WordPress – Create a New WordPress Theme (1st in a Series)

WordPress – Create a New WordPress Theme (1st in a Series)

WordPress is a wonderfully flexible blogging framework.

If you use WordPress much, you will eventually want to make some changes in the appearance of your blog.

Often the best way to give your blog a facelift is to create a new WordPress theme. The developers of WordPress have made this easy to do. This article tells you how to create a new theme. Future articles will tell you how to make visual modifications in your theme.

Note that this article presumes that you are developing on a PC or Mac and uploading your work to your Web site.

Here is the procedure for creating a new WordPress theme, in a nutshell:

1. Start with an existing theme that you want to modify.2. Copy that theme folder to a new theme folder.3. Edit the “”style”” css file in the new theme folder.4. Upload the theme folder to your Web site.5. From the WordPress Admin console, activate the new theme.

That is all you have to do.

The following sections provide detailed descriptions for implementing the above steps.

Start with an Existing Theme

Pick a theme that is already installed in your blog. It does not need to be activated, just installed. Pick one you like.

Copy the Them to a New Theme Folder

Both the old theme (the one you start with) and the new theme (the one you are creating) should be located in the themes folder of the wp-content folder.

Here is the hierarchy: main WordPress folder / wp-content / themes

If for example, you are copying the “”WordPress Default”” them to the “”John Doe”” theme, you will copy the “”default”” folder to the “”john-doe”” folder.

Edit the “”style”” css file in the new theme folder

Now that you have copied the old theme to your new theme folder, you need to edit the “”style”” css file.

Every theme has a “”style”” css file. That file starts out with some information that WordPress uses to display information about the style in the admin console. You will need to change this information. A skeletal version of this information looks like the following:

Theme Name: Theme name hereDescription: Description of theme here

Version number

Your Name

Author URI:
Your Web Site (if you have one)

Licensing Information

A filled in version would look something like the following:

Theme Name:
John Doe

This is a theme that John Doe created to for his personal Web site.


John Doe

This theme is offered under the GPL License.

Upload the Theme Folder to Your Web site

Using FTP or whatever system is in your editor/Web design software, upload the new theme folder to your Web site.

Activate the New Theme

(i) Log into your WordPress management console.(ii) On the left side of the console, about 1/2 way down, click on the “”Appearance”” link.(iii) Your theme should show up under “”Available Themes””, in the lower right hand side of the page.(iv) Click on the “”Activate”” link for your theme.

WordPress should now be using your theme.

Check the New Theme

If you want to check that you are actually using the new theme, do “”view page source”” and search for wp-content/themes/xxxxxxx where xxxxxxx is your theme name.


Creating a new WordPress theme is easy. Future articles will tell you how to change the appearance of your new theme.

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