated
Premium Themes● Cost: Paid....but sometimes free!● More options & flexibility● Beautiful appearance● Custom layouts● Supported & maintained● Large communities● Customize to fit your needs & deep desires
Freemium Themes● Cost: Free...with option to pay● Same as Premium ThemeOption to pay?! what?!Pay to remove footer links, ads, or acquireenhanced features.
GPL Licensing & Open Source● Open source means free, right?! Yes & No!● Free as in freedom. Not free like those cheese samples you swipe at the grocery store.● GPL is the freedom to receive & change the source code.● All WordPress software should be covered under GPL or similar licensing. (themes & plugins)
Customizing Your Theme● Never ever..ever edit the core files of WordPress...ever.● Lose your changes during an update● Bad practice● Never had reason to do it..ever.
How to easily customize a theme● Go Premium!● Premium themes have user friendly options● Look for a demo to check out its options● Does it fit your needs?
For the Hardcore Customizing● Be a ninja● All WP themes should be GPL (look for this)● Customizing Theme core files is bad practice● Utilize the functions.php file
More Hardcore CustomizingThe functions.php file● /wp-content/themes/themename/functions.php● Acts much like a plugin● Change default behaviors of your theme or WordPress● Use WP hooks, actions, and filters● Turn on theme support for post thumbnails, menu, etc● Several blocks of code to expand the functionality of the active theme.
Even More Hardcode CustomizingChild Theme● Dependant on a parent theme (premium)● Files in Child Theme override parent theme files● functions.php in child can replace parent functions● Unique headers in style.css to identify child & parent● /wp-content/themes/childthemename/
Hardcore Customizing ContinuesWant to add a subscription box to your themes homepage?● Create a duplicate of the parent themes index.php file● Place duplicate file in child theme directory● Customize duplicate index.php file in child theme● Active the child theme● The duplicate index.php will override the parents index. php
Why go through the trouble?GPL gives us the freedom to copy and improvealready written code. Awesome! But its notalways a good idea.● Child themes protect changes from the update monster.● When the parent theme is updated, the child theme isnt.● Our changes may not be compatible with the recent updates but at least you didnt lose all your work.So remember, think twice before customizing core theme files,create a child theme, and only you can prevent forest fires.
Responsiveness & Awesomeness "Big things come in small packages" Mobile devices have never been so popular● Fast web browsing● Powerful processors● High screen resolutions● Broad Demographics● On-the-go
Responsive Design The Problem● Mobile browsers zoom out to the width of the site● Difficult to read, touch links. and navigate I know what awesomeness is, but whats responsiveness?● Its how your site reacts to the screen its being display upon. Minimizes issues by adjusting to the screen● Responsive design is very important with delivering the right content.
Why Responsive is Important● Mobile friendly● Mobile advertising● Mobile traffic● Professionalism● User friendliness● Increased conversations● Current location (off topic but still cool)
● You run ads in a popular iPhone app.● Your food looks delicious.● Person clicks on your ad.● They want to quickly see your menu and your prices.● But your website isnt responsive. uh oh...
Instead they see a blurry slideshowand tiny links. That might be beautifulon your desktop but its customerrepellent on a mobile phone. Whichof course is not cool.
This time your theme is responsive....Person clicks on your ad. They want to quickly see yourmenu and your prices. Your theme has beautifullyresponded to the smaller screen on theirphone. Instead of the slideshow & tinylinks, they see big Beautiful buttons theycan easily touch.
Let me show you the way...● This time your theme is responsive....● Person clicks on your ad.● They want to quickly see your menu and your prices.● Your theme has beautifully responded to the smaller screen on their phone.● Instead of the slideshow & tiny links, they see big beautiful buttons they can easily touch.●
They browse your menu, check your hours without anyhassle from their phone. 10 minutes later they are dining inyour restaurant and complimenting your mobile website.
ResourcesWordPress Themeshttp://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Themeshttp://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themeshttp://codex.wordpress.org/Functions_File_Explainedhttp://wordpress.org/extend/themes/Responsive Web Designhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_designhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh653584.aspxhttp://www.w3.org/TR/css3-mediaqueries/
by Clifton Hatfieldhttp://cliftonhatfield.comhttp://facebook.com/cliftonhatfied.pagehttp://empoweredblogs.com