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An Extended WordPress Theme Tutorial

  • Jun 27, 2008
WordPress Theme Design is a short book, 204 pages and offers an experience very much like that given by the Peachpit Press' Visual QuickProject Series. This is not a definitive guide to WordPress theming. Tessa Silver walks us through the creation of a WordPress theme intended for a monthly magazine site. As much CMS/beyond-the-blog flexibility of WordPress needs to be implemented by creative theming, this project offers an insight into how to customize WordPress for sites other than plain vanilla blogs. WordPress core features like "the loop," are mentioned but we are referred to the WordPress Codex documentation for more information. That's pretty much the way the book works, features or concepts, such as the loop or drop down menus are discussed, but for expanded explanations we are pointed to external web documentation.

The writing is clear and conversational and is targeted towards someone with a reasonable grounding in HTML and CSS, I'd say advanced novice to early intermediate. Those without an understanding of HTML will find it over their heads. A very basic understand of PHP syntax is also helpful. Except for WordPress specific code, experienced, standards aware coders will find much of the material pretty basic. Ms. Silver does create her design with modern web standards best practices, which she describes in a standards based context. The theme we create by following the tutorial is functional and illustrates some of WordPress' advanced capabilities, which can be accessed only through clever theming. Basic SEO is mentioned, and some advanced WordPress plug-ins and capabilities are briefly covered.

Chapter 6 offers a short overview of WordPress functions and a nice template tag reference. In Chapter 2, Silver offers brief descriptions describing her design workflow process and some of the tools she uses. In chapters 3-5 we create the basic theme and are introduced to WordPress themeing conventions. Chapters 7-9 briefly discuss some advanced WordPress capabilities, mostly gained through the use of plug-ins and widgets.

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michael mckee ()
I'm a photographer and writer living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I love - in no particular order: nature, good coffee, smooth jazz, mystery novels and speculative fiction. I hike, bike, play … more
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About this book


In Detail

This title will take you through the ins and outs of creating sophisticated professional themes for the WordPress personal publishing platform. It will walk you through clear, step-by-step instructions to build a custom WordPress theme. From development tools and setting up your WordPress sandbox, through design tips and suggestions, to setting up your theme's template structure, coding markup, testing and debugging, to taking it live it reviews the best practices. The last three chapters are dedicated to additional tips, tricks and various cookbook recipes for adding popular site enhancements to your WordPress theme designs using third-party plugins.

Whether you're working with a pre-existing theme or creating a new one from the ground up, WordPress Theme Design will give you the know-how to understand how themes work within the WordPress blog system, enabling you to take full control over your site's design and branding.

What you will learn from this book?

  • Set up a basic workflow and development environment for WordPress theme design
  • Create detailed designs and code them up
  • Enhance your sites by choosing the right color schemes and graphics
  • Debug and validate your theme using W3C's XHTML and CSS validation tools
  • Customize and tweak your theme's layout
  • Set up dynamic drop-down menus, AJAX/dynamic and interactive forms
  • Download and install useful plug-ins and widgetize your theme
  • Improve post and page content using jQuery and ThickBox
  • Add interactivity to your themes...

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ISBN-10: 1847193099
ISBN-13: 978-1847193094
Author: Tessa Blakeley Silver
Publisher: Packt Publishing

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