Chapter 38. Extending WordPress Even Further

The goal of this book was to get you up and running with WordPress and show you how to use the software to build websites. I also introduced you to the possibilities of extending the functionality of WordPress through plugins. Now I want to say a little about the customization of theme templates, which is the next stage for making WordPress serve your needs.

Taking apart the coding of theme templates, reworking them, or creating new templates is not for the faint of heart, and the topic is certainly beyond the scope of this book. My aim is to give you some ideas about what customization can do for you, which, in turn, gives you a good starting point either for learning more yourself or for talking about customization with someone who knows how to work with WordPress themes.

One of the strengths of WordPress is that it's built from the ground up to be customized, and central to this design is the concept of theme templates. They contain the instructions for WordPress to retrieve information from the database — your posts, pages, and media files — and present it in the form of HTML pages. The most basic way that theme templates enable customization is the ability to change the look of your WordPress site in an instant by changing themes, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Template Hierarchy

Did you know that WordPress really only needs a single PHP file in a theme? No theme builder would choose that option because it would be both limiting ...

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