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Designing my own theme

  1. I have quite a few years of designing html and a couple using css. I am contemplating designing my own theme. Is this possible only if I use the download version of wordpress on my own domain? Right now I am using your site. Is extensive php knowledge necessary to do my own themes?

  2. Yes, you do need to have a version of WordPress on your own domain to be able to design and use your own theme.

    As for php knowledge I think you at least have to know a bit about php include, as that what the templates tags really does.

    The codex has a intro page on how it works: Stepping into templates

  3. As for php knowledge I think you at least have to know a bit about php include, as that what the templates tags really does.

    No. True, the template tags are PHP functions, but you don't have to understand the inner workings of a function in order to use it. That said, PHP knowledge is helpful if you want to add templates not in the standard themes, and probably essential if you want to provide an options menu like the one Regulus has.

    If you already know your way around xhtml and CSS, you should be able to get the gist of how things work by looking at existing themes and the list of template tags on the Codex. Putting together a theme for personal use is nowhere near as complicated as everyone tries to make out. It's when you want to make one for distribution which will be used in a wide variety of environments that things get a bit more taxing.

  4. Urban Giraffe has a series on WP thmes and how they work. Here is an Anatomy of a WP theme and a visual one as well.

    Good luck, when finished stick a notice over in the WP.org forum

  5. Thanks for your generous and thoughtful responses. As is the way with such matters, it'll probably be a while before I get around to it, but it gives me a direction.

  6. No. True, the template tags are PHP functions, but you don't have to understand the inner workings of a function in order to use it.

    *chuckle* That's why there are so many problems with WP themes out of the box. :)

    The page I use the MOST (oh, god, how do I use that page) is here, the list of functions. You'll find the names of all of the functions involved that you can use as well as how to write the code that you have to pass to them for them to work.

    Good luck,
    -drmike

    edit: And point out when you come up with a theme. I love adding them to my base install for my clients.

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