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I have recently decided to step into WordPress but I am needing to create a few themes for eCommerce that are currently built in Open Cart. My experience from eCommerce comes from Open Cart but I am completely new to using one for WordPress. After a few months of research I decided I would like to try and create my own theme from the Woo theme Mystile. My questions are followed:

  1. If making a custom theme is the preferred method to only modify the custom.css?
  2. When updates are released for their themes are they also updating the .css files or is there a standard set of files being updated?
  3. Woocommerce appears to not have a standard framework for customizing so is there a better alternative then using Mystile or Artificer?
  4. If using the custom.css to create a theme wouldn't that theme be considered a child?

EDIT:

  1. Is the preferred method to install the woo extension and build around Twenty Twelve?
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Is there any reason that you cannot make a standard Wordpress child theme for Mystile? –  boscho Jan 10 '13 at 23:20
    
I would like to learn how to build full themes and child themes. I can do a child theme but its more of a personal preference to use a woo theme as a framework. –  Matt Jan 10 '13 at 23:22
    
Why can't you use the Woo theme as a framework in your child theme? The Woo theme's functions.php file will still be loaded before your child theme's, so you'll still have access to all of the Woo theme's functionality... –  boscho Jan 11 '13 at 16:51
    
I was lead to believe a child can only change the CSS but not the positioning of the content. –  Matt Jan 11 '13 at 17:28
    
That is incorrect. If you read the Codex page on Child Themes you'll see that you can overwrite ANY template file with your own version, not to mention the ability to add new template files that didn't exist in the parent theme. Thus it is possible to make a child theme that looks, acts, and functions entirely different from its parent theme. Look at the differences between these eight different Twenty Eleven child themes, for instance. Or Google "Thematic Child Themes" to see some greater variance. –  boscho Jan 11 '13 at 22:34
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin and although it offers a great deal of filter hooks, function calls and theme support it's not technically a theme framework.

Generally speaking WooCommerce will work with just about any theme right out of the box. But it does support customizing it's own pages/layout by copying it's files to the theme folder. You can find the docs here at WooThemes.com.

If you need to do more than than that check out the API documentation here.

As with customizing any plugin/theme there are standard/best practices you should follow. Generally speaking you never want to directly edit files within the plugin/theme. These would normally be overwritten any time you updated the plugin/theme.

For themes you'd want to build a custom theme that adds your functionality/layout on top of and existing theme. Check the 'child theme' for best practices, guidelines, and layout.

To modify a plugin (i.e. WooCommerce) you'd either want to make changes within your own theme, child theme, or a custom plugin. Again that way you don't run the risk of your changes being over written when the plugin is updated.

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so would suggest then using the default theme and making a child theme after installing the plugin? –  Matt Jan 11 '13 at 19:52
    
Exactly, create a child theme and then customize (if needed) the WooCommerce layout by following the info in the links above. –  Stephen Jan 11 '13 at 22:55
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Well I wouldn't suggest to use woo theme as framework because then it's still not technical your theme. It really depends on your skills if your just an html/css person then I suggest using this plugin - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/options-framework/ to create the options you would like to have with your theme.

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I need a framework that already is setup for woo. Wouldn't it be difficult and backwards to use another framework plugin and the woo plugin? –  Matt Jan 11 '13 at 0:22
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