How to Develop a WordPress Theme

wordpress theme design

How to Develop 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.

When the time comes to build a blog or website, you have got heaps of choices to decide on from. WordPress is the best platform that stands on top of the remainder. Selecting the proper CMS platform for your website may be a major decision because it affects your website’s SEO.

It is easy to set-up and manages WordPress. Its management feels like a cake walk. It’s options, plug-ins, and themes for any occasion.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, making a custom theme for WordPress may be a comparatively simple method. It additionally doesn’t need a lot of technical data or expertise with internet development. Plus, building your own theme will be well worth the effort since you’ll get your website  operationally good.

This WordPress theme development tutorial step by step can assist you to be told the way to build your new theme.

An Introduction to WordPress Theme Development

A WP theme will amends the look of your website or blog together with its layout. If you alter your theme, it changes front-end (what guests see after they browse your website on the web) of your website. There square measure several WP themes obtainable in theme directory of, however several sites use custom themes. After you produce a topic, you opt however your web site is displayed. There square measure several choices obtainable for you after you produce your custom theme.

  • You can have a distinct layout (responsive/static, one/two column).
  • You can show the positioning content where you wish
  • You can specify that actions or devices ought to create you content visible.
  • You can customize typography and style of your theme victimization CSS.
  • You can embrace pictures and videos anyplace in your theme.

WordPress theme may be a assortment of various files like index.php and elegance.css. These files work along to make a show of your website and management presentation of your site or blog’s content.

How to Develop a WordPress Theme (In 5 Steps)

In this tutorial, you will be able to know, how to develop a WordPress theme.However, if you want to try creating everything yourself with no template, you should feel free to do so. Keep in mind that this will require a lot more coding proficiency and understanding of web development.

Step 1: Set Up a Local Environment

The first thing you’ll need to do is to create a local development environment. This is effectively a server that you install on your computer, which you can use to develop and manage local WordPress sites. A local site is a safe way to develop a theme without impacting your live site in any way.

Step 2: Download and Install Your Starter Theme

step2 of instaling wordpress theme

Like most starter themes, Underscores is very easy to get started with. In fact, all you need to do is to go the website and name your theme.

theme name

When you’ve made your choices, you can click on Generate, which will download a .zip file containing your starter theme. This is the core around which you’ll develop your own theme, so install it on your local site. Once you’ve installed your theme, you can preview your site to see how it looks. It’s very basic right now, but that won’t be the case for long!


Step 3: Understand How WordPress Works Behind the Scenes

WordPress determines which template files to use on each page by going through the template hierarchy. This is the order in which WordPress will look for the matching template files every time a page on your site is loaded. For example, if you visit the URL, WordPress will look for the following templates files in this order:

  1. Files that match the slug, such as this-post.
  2. Files that match the post ID.
  3. A generic single post file, such as single.php.
  4. An archive file, such as archive.php.
  5. The index.php file.

Step 4: Configure Your Theme

It’s easy to think that themes are purely for cosmetic purposes, but they actually have a huge impact on your site’s functionality. Let’s look at how you can make a few basic customizations.

  • Add Functionality with ‘Hooks’
  • Add Styles with CSS

Step 5: Export the Theme and Upload It to Your Site

When you have done all the possible amendments with your website, then it’s time to  make sure it works properly.You can ensure this by testing the theme. To quickly make sure that your theme will perform well under most circumstances, you can use the Theme Unit Test data. This is a set of dummy data you can upload to your site, containing many different variations of styles and content. It will enable you to see how your theme copes with unpredictable data.

testing of a theme


Creating a custom WordPress theme from scratch is no small feat. However, the process might not be as difficult as you have previously imagined. By breaking the process down into stages and using the information on the Codex documentation site, pretty much anyone can create a new theme.