What is a WordPress Theme?

 

A WordPress theme provides all of the front end stylings of your WordPress site.

 


Most WordPress themes provide:

 

  • the overall design or style of your site
  • font styling
  • colors
  • widget locations
  • page layouts (or templates)
  • styles for blog posts and blog archives
  • additional stylistic details

WordPress site — are the popular content management system’s absolute powerhouse feature. Combined with WordPress’s powerful platform architecture, its robust themes allow for limitless customization.


WordPress lists four key benefits of WordPress Themes:

 

Themes separate the presentation and display from the system files or the actual content so that you can change the visual presentation with minimal issues.

Themes often have robust settings to enable or disable additional functionality built into the themes. Theme designers will often include the means to include galleries or sliders.

Themes often have settings to modify the design and layout of the site easily.

Well-developed themes remove the need for WordPress administrators to learn CSS, HMTL or PHP to make site modifications.

 


What is: Default Theme

 

WordPress comes with a default theme to display the front-end of the website. This is the first theme that you see when you first install WordPress. The user can then replace it with any other WordPress theme.

The default WordPress theme is used to showcase the features of WordPress, so it is usually featured rich and can be used to create the most basic websites. The default theme also serves the purpose of a fallback theme. In case a user’s installed WordPress theme gets deleted or something goes wrong, then WordPress automatically falls back to the default theme.


WordPress Theme files:

 

WordPress only requires two files for a theme. The first file is a style.css file that describes the WordPress theme. WordPress reads the theme description using a series of comments that start the stylesheet:

The additional file needed is the index.php file that contains your Loop to display the content published in WordPress.


WordPress Template parts :

 

Not all WordPress Template files contain every element of your design. As you look at a common site, you’ll notice that there are four basic sections of a common page:

Content — the content that you’re producing specific to that page, post or archive.

header.php — the common design at the top of each of your pages, posts or archives.

footer.php — the common design at the base of each of your pages, posts or archives.

sidebar.php — the common design on the side of each of your pages, posts or archives.

searchform.php — the search form used within your template.
{part}.php — this can be any custom part used throughout your template, perhaps a call-to-action or a secondary sidebar.


WordPress Site Template Pages :

 

While WordPress started as a blogging platform, writing posts isn’t necessary to publish a WordPress site. If you’re not planning on using WordPress for blogging, the following template files can be customized for specific designs:

404.php — a design for when your content is not found, known as a 404 status error.

front-page.php — used if you’re designating a static page in your WordPress > Settings > Reading settings.

home.php — the default design for your home page.

page.php — the default page design.

page-{slug}.php — will apply this template design to the page with the matching URL slug.

search.php — the default search results page design.

 


WordPress Blog Template Pages:

 

If you’re going to blog as well, you have many more theme template options that you can develop:

archive.php — the default design to display posts by category, by author, or by date if no other templates are designed.

archive-{post-type}.php — if you’re implementing Custom Post Types, this is how you can customize the design for the archive listing.

attachment.php — the default design to display an attachment that’s been uploaded to the media library (other than an image).

author.php — the default design for a single author.

category.php — the default design to display posts for a category.

comments.php — the default commenting template used throughout the blog.

date.php — the default design to display posts by date, if used in the permalink structure.

image.php — the default design to display an image that’s been uploaded to the media library.

single.php — the default design for a single post.

single-{post-type}.php — if you’re implementing Custom Post Types, this is how you can customize the design for the single version.

tag.php — the default design to display an archive of posts by tag.

taxonomy.php — the default design to display an archive of posts by a custom taxonomy.


 

WordPress Child Theme :

 

A child theme in WordPress is a sub-theme that inherits all the functionality, features, and style of its parent theme. Child themes are a safe way to modify a WordPress theme without actually making any changes to the parent theme’s files. When the parent theme gets updated, changes made in the child theme are preserved and applied on the updated version as well. This is why child themes are the safest and best way to make changes to an existing theme. Rather than modifying theme files directly you can simply override them with the templates in the child theme.

In order to make a child theme you must create a folder in your themes directory for your new theme. In this folder the only file you need is style.css. In the header of the style.css file you can specify the parent theme by adding a template line into the comment code where the theme name is written. Because this style sheet is included after the style sheet of the parent it will override any styles in the parent theme’s style.css file.

In order to apply the modifications, the child theme has to be activated. The parent theme will still include any functionality that hasn’t been overwritten by the child theme.

There are thousands of themes available for WordPress. You can see many of them in the WordPress.org theme directory. And, using the files and tips noted here, you can tailor them to meet your exact needs.

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