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I've recently ventured into the world of CMS, and I'm used to editing everything by hand with an editor like Sublime Text 2, my personal favorite.

Do we do this in Wordpress, if I wanted to customize a theme? Or do we do it all through the Dashboard?

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3 Answers 3

This answer assumes that by dashboard, you're pointing to the in-built editor accessible from under Appearance > Editor

You can use whatever editor you like, they are just normal php files. Open your wordpress install folder, go to "wp-content/themes/". That directory has all the files. If it's hosted on some other server you may need FTP access

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As @tocho mentioned, it is pretty straightforward to edit any WP site.

Before you really dig in deep, you should check out the theme development article in the WP codex: http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development

Good luck.

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Since you are here at Stackexchange, I'd suspect you may have experience with php, html and css. If so, you could edit in the editor, or you might remotely manage the theme files via ftp with your text editor of preference. I use dreamweaver more out of habit than anything.

That said, some themes (not sure what you are using) enable you to edit the theme while logged in through the dashboard. Some let you make slight changes or adjustments to things like the header, while others let you design and customize almost everything (ex Headway themes).

My point is that the answer to your question will partly depend on your experience level, experience or strengths with the tools and code you know or use, and also may depend on the theme environment that you are using. A php novice can do amazing things in Headway themes without ever having to type any php for example. (Not recommending Headway, its just the easiest example. Thesis or StudioPress themes give you a lesser degree of theme customization as well).

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