So, you want to make a WordPress theme? Part 1

Setting up your own blog couldn’t be easier these days… that is if you are an experienced internet user or anyone under 35. You register an account at Blogger or WordPress.com and… voila, off you go. For everyone else, a little hand holding and/or coding by a professional is required. This blog’s primary purpose is to share web development and consulting expertise with the community, as well as to inform existing and future customers about the latest technologies and services that I provide. Since I had to get a site up pretty quickly after switching to a new hosting company, I decided to use a self hosted version of WordPress for the webxl.net “backend”, also known as a CMS or Content Management System. In the interest of time, I purchased a professionally developed theme from Themeforest, but I really wish I could have designed one from scratch. A highly customizable one that I could use on my clients’ WordPress projects.

Unfortunately, building a theme from scratch is almost as hard as building a static website from scratch, if not harder, because it needs to hook in with the blog software’s API, in addition to coding the PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, slicing up images, yadda, yadda. Only if there was a template to jumpstart the whole process. Enter Automatic’s featured Toolbox theme. Once the WP blog is setup, you just navigate to the appearance section of the admin console, click on Install Themes, click Featured, scroll down a bit to the Toolbox 1.0 theme, and click Install. You should see something like this:

The theme is now installed, which means it has been added to the list of available themes you can activate for the viewing public. At this point though, just click Preview to see the utter horror your blog could become. Don’t worry… in the next installment I’ll show how a tiny bit of CSS can spruce things up, so you can be on your way to building a unique website.

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