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Thread: Custom Theme

  1. #1
    kj2 is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Member #

    Custom Theme

    Hi all,

    I have been looking around the forum for a while but have only just decided to post as I have hit a problem!

    I had a wordpress site built around 2 years ago by a web designer. I am now looking to make some major changes to the site.

    The current theme is custom built and I want to edit it. When I click on 'Customise' I can see the layout of the website as it appears online but can't work out how I begin to customise it? I have been learing html for the past year so should be ok with making the changes but I just need to know how I actually get started!!

    Thanks in advance,



  3. #2
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Member #
    878 times
    The easiest way to customize a WordPress theme is to play with the CSS.
    If you want to go further than that you'll have to understand the structure of the theme, and know a little PHP as well, since
    WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL.

    Each theme will have at least a dozen .php files -

    • header.php - Contains everything you'd want to appear at the top of your site.
    • index.php - The core file that loads your theme, also acts as the homepage (unless you set your blog to display a static page).
    • sidebar.php - Contains everything you'd want to appear in a sidebar.
    • footer.php - Contains everything you'd want to appear at the bottom of your site.
    • archive.php - The template file used when viewing categories, dates, posts by author, etc.
    • single.php - The template file that's used when viewing an individual post.
    • comments.php - Called at the bottom of the single.php file to enable the comments section.
    • page.php - Similar to single.php, but used for WordPress pages.
    • search.php - The template file used to display search results.
    • 404.php - The template file that displays when a 404 error occurs.
    • functions.php - A file that can be used to configure the WordPress core, without editing core files.
    • style.css - All the styling for your theme goes here.

    Some themes have several specific page templates as well, such as portfolio.php, or sitemap.php
    Each of these files then contains a series of PHP template tags. These tags tell WordPress where to insert the dynamic content. A good example of these tags is the <?php the_title(); ?> tag, which pulls in the post title and displays it in your theme.

    There are lots of tutorials available online, and one of the best [places to understand how WordPress works is to browse the
    WordPress Codex whenever you're stuck!

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    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib ~ my current site . . ~ my email

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