How to Create a WordPress Template in 5 Minutes

To create a WordPress template (theme) in 5 minuets you will not start from scratch. There is no need for that when you want to quickly develop themes. The purpose of this article is to outline the fast track to theme creation (Not theme design, that is a different thing).

The benefit is a new theme ready for styling within minuets. It’s a jump start for designers and folks with low tech skills or interests. In other words, if you don’t want to deal with complex code. And you just want to spend time designing or making minor changes.

In many cases you are the developer for someone else, and a client wants something original. Or you want to sell templates to make some cash. This should be all you need.

Don’t worry about copyright issues, this is Open Source Software under the GNU General Public License . Read more about what this means. Simply put, you can sell your custom themes. But this is not a substitute for legal advice. Review the license with an Attorney please.

The simplest way to create themes.

Start with the default theme provided by WordPress. Use an FTP program and grab the style.css file. This file can be found in the themes folder under default. The themes folder is in the wp-content folder.

Next, open the file in your favorite IDE or plain Notepad. Edit the line that says “Theme Name” to the new theme name you want. This is usually the second line from the top in this file. When you’re done, save your changes and upload the file back to the default folder.

Updating the other info in this file is highly recommended. Changing the name of the default folder is probably a good idea also. That’s it, you’ve just created a new theme. If you go to Appearance->Themes in the WP Admin, you should see the default theme with the new name you gave it. If you edited the other info in the CSS file and renamed the default folder, you will see the new Author’s name, and folder name as well.

Pretty simple wasn’t it. But it wouldn’t be fair to leave you with just that. Some additional edits might be necessary for complete branding of your new theme.

Some additional edits on the new theme

Open Appearance->Editor in WP Admin. On the fourth line from the top in every PHP file, you will see this: * @subpackage Default_Theme. You can change the words Default_Theme to the name of your new template. Do this for every PHP file if you want, but lines 2 to 5 can be deleted with no consequences.

Also open the RTL stylesheet (CSS file). Go ahead and edit the first three lines to reflect the normal stylesheet. Now you can spend all the time you want editing style.css and theme files to suit your needs.

In a future post I will outline some advance theme editing methods that will greatly change the look and function of a theme.