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Theme Development

This article is about developing WordPress Themes. If you wish to learn more about how to install and use Themes, review Using Themes. This topic differs from Using Themes because it discusses the technical aspects of writing code to build your own Themes rather than how to activate Themes or where to obtain new Themes.

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Creating and Using Posts

Posts are entries that display in reverse order on your home page. Posts usually have comments fields beneath them and are included in your site's RSS feed. To write a post: Log in to your WordPress Administration Panel (Dashboard). Click…

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Theme Development Standards

WordPress Themes should be coded using the following standards:

  • Use well-structured, error-free PHP and valid HTML. See WordPress Coding Standards.
  • Use clean, valid CSS. See CSS Coding Standards.
  • Follow design guidelines in Site Design and Layout.
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Functions File

A theme can optionally use a functions file, which resides in the theme subdirectory and is named functions.php. This file basically acts like a plugin, and if it is present in the theme you are using, it is automatically loaded during WordPress initialization (both for admin pages and external pages). Suggested uses for this file:

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Template Files

Templates are PHP source files used to generate the pages requested by visitors, and are output as HTML. Template files are made up of HTML, PHP, and WordPress Template Tags.

Let’s look at the various templates that can be defined as part of a Theme.

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