To step further from traditional WordPress sites, which build upon the platform's blog basics, you need to be aware of some of the more advanced features that are available to the theme developer. Most of them build upon the template tags and conditional dittos that you have been using thus far, but the usage may differ. Some techniques, however, will change or add to the functionality of WordPress from within your theme, which may not always be such a good idea if you're looking to release it for general use, but may be a good fit for the project you're working on right now.

That's what it all boils down to, really: taking WordPress and putting it to good use for the task at hand. Building a WordPress theme and releasing or even selling it is one thing, but building a fully-fledged WordPress-powered site is something completely different. This chapter is all about taking that extra step and putting WordPress to good use.

Outlining the Theme

The first things you should do when you're starting a new WordPress project is consider what functionality you need from the theme. Simple blog designs usually aren't very complicated—you just start from the top and go from there—but if you want to build a newspaper-like site using WordPress there are more things to consider. One of the most obvious ones is how you make the site look customized, because, although we all love WordPress, one of the reasons for developing your own themes is to make your site look the ...

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