In my previous post on creating a theme, I deliberately kept things very simple in terms of both the design and the WordPress code (“the loop”).

One of the biggest strengths of WordPress is that a default install does give a nice looking blog. However, everyone else has the exact same nice looking blog and because of WordPress’ popularity, too many blogs all looking the same becomes not only boring but confusing for first-time visitors. Once people have been blogging for a little while, they quickly want to try new designs. There are some very nice freely available WordPress themes from minimal, pretty, dark to more complex ones. If you’re brand new to blogging, WordPress, web design and programming, starting off with someone else’s theme is probably the best way to learn.

However, changing the default (Kubrick) WordPress theme into your own design can be more hassle than it’s worth. The default theme has many template files and CSS bits and pieces to sort through and most of the time you’ll find yourself un-doing things, rather than creating them.

So, for the next step of this theme, I’ll need to think some more about what I want the pages of the blog to do, then figure out how to use WordPress code to get it to do this by either referring to the classic or default themes which come with WordPress and/or the WordPress documentation.

The things I’ll be doing are fairly common and copying and pasting across from the WordPress default themes will be the fastest way. The main thing to try and understand is the loop. If you delete part of that code, things will most likely break.

Things to initially get the theme to do:

  • Main page has:
    • a list of all the blog entries, titles of the posts go to their individual post pages (permalink)
    • display the number of comments on each post with a link to the comments section of the permalink page
    • At the bottom of the main page, display the number of pages of posts something like this: Page [1] 2 3 4
  • Permalink page has the post, then the comments, then the trackbacks, then the comment form.
  • Sidebar has information about me and a list of my favourite posts from my blog.
  • Footer has a contact form, a list of blogs I like to read, a list of my latest bookmarks.

Got any other suggestions for what the theme should do? Then the coding begins!

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