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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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.
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: