No Idea How to Build WordPress Themes? 4 Amazing Ways to Do So

Would you like to create custom and elegant themes in WordPress but don’t know where to start? Or whether you can handle this task at all?We reassure you, you can certainly build WordPress themes because you have as many as 4 ways to create a custom template file that will suit your needs. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, learn what WordPress themes are and why you should use them. Let’s sit back and relax!

Read in:

4 MIN.

Michał Kaźmierczak

Founder & Ceo

What is a WordPress theme?

A WordPress theme is a file that works with other components (digital illustrations, stylesheets, core files, pieces of code, etc.) to create a complete and working website design and functionality. It consists of many elements that can be modified, combined in different ways, replaced, etc. 

These custom templates can be created in many styles. They can be similar to each other or totally different. Either way, with them, site owners can instantly change the face of their webpage. They can regulate everything and manage the site’s properties, not just give it a look.

The popularity of WordPress theme development is a result of its huge simplicity. That’s because WordPress is a highly flexible and powerful CMS that can be used both by professionalists and non-experts.

The importance of building custom WordPress themes

Why is it so important to build custom templates or even your own theme directory? Because it comes with many advantages. Several reasons can be cited for this, so let’s take a closer look!

Creating your own design gives you:

  • a lot of unusual theme options
  • the ability to create new graphic designs, custom post types, etc.
  • the ability to contain many additional details, featured images, etc.
  • the option to change almost everything, from core concepts to background colors, options menu, image sizes, post layout. You can even add or remove different elements like post content. 

But that’s not all.

You can build something of your own and target a niche that has high expectations. While basic or ready-made versions of template files may be unattractive and boring, you won’t face such a problem because you will have a design that is original and unique. 

What’s more, you can further reach out to your audience by adapting to their comments and improving your site the way they want it since, with such a niche theme, it is possible to make a huge impact. 

In addition, compared to using third-party, default themes or child themes (which are derived from the information in the parent themes), using a unique one will not clutter your site with tons of features or types of hooks that will never be used or required. 

All of these unwanted components add a significant amount of executable code to the site, potentially slowing it down. And you don’t need that.

And besides, a custom theme file is a safer option, easier to fix, gives you complete control, can boost user experience, and is SEO friendly.

Choose your approach

There are several methods to build WordPress themes template, so it is important to choose the one that will work best for your level of coding experience. 

Manually building an entire visual design is undoubtedly the best approach, but you’ll need expressive coding skills. If you don’t hire theme developers or simply don’t have such abilities, it may not be a good idea to do everything on your own.

But the good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in programming to create a new WordPress design.

Let’s see what choices you have!

#1 Create a theme layout from scratch WITH coding

If you want to be a theme author and build WordPress themes from scratch, you should know that it’s a bit of a time-consuming task. And, as we mentioned, not quite easy.

Creating a WordPress theme from scratch requires lines of code and a good understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP functions.

First, you need to set up a development environment. Install a local environment like XAMPP, WAMP, or MAMP. Then, navigate to the WordPress theme directory and create a new folder. This will be the directory for your design files.

After that, create the following documents in your actual theme folder:

  • style.css – contains the stylesheet for your page.
  • index.php – the main template file for your website that displays the content of your website.
  • header.php – this header template file contains your website’s header elements.
  • footer.php – consists of your website’s footer code.

In the file header.php, add the code for the header of your website, including the <head> section, navigation menu feature, and any other elements you want to include. In the footer.php file, add the footer code, including any necessary JavaScript or other core files and scripts.

Next, create the necessary template files. Depending on your website’s design, you may need to create additional documents that will control the basic layout and display of specific types of pages. After that, add WordPress functions. These functions can be found in the WordPress Codex. Then, open your style.css file and start adding CSS style to your design (to personalize the appearance of your website, including fonts, custom colors, and layout).

Now you can test. Go to the WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes, and activate your newly created one. If everything is working correctly, you can now publish your design to the public. You can do this by submitting it to the WordPress Theme Directory or selling it on your own website.

If some important source code, action hooks, etc are missing, your site might not work as you wish.

#2 Create a theme layout from scratch WITHOUT coding

Fortunately, with the help of existing builders, it’s quite simple to create a classic theme without code snippets. It will still require some technical knowledge and familiarity with the WordPress system and building websites. 

However, using a website builder can make the theme creation process more accessible.

First, you should choose a website builder. There are several platforms that offer pre-designed theme builder dashboard that you can customize to your needs without any coding knowledge. Once you’ve chosen a platform, install it on your WordPress website. Now, choose a base theme version that best matches the style and design you want for your website.

Then, use the website builder functionality and a drag-and-drop interface to modify it. You can add or remove sections, change the layout, add images and videos, change the color scheme, etc. After that, add functionalities through plugins, such as contact forms, social media sharing buttons, or email marketing integrations. You can do it by using the builder plugin repository.

Test your complete theme, and again, if everything is working correctly, you can publish it as described in the previous step.

#3 Adjust an existing theme

Building beautiful themes by adjusting starter themes or pre-made ones is also a great way to create a custom design without starting from scratch.

So, your first step is to choose current themes that are similar to the one you want to create for your website. Then install and activate one. To ensure that your changes are not overwritten when the original design is updated, create a child theme. It’s crucial because child themes offer separate designs that inherit the parent themes’ functionality and provide a high level of customization options without modifying the original files.

Now, use the WordPress Customizer for your personalization. To further personalize the design, you can use custom CSS to change the font styles, colors, spacing, and more. Also, you can add extra functionalities with plugins. 

After that, test your responsive theme and publish it!

#4 Outsource creating themes to an Agency

Best of all in the end.

If you’re looking to build WordPress themes but don’t have the skills or time to do it yourself, outsourcing the job to a professional agency is a great option. They will take care of everything and build as many custom page templates as you wish.

What’s more, you don’t need any pre-defined theme builder or theme customizer because you don’t take part in the creation process.

So the first point is to determine your budget and timeline. This will help you find an agency that can work within your constraints. Then, research and choose an agency that specializes in WordPress theme development. Look for agencies that have a strong portfolio of WordPress templates and positive reviews from past clients.

Next, communicate your requirements and expectations clearly to the agency – this will ensure that the final product meets your needs and specifications. Provide the team with branding guidelines, design inspiration, etc. Once the agency has created a design, review it and provide feedback. 

Of course, you can monitor theme developers’ work, the whole development process, provide constant feedback, and ask for updates regularly.

If the development stage is complete, test the design to ensure that everything is working correctly. Make any necessary adjustments to the active theme template and launch it on your website.

Choose Fooz Agency

Why should you consider working with Fooz agency? Because it might be your best choice! Especially if you: 

👉 don’t feel up to building WordPress templates yourself, 

👉 don’t know anything about traditional theme development process

👉 don’t know an agency that could build WordPress themes that are advanced, 

👉 or you are looking for a new contractor.

Fooz is a WordPress development company that provides medium-sized businesses with high-quality websites. Customers benefit from our knowledge and technical excellence and excellent communication as well. We also care about every detail of your future website and have a strong focus on your preferences.

Fooz will make your website stand out in the crowded theme marketplace. As a result, you will have a huge impact on the front-end user experience. 

So, for example, if you want to:

  • personalize your business websites, 
  • change the look of your blog posts or single posts, 
  • get advanced functionality, 
  • have better search engine results, 
  • get a responsive design, 

and at the same time have complete freedom and don’t write lines of code, just bet on Fooz.

Over to you

We show you 4 ways how to build WordPress themes and discuss for you all facets of theme design: from design and coding, to implementation and testing. It’s obvious, that creating premium themes can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can either create such themes from scratch, tailor a ready-made template or outsource this job to a professional agency. The choice is yours!

If you need any help, bet on Fooz, and you will get support, satisfaction, and, most importantly, results. Trust us, and let’s build something amazing together.