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Wordpress Themes From Scratch

A quick jaunt through the steps used to create one custom Wordpress site. Presented to Santa Cruz Wordpress Meetup on August 6, 2009

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Wordpress Themes From Scratch

  1. 1. Wordpress Themes From Scratch
  2. 2. Clients They want what they want They want it quickly They will change their minds Changes should be easy
  3. 3. Wordpress as CMS Wordpress is not just for blogs Use static pages for static content Some sites don’t update frequently
  4. 4. “Support the Heroes” Custom site made using Wordpress as a CMS to meet specific client requirements Wireframes for the site were created by another designer who hasn’t used Wordpress and then handed off to me
  5. 5. CSS Framework Visual design is custom, gives client a unique appearance Framework should solve problems but stay out of the way Grid based CSS frameworks make layout a snap
  6. 6. Grid Layouts Very flexible 24 columns, 30px wide, 10px gutters Span columns as necessary Consistent alignment looks neat and professional
  7. 7. Blueprint PSD Template Includes guides for all the columns. Layout your design so that rectangular elements fit within the grid lines You can span columns in any way you like photoshop-template- blueprint-css-comps
  8. 8. SF-Blueprint-WP SF-Blueprint-WP is a Wordpress theme based on the Blueprint CSS framework. Gives you a barebones layout that is easy to modify for a custom design blueprint-wp-theme-52.htm
  9. 9. Clean simple HTML ~100 lines of new or changed CSS in themes/SF-Blueprint- WP/custom.css ~100 additional lines of new CSS for styling cforms II form
  10. 10. Page Columnist Different pages had different layouts in the wireframes <!--nextpage--> by default makes a multipage post in Wordpress Page Columnist turns “pages” into columns Multi-column layout can still be easily edited by non-technical user. development/wordpress-plugin-page- columnist-en Warning: Plugin is hacker-unfriendly
  11. 11. Category Templates You can publish posts to specific categories Categories can have unique layouts for archives and posts Useful when “Case Study” looks different than “Blog Post” (etc) Category_Templates
  12. 12. Custom Navigation <ul> <?php wp_list_pages('title_li=&include=2,16,29&children=1'); ?> <?php wp_list_categories('title_li=&orderby=ID'); ?> <?php wp_list_pages('title_li=&depth=1&exclude=1,2,16,29,47,49, 51'); ?> </ul>
  13. 13. cforms II Client needed complex admission form on site cforms II plugin makes it possible to create and edit forms using Wordpress admin interface and Wordpress database http:// cforms-plugin
  14. 14. But I don’t wanna make a theme from scratch! Where can I download a cool theme?
  15. 15. Smashing Magazine http:// tag/wordpress/
  16. 16. So Many Themes!! Why Make a New One? Your client wants what they want That theme doesn’t exist yet
  17. 17. I found a theme, and it’s ALMOST perfect You can change it, but every theme uses different HTML and CSS, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the author’s style
  18. 18. A new way? http://www.divine- I haven’t tried it yet. Your guess is as good as mine. Looks shiny!