Chapter 9

Theme Development


  • Understanding the various files and templates that constitute a theme
  • Modifying an existing theme to meet your own needs
  • Identify the different reasons to use a project theme or a child theme
  • Creating a new theme based on the Twenty Eleven theme

Content is king, right? That is certainly true. Nothing is going to drive visitors to your site, and keep them coming back, except for your content. Even if you have the best content on the Internet for your topic, you have to present it to the reader, the browser, and to the search engines so that your content can be consumed.

That’s where themes come in. Themes control the presentation layer of your site, including both the user experience and how it is offered to the consumer. It also controls the logic that determines which type of page and, therefore, which type of loop is to be used.

This chapter reviews how to install a theme on your website and then takes you through the various aspects of a theme and how they apply to the presentation of your content. You will also review different strategies for creating your theme, whether specifically for a project, or as an adaptation of a theme framework. By the end of this chapter, you will have an understanding of theme functionality and a solid foundation on which to build your own custom project or child themes from scratch for use in your own projects.


Your website theme is essentially the face of your website. It’s ...

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