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WordPress 2.8 Theme Design

Tessa Blakeley Silver

Create flexible, powerful, and professional themes for your WordPress blogs and web sites
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849510080
Paperback292 pages

About This Book

  • Take control of the look and feel of your WordPress site by creating fully functional unique themes that cover the latest WordPress features
  • Add interactivity to your themes using Flash and AJAX techniques
  • Expert guidance with practical step-by-step instructions for custom theme design
  • Includes design tips, tricks, and troubleshooting ideas

Who This Book Is For

This book can be used by WordPress users or visual designers (with no server-side scripting or programming experience) who are used to working with the common industry-standard tools like PhotoShop and Dreamweaver or other popular graphic, HTML, and text editors.

Regardless of your web development skill-set or level, you'll find clear, step-by-step instructions, but familiarity with a broad range of web development skills and WordPress know-how will allow you to gain maximum benefit from this book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started as a WordPress Theme Designer
WordPress perks
Does a WordPress site have to be a blog?
Pick a theme or design your own?
This book's approach
Core technology you should understand
Tools of the trade
Chapter 2: Theme Design and Approach
Things to consider
Getting ready to design
The solution: Rapid design comping
Adding text—typography
The layout
Relax and have fun designing
Slicing and exporting images
Chapter 3: Coding It Up
Got WordPress?
Understanding the WordPress theme
Creating your WordPress workflow
Building our WordPress theme
Breaking it up: Header, footer, and sidebar template files
Chapter 4: Debugging and Validation
Testing other browsers and platforms
Introduction to debugging
Troubleshooting basics
Fixing CSS across browsers
To hack or not to hack
Out of the box model thinking
The road to validation
Advanced validation
Chapter 5: Putting Your Theme into Action
A picture's worth
Theme packaging basics
Describing your theme
Creating a ReadMe.txt file
Zipping it up
No way to zip?
Performing one last test
Getting some feedback and tracking it
Chapter 6: WordPress Template Tag, Function, and CSS Reference
Class styles generated by WordPress
Using the template selector feature
Template hierarchy
Template tags
Including tags into your themes
The Loop functions
Plugin hooks
WordPress core functions
Chapter 7: AJAX / Dynamic Content and Interactive Forms
Preparing for dynamic content and interactive forms
The AJAX factor
Plugins and widgets
AJAX––it's not just for your site's users
Chapter 8: Dynamic Menus and Interactive Elements
Dynamic menus
Adding Flash to your theme
Chapter 9: Design Tips for Working with WordPress
The cool factor essentials
Good design isn't always visual—looking at SEO

What You Will Learn

  • Set up a basic workflow and development environment for WordPress theme design
  • Create detailed designs and code them up
  • Enhance your sites by choosing the right color schemes and graphics
  • Debug and validate your theme using the W3C's XHTML and CSS validation tools
  • Customize and tweak your theme's layout
  • Set up dynamic drop-down menus, AJAX/dynamic and interactive forms
  • Download and install useful plugins and widgetize your theme
  • Improve post and page content using jQuery
  • Enhance the interactivity of your themes using Flash
  • Includes a reference guide to WordPress 2.8 template hierarchy, markup, styles and template tags, as well as include and loop functions

In Detail

Themes are among the most powerful features that can be used to customize a web site, especially in WordPress. Using custom themes you can brand your site for a particular corporate image, ensure standards compliance, and create easily navigable layouts. But most WordPress users still continue to use default themes as developing and deploying themes that are flexible and easily maintainable is not always straightforward.

It's easy to create powerful and professional themes for your WordPress web site when you've got this book to hand. It provides clear, step-by-step instructions to create a robust and flexible WordPress theme, along with best practices for theme development. It will take you through the ins and outs of creating sophisticated professional themes for the WordPress personal publishing platform. It reviews the best practices from development tools and setting up your WordPress sandbox, through design tips and suggestions, to setting up your theme's template structure, coding markup, testing and debugging, to taking it live. The last three chapters are dedicated to additional tips, tricks, and various cookbook recipes for adding popular site enhancements to your WordPress theme designs using third-party plugins.

Whether you're working with a pre-existing theme or creating a new one from the ground up, WordPress Theme Design will give you the know-how to understand how themes work within the WordPress blog system, enabling you to take full control over your site's design and branding.


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