WordPress is one of the most popular applications in the web design community not only for its ease of use as a blogging platform, but for its versatility in any kind of content managed website. Building custom themes for WordPress is pretty straight forward, making it one of the easiest templating systems to master. This post rounds up 15 of the best WordPress theme tutorials, each taking you through the process of building your own WP theme from scratch.
This thorough 11 part tutorial series takes you through every detail of creating your own WordPress theme from scratch. The series begins with a look at the structure of a WordPress theme before taking a close look at each of the various template files.
So you want to create WordPress themes huh?
Even some of the oldest WordPress theme tutorials are still the best today. I remember reading this WPDesigner post back in 2007 and using it myself to get the hang of building WordPress themes. A lot of features have been included in WordPress since 2007, but the core process of building themes remains the same.
Sam Parkinson takes us through the process of building this custom blog theme in his tutorial on Nettuts+ and describes the use of each template file along with code samples.
Another tutorial that I remember being really useful was Chris Coyier’s video screencast series. This three part tutorial takes a live look at building a WordPress theme, which gives that extra insight you just don’t get from a written guide.
Oneextrapixel hosts a more up to date WordPress theme tutorial that explains some of the newer features and functionality such as custom post thumbnails and the revised method of calling the whole comments list and comment form from WordPress 3.0 and beyond.
Nur Ahmad Furlong’s Training Wheels tutorial series is written specifically for those who haven’t had any experience with CMS code or PHP and covers the very basics of creating a custom WordPress theme, right down to the theme screenshot.
Chapter two of the complete WordPress theme guide on Web Designer Wall focuses on the building of a custom theme. Parts one and three cover the installation of WordPress and moving/exporting WordPress to create a comprehensive series for anyone building a complete WordPress powered website.
One of my first WordPress theme tutorials was posted on my Blog.SpoonGraphics website. In this tutorial I cover the basics of WordPress theme creation and go through the process I used when building my ‘Sticky’ WordPress theme.
Dan Walker’s tutorial on Wptuts+ not only covers the basic how-to of building WordPress themes, but also includes tips on creating public themes. The initial overview of features alone is useful for anyone creating a generic theme to sell or give away.
This multi-part tutorial from WPShout takes a detailed look at each of the various template files and gives a simple description of how it all works in “plain english”. Code samples without the HTML makes it easy to identify the WordPress template tags.
The complete code samples in this tutorial from Developer Drive makes it easy to see how WordPress template tags are combined with HTML to provide that dynamic functionality, as well as being easy to copy and paste straight into your working files.
All the tutorials so far have explained how to build a WordPress theme, but this guide from Themetation explains the whole process of building a WordPress powered website from the Photoshop concept, the HTML/CSS coding and finally the WordPress implementation.
Just in case you’re new around here, I also have a bunch of WordPress theme tutorials. This recent tutorial takes you through the process I used to create my Typo WordPress theme.
One of my more popular WordPress theme tutorials here on Line25 was my guide to creating a basic portfolio theme. This tutorial covers the usual template tags, but also explains how custom page templates can be used to tailor the blogging platform into more of a content management system.
Finally we have one of my first WordPress theme tutorials on Line25. I’d recommend this post in particular out of my collection as it’s one I went into the most detail when describing how the various template files and template tags work.