WordPress themes essentials

What is a theme?

If you are blogging for a while already, you probably already know what a theme is. A theme defines how the layout of your page will be, how your website is going to look. But a theme, especially if we are talking about WordPress themes, is more than just a skin for your website. A good theme may provide you with more functionality and features, and can be compared to a super heroes clothing (the hero being WordPress itself!).

What is to a theme?

A theme can be just bare bones or full bells and whistles. But either way, you can find similarities even between the simplest and most complex themes, because in the end, themes have to display your posts and pages somehow.

I could go on and try to say more about a themes structure or the most popular layouts and functionality. But the truth is I could never do a better job than Lorelle’s post on choosing a WordPress theme.

Theme Frameworks

Theme frameworks provide the foundation on which you can build other themes. Usually they have a lot of functionality, that is not always apparent at first sight, that you can your way. In most cases, theme frameworks start with a simple yet powerful design that gives its users a lot of options to manipulate them their way. Themes build on frameworks are called child themes.

You may have noticed that the site you are currently on, margpress.com, is using a framework. In particular, I am using the Thematic framework. My intention is to use it as a basis to build my own (child) theme. I want to make small changes, step by step, and present them here, so anyone can do something similar.

Developing your own theme

If you are thinking about developing your own theme then you should learn more about the inner workings of WordPress and WordPress themes. There are various resources available on the internet, but it requires a lot of effort and commitment. This infographic of the anatomy of a WordPress theme should help you get a basic understanding of a themes structure. So, I am waiting to see your creations!

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