I know this topic is probably beat to death and I have beat almost all of my resources to death trying to figure this all out.
So I am a Ruby on Rails developer that's trying to create a wordpress site for my wife. She currently has a wordpress site but its completely out of date and she way overpaid for a purchased theme to be used and the monthly hosting fee is just crazy.
So I have a VPS with InMotionHosting and have wordpress installed. All the tutorials and videos I've found online just point to buying a theme and customizing it as far as you can with the "customizer" within wp-admin. I have searched for free themes but all these "free" themes are extremely limited on what you can customize within wp-admin to the point you have to buy the theme to get anywhere.
I know Ruby and the Ruby on Rails framework and I KNOW there's got to be more to building a decent wordpress website than just buying a theme and drag and dropping elements. I know PHP is used but once again I can open the themes with my code editor but not sure if this is how I need to be able to customize it.
Please any help would be greatly appreciated.