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I am new in WP but I 've good knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, my PhP knowledge merely covers some basics. I also have good knowledge of Joomla but I wanted to give WP a chance.

I need to make a website for a client and I was wondering if it is easier to make it with custom theme instead of child theme.

The reason brought me to that question is that I need to make a unique look so started a Lynda(dot com) lesson for child themes but I quickly felt distressed from the fact that it seemed to me I needed to move around a lot of things with PhP or to play with it so to be able to make the possible changes I need.

By looking of the contents of the Custom Theme lesson (in lynda) it seems there is no php requirement but I am not quite sure (I cannot watch the videos unless I pay).

The website is going to be a simple 5-6 pages and then a blog function will be added later. However, I don't know if there are other parameters I should take care of, such as a secondary menu navigation (TwentyTwelve doesn't offer any -I think-), or if I should be aware of plugin implementation to custom theme.

I have looked around for this matter but I needed an opinion from more experienced users. What would you suggest of me doing?

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2 Answers 2

If PHP is your worry...

... I quickly felt distressed from the fact that it seemed to me I needed to move around a lot of things with PhP or to play with it so to be able to make the possible changes I need.

... you are going to have trouble with either a child theme or a stand-alone theme. Both are PHP, and a lot of it, though perhaps not difficult PHP, depending on what you are trying to do. Beyond that, I don't have a general answer for you. If you had a specific question about a specific problem maybe we could get somewhere.

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It's easier to start with a Child theme, because a good Parent theme can provide a lot of options in the back-end, like position of elements, colors etc, which you can change to get near the look you're looking for. Also, it could be that there's a good plugin which can help you achieve what you want.

To do bigger changes, you just have to learn some PHP. Don't worry, it's not that complicated. It's stuff like functions, conditionals, some basic OOP. Don't let all of that scare you.

So, if you want as little of PHP as possible, get a good Parent theme. Change what you can in the backend, and make a Child theme to add/remove elements from specific areas.


For example, if the Parent theme has a file like element-excerpt.php, it most probably deals only with exerpts, like on archive pages. Want to remove the thumbnail image? Just copy the file into child-theme folder, locate and remove the_post_thumbnail(); and you're done. For anything else, just Google it.

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