Chapter 12. Understanding Themes and Templates

In This Chapter

  • Looking at the basic blog structure

  • Exploring the required templates

  • Understanding The Loop and Main Index template

  • Putting together a basic theme

  • Using common template tags

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 11). Chapter 18 also tells you where you can get ten free WordPress themes.

Creating themes does require you to step into the code of the templates, which can be a scary place sometimes — especially if you don't really know what you're looking at. A good place to start is understanding the structure of a WordPress blog. Separately, the parts won't do you any good. ...

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