Creating your own WordPress themes is easier than you might think with the right tools and instruction. I’ve organized these great starting points into three categories: inspiration resources, coding heavy tools, and checklists. Already creating your own themes in? There’s helpful info below for you to improve on prior work in WordPress. Try out some of these resources and you will be well on your way to creating your own fantastic themes!
What are some tools that you have used to build your own WordPress themes? Tell us in the comments!
These sites get straight to the nitty-gritty of coding your theme. Good for people just starting their journey into WordPress themes.
This post from WPShout walks you through the coding basics of creating your own theme. It gives solid explanations and commentary behind every step, ensuring that you understand the reasoning behind each task. WPShout does a fantastic job of making things easy for the beginner without sacrificing important contextual information.
This nice Tuts+ tutorial walks you through integrating an options page into your WordPress theme. Like most other tutorials from Tuts+, it is extremely detailed and thorough. This post also gives you loads of tools to create an options page that turns out exactly how you want it.
This article from ThemeShaper is a great resource that details the basics of creating Child Themes for WordPress. Even people who are apprehensive about using PHP should feel comfortable working through this tutorial.
This piece from ThemeShaper brings some great stuff to the table in terms of letting WordPress power your web design. This article is aimed at experienced developers just getting into WordPress, but is fairly accessible for beginning developers as well.
For those wanting to jump right into the code, here is a good place to start (from Onextrapixel). This is another long post that walks you through how to create a theme from scratch from beginning to end.
This tutorial from Line25 is a walk-through of how to create a WordPress theme that showcases your portfolio. This theme is especially effective for creative types (artists, developers, etc.) who need to display their work on the web. This is an especially easy tutorial to follow with a plenty of commentary and explanation along the way.
These tools are designed to be lighter on the coding, heavier on the tips and inspiration. Theme creators of all experience levels can benefit from these posts that aim to get you excited about making great improvements to your site.
Developing a WordPress theme to sell your product? This tutorial from Justin Tadlock shows you how to create WordPress themes designed for the consumer. The post is designed to give you a big-picture look at your future site and inspire along the way.
WPMU.org offers some great tips to jazz up your WordPress theme. The last thing you want is for your site to be boring, and this post helps you avoid just that. This article also includes a great plugin (Themekit) that lets you spice up your theme with exciting typography and colors.
This helpful post from SixRevisions highlights ten small improvements to your WordPress theme that can go a long way. These suggestions that take a relatively small amount of time can keep your theme easy not only easy, but also pleasant to use. This is definitely a good resource for giving your theme the edge that you want to have.
Want to double check the work you’ve put in for your theme? Checking your work now can save you time and a headache later, and these are two great places to start.
WP Lover features fantastic checklist where you can track your progress with a 146-item list that ensures nothing is overlooked.
NetTuts+ also offers a broader 16-item checklist to make sure your theme is exactly how you want it before going live. This post also has samples of code that you can check your own work against.