Chapter 3: Exploring the Anatomy of a Theme

In This Chapter

  • Examining the theme's stylesheet
  • Exploring template tags
  • Making widget areas
  • Understanding the main template files

This chapter breaks down the parts that make up your WordPress theme. Understanding your theme allows you greater flexibility when you customize it. Many of the problems we see people encounter with their theme, such as not knowing which files edit certain functions of their site, comes from lack of understanding all the pieces.

There are those who like to get their hands dirty (present company included!). If you're one of them, you need to read this chapter. WordPress users who create their own themes do so in the interest of:

  • Individuality: Having a theme that no one else has. (If you use one of the free themes, you can pretty much count on the fact that at least a dozen other WordPress blogs will have the same look as yours.)
  • Creativity: Displaying your own personal flair and style.
  • Control: Having full control of how the blog looks, acts, and delivers your content.

Many of you aren't at all interested in creating your own templates for your WordPress blog, however. Sometimes, it's just easier to leave matters to the professionals and to hire an experienced WordPress theme developer to create a custom look for your WordPress Web site or to use one of the thousands of free themes provided by WordPress designers (see Chapter 2 of this minibook).

Creating themes does require you to step into the code of ...

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