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WordPress Themes: Start With a Solid Framework

WordPress ThemesWhy I Created a WordPress Theme Framework by Justin Tadlock is a good look at the reasons why WordPress Theme designers and developers should work with a framework when designing a WordPress Theme. A strong Theme framework creates a solid canvas upon which to build your WordPress Themes.

If you are or considering building WordPress Themes for public use, this is a good article to consider.

For more information on building WordPress Themes, see:

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted December 27, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I wanna learn about the themes more in my blog. if you i just want to add some buutons that i could not be on the right hand side nad in the blogroll also i could not be able to show my friends blogs in my wordpress site.. Please advice…


    • Posted December 27, 2008 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      If you do not want to show anyone your blog, make it private through your WordPress Administration Panels > Settings. If you would like to add buttons to your blog’s sidebar, you can use the Text Widget to add images wrapped in links to make them into clickable “buttons” that will direct your readers to a specific link. If you would like to learn more about Themes on, you can pay the 15 credit fee to use the Sandbox WordPress Theme and review the articles I’ve linked to within this article on how to style that Theme to meet your own design wishes.

  2. Posted December 27, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, Lorelle. Working with a framework has made my life so much easier as a theme author. It has allowed me to put together projects much more quickly than normal.

    Anyone serious about building WordPress themes should definitely consider building a theme framework or at least taking a look at the coding standards that most of us building them try to adhere to.

  3. Posted December 29, 2008 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you for these wonderful links will check them out. I noticed that the very first link to “WordPress Template Files” doesn’t work because there is no “r” in the .org extension.

    Once again thank you very much, this is very useful.

  4. Posted December 31, 2008 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the link Lorelle, it looks interesting! 🙂

  5. Posted July 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I am finally making the leap from WP hosted to self-hosted and have been reading your theme tips in preparation. I can see the design I want in my head but don’t have the graphic creation skills I need. So I decided to shop around for blog designers but they are all in the $2000.00 range and that is just to rich for me.

    With your tips I figure I can tweak a theme by myself to save that $2K, but how can I find someone just to create the graphics (for background page, etc) that I have in my head. Are there such services that just do this only for bloggers?

    Also I was just curious how you came about all of your great tips useful for WP.Org yet you are using a WP hosted blog?

    Thanks in advance

    • Posted July 21, 2009 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      LOL. I’ve been working with all versions of WordPress almost since it’s earliest versions. I was asked to test drive the new in the beginning. Never judge a blogger by their hosting service. 😀

      There are many designers out there. I’m not sure of the going rate for their services for what you are looking for as I’m not sure what designs you have in your head. I’d start by researching what is already out there and available, and find out who designed it and ask. Or start playing around with design software to learn how to create your end goal, just as you decided to learn HTML and CSS, which most people think is easy and can be very complicated, so take care not to make too many assumptions.

      There are tons of graphic designs licensed for free non-commercial usage and some for commercial-who-cares-what-you-do licenses. Maybe something might come close until you find someone to do it better and more affordable. There are also many graphic design students looking for work to put on their resume. Also remember, you get what you pay for.

      A blog is about content, not design, which is important to remember. Many of the most successful blogs in the world, including many of mine, have been ugly for a long time before they were pretty. Content will always win over an ugly design, as long as the design doesn’t interfere with the content.

  6. Posted July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think you are telling me that there ARE just graphic designers both pro and students. Since I cannot draw nor do I know how to do computer graphics I will continue the search on my own to locate some one who can translate my graphic ideas to the screen for my background page and header. I just wasn’t sure those type of folks existed and thought you might have some recommendations in this field based on your experience. I will make the search on my own and do the rest.

    I am well aware of the existence of Blog designers, and as I said in my original question, the research I did do resulted in my concluding that approx $2000. (the average) was out of my price range for the ENTIRE BLOG DESIGN. So I was just asking if pros exists just to handle the graphics portions of a blog — specifically the header and background image.

    Content is not an issue for me. If I had nothing to write about I would not venture to blog. And I am NOT naive enough to think it doesn’t matter. Also I prefer my blog to look nice and not lousy. I want content AND design and plan to get both. I just have to get it done on a budget!(SMILE) I see no reason to have just one or the other but you are entitled to you opinion as am I.

    Again, thank you for your prompt response.

    • Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      There are many web designers who will work for less. There are also many graphic designers who will also work within your budget or hit up graphic design students to see if they are willing to do it for much less or free in order to get the resume credit. There are a lot of options. There are over 5,000 WordPress Themes available for free, which could work for you as a framework with a little cheap tweaking, which would also reduce your costs.

      There are millions of people looking for cheap and beautiful web designs, and a change in the industry as many web designers are now “social media experts” so it’s hard to find someone good (and cheap), but there are still options.

      Also remember that some of the best and most popular sites on the web are ugly. And I mean REALLY ugly. But if you have a specific look in mind, then start digging around graphic designers and such and you will find someone who can help you. Sorry I don’t have any recommendations.

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