WordPress is no doubt the most popular platforms for creating blogs, and most self-hosted blogs use WordPress to support their private website or blog. The main reason that renders WordPress so successful is its system of templates. You will find thousands of free ones on WordPress and online nowadays.
The fact remains that if you want a unique theme for your website, there is no other better way than creating your own. Here are a few basic tips to understand how WordPress works, if you are planning to use it for professional reasons.
The themes available on WordPress are systems providing a standard layout, which will help give a character to your blog and a general background for your content. Within the theme you will find functions, template files, images and template tags. All you need to do to install a WordPress theme is to go into your administration page, upload the theme and activate it.
Most WordPress pages are made up of a header, sidebar, footer and the content area. Al these fields are separate files, which can be included in your template files. You can add other elements in addition to the basic ones, being additional side bars and advertisement space.
Different template files are used according to the page you are interested in. If you are creating a style sheet, you will only be able to use the index.php; however you will be neglecting the implementation of custom options, which are those that render a theme more user-friendly.
The loop in WordPress includes a series of functions that will display your blog posts and anything that is closely related to these, such as tags, the title, author the categories you have chosen, as well as other similar elements.
You can customize the loop according to your requirements, but you will need to read more information that is provided on the WordPress page. If you wish to use more sophisticated tools, such as front page multiple loops, browse through some tutorials you can find on forums and blogs.
The template tags are PHP snippets, which are needed to view information on the blog. Check the WordPress documentation to find out more about template tags and those available.
You have various tools to develop your theme on WordPress, and the best way to choose which theme will suit your blog best is to test the environment in which you will be using the theme. You should focus on developing your own custom WordPress theme off the web, using your own computer. To do this you have to transform your computer into a local server and install WordPress on your personal computer.
Get the latest version of WordPress and install it properly on your local test server. You will need to find out whether you will be using XAMP or MAMP for the installation process. When proceeding with the installation you will need sample content that will provide written material to your theme. You can do this by importing files from your computer by going into tools and then import of WordPress. Once you have tested your theme and are sure of its success, you can go online.