I want to learn how to create a theme for WordPress.

Where can I find information and resources on how to do it?

  • You may want to check the tutorials that are compatible with the new Twenty Ten theme.
    – James
    Aug 11, 2010 at 21:56

8 Answers 8


There are many different ways to learn to create your own theme.

  1. First, there's the "official" WordPress Codex on Developing Themes, but I'd say that it is more of a reference than a tutorial.

  2. Another approach and one I like a lot is to read some of the better tutorials about WordPress Theming on the various blogs around the web. Here are some reasonably good ones, in no particular order:

  3. Yet another option is to check out some of the videos/screencasts on the subject such as this series of videos/screenacasts which I've found to be one of the better ones:

  4. Then of course there are the books you can get, if you must go this route (be sure to hunt for the used ones on Amazon; they are often much cheaper than new):


  5. Lastly you can hang out here and ask questions and/or any of these other places where there are always WordPress-istas willing to help:

    • WordPress Group on LinkedIn - for WordPress users, developers, and consultants, to connect, and to share ideas, questions, and contacts.
    • WP Tavern Forum - forum with various sections for discussion including topics such as general WordPress, business, plugins and hacks, resources and tutorials, themes and templates, and troubleshooting.
    • WP Garage - mailing list at Yahoo which provides advice and answers to questions relating to WordPress.

Hope this helps!


There are many different resources and tutorials on creating your own theme, particularly in series which cover starting out with WP to creating a themes options panel. A few good resources:

This Nettuts+ article also contains a selection of great links to WP theme tutorials.


The official place to start would be: http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development Another good article with various resources from smashing magazine is here


While I've worked through some of the Wordpress Codex tutorials and reference material, the best resource I've found so far is a book that I can heartily recommend:

Smashing Wordpress: Beyond the Blog (Amazon link).

It walks you through which files to amend, how to properly ('safely') change the xhtml, php, css to effect changes throughout. On-line tutorials and references are somewhat easier to get hold of, but I enjoy reading off-line and remember more from hard-copy for whatever reason. Bear in mind, though, that this is the only Wordpress book I've bought recently, so my sample size is ridiculously small.


The best place to start is the WordPress Codex. It has several tutorials that walk you through templating, building the loop, and customizing your theme to do whatever you need it to do.


This is also a great resource for starting out with theme development: http://themeshaper.com/wordpress-themes-templates-tutorial/


Here is a very clean tutorial step by step on how to create a theme:



A nice Tutorial I got was Ian Stewart's Theme Development Tutorial:

WordPress Theme Templates : Templates Tutorial — ThemeShaper.com

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