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Building a WordPress theme

In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can get started with theme development. We’ll then take you step-by-step through the process of creating a brand new custom theme.

If you want something done right, you might have to do it yourself. While there are plenty of WordPress themes available, finding one that has the exact look and functionality you need can be difficult. In fact, you might be tempted to create your own theme instead. Getting started with theme development can seem overwhelming, though — especially for a beginner.

Fortunately, creating a custom theme for WordPress is a relatively straightforward process. It also doesn’t require much technical knowledge or experience with web development. Plus, building your own theme can be well worth the effort since you can get your site looking and operating just right.

You want your site to look great and have all the functionality you need, so you check out the WordPress Theme Directory. Unfortunately, nothing you see fulfills all your requirements, and you don’t want to compromise on your vision. Maybe you want something unique that will make your site stand out, or you just don’t want to spend the money on a premium theme.

At this point, you might start to consider creating your own theme. Fortunately, developing a theme for WordPress is not the overly complicated affair you might imagine it is. Thanks to the platform’s inherent user-friendliness and the numerous tools available, almost anyone can create a custom theme.

We’re going to take you through the process of creating your first theme. To get started, you’ll need two things:

You’ll also benefit from having experience with local staging environments, as you’ll be using one to create your theme. Having some understanding of CSS and PHP will also be helpfule (if not necessary).

Finally, there’s one important tool you’ll want to have, which will make the process of creating a theme much easier: a starter theme.