In the previous chapter, you learned how to stretch WordPress’s capabilities by editing your theme files. You saw how a few small changes—like adding a style rule or changing a section of PHP code—let you customize details that would ordinarily be out of reach.
Tinkering with a WordPress theme is a great way to get started, and, as you saw, it opens the door to a number of small but genuinely useful tweaks. But once you start poking around the inner workings of a theme, it’s just a small jump to a more ambitious endeavor: reworking the entire theme to create a completely customized site.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to customize a theme by creating a furniture-selling site called Distinct Furnishings. You’ll see how to put together a browsable product catalog, custom archive pages, and a fully functional shopping cart (with the help of PayPal). The lessons you’ll learn will apply whenever you want to adapt WordPress’s post and page system to work with different types of content, like the online product catalog you’ll create in this chapter.
Many parts of this chapter introduce useful snippets of code that you can take and adapt to suit your own site. Rather than type this code in by hand, you can download these excerpts from the Missing CD page for this book (http://missingmanuals.com/cds/wpmm). You can then modify them and paste them into your own template files, wherever you need them. And if you want to browse the example site ...