The Art Of Converting A Design To A WordPress Theme – Part 1

As we have gotten more and more into WordPress, eventually you will get to the point where you need to take a design and convert it to a WordPress theme. I am by no means an expert, and I am learning a little more about WordPress every day. I am going to go through, in a series of blog entries, the step by step process of creating a WordPress theme. This is not for the hard core, since this is for the light programmer/scripter like myself who wants to be able to quickly take a design and port it over to WordPress.

Don’t fret. The process can be boiled down to a few critical elements, many of which you will easily find examples throughout the web and in a book at your local Barnes & Noble. So, first, before we do anything, this blog entry is just about the initial steps you should take before going ahead and doing this.

One first step, if you are not a programmer, is to get familiar with PHP. If you are not fluent in the PHP programming language, this will be a challenge, not a challenge you can’t necessarily overcome, but a challenge none the less. Along with getting familiar with PHP is getting familiar with WordPress. If you have just begun the process of learning both PHP and WordPress, you may want to put this design conversion off for a bit, till you are ready.

The next step is to get your design. Now, you may already be a designer or you have hired a designer and you are getting closer to the point of wanting this design in WordPress. If you already are using this design (see I am giving you some ideas here) on another site and just want to convert it over, for instance, so your blog looks the same as your main website, you will have to free your design from that site and have it handy in your page editor.

Remember to get a program like Textpad or Homesite or Visual Studio, or whatever editing tool you use, especially one that can hold many files at the same time. That is why I use Textpad, since it is a basic program and its free.

You should also be familiar with HTML, CSS and possibly javascript. Also, we will encounter Flash and other technologies, most of which are ready for you to integrate with your design. So, sign up for this blog and come back when I have the next in this series ready.