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Starting with a base project

From: WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

Video: Starting with a base project

With the design of our Homepage complete in Photoshop, we're ready to start converting it into an actual website. My workflow is generally to convert a design first into HTML and CSS rather than go directly to the CMS. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, it keeps us focused on the task at hand. Our primary task right now is to convert our design into the best possible HTML and CSS as we can, and dealing with WordPress right now might become a distraction. Number two, it keeps us CMS agnostic.

Starting with a base project

With the design of our Homepage complete in Photoshop, we're ready to start converting it into an actual website. My workflow is generally to convert a design first into HTML and CSS rather than go directly to the CMS. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, it keeps us focused on the task at hand. Our primary task right now is to convert our design into the best possible HTML and CSS as we can, and dealing with WordPress right now might become a distraction. Number two, it keeps us CMS agnostic.

So if sometime late in the process, unfortunately, if we were to switch away from WordPress and use some other software, we'd still have this to come back to and it's going to be a lot easier to convert HTML and CSS to a new software than it would be to convert an existing theme into new software. So to start all my projects, I have this folder setup called BASE and I am going to go ahead and Option+Drag copy this to our desktop. It's just a starter project for all the projects I do, and you can see what's inside of it over here.

There is a CSS folder, an Images folder, a JS folder for JavaScript, and then just an index.html file. The text editor we are going to be using in this course is TextMate and it's kind of cool. I can drag this whole folder down into the TextMate icon in our dock and it's going to open up this thing as a project in TextMate. So it's kind of neat. You can see the insides of this folder over here in the project drawer. I can click the index.html file to open up that. This is what it's giving us.

There is a DOCTYPE, we're using the HTML5 doc type, and yes, we are going to be writing this theme, this whole project in HTML5. We're not going to dig super deep into the feature set of HTML5, but we are going to use some new elements and some touches of it here and there. There is a title of the page, which we'll ultimately be changing to Widget Corp. Links out to a style.css file. This bit of JavaScript right here enables HTML5 to work in older browsers to style those elements, and we link out to a copy of jQuery in a local JavaScript file.

We won't be dealing with JavaScript right now but we will touch on it later in this course. Now, then we have an opening body tag, a closing body tag, and a closing HTML tag. This is where we will begin starting our markup. The last point I'd like to make here is regarding workflow. If you've done this a bunch of times, you're super comfortable with WordPress, you're super comfortable with HTML. Feel free to jump straight from the Photoshop design right into the theming. If you want to do that, you can go ahead and start in Chapter 3 of this course.

I personally like to start this way if I possibly can, if there is enough time in the project to do that. If your time constraints are shorter, feel free to make that jump but for the reasons we covered earlier here, I prefer to start writing static HTML and CSS. So now that we have a solid plan and a good working environment, we'll start writing some markup.

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Image for WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

40 video lessons · 52099 viewers

Chris Coyier
Author

 
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  1. 6m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      5m 25s
  2. 40m 42s
    1. Reviewing the client spec and deciding on WordPress
      6m 50s
    2. Reviewing assets and resources and creating a mood board
      8m 41s
    3. Building a home page mockup
      11m 26s
    4. Finishing the home page
      12m 27s
    5. Planning the rest of the site
      1m 18s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Starting with a base project
      3m 6s
    2. Writing HTML code for the home page
      12m 7s
    3. Starting the CSS: Creating the header and basic style structure
      11m 28s
    4. Styling the Navigation panel
      10m 59s
    5. Styling the sidebar
      7m 55s
    6. Styling the home page, pt. 1
      8m 20s
    7. Styling the home page, pt. 2
      8m 17s
    8. Finishing the CSS
      3m 14s
    9. Moving on: One page is enough
      2m 43s
  4. 1h 56m
    1. Setting up WordPress and MAMP on a Mac
      6m 7s
    2. Setting up WordPress and WAMP on a Windows computer
      5m 38s
    3. Modifying important settings
      6m 26s
    4. Starting with a blank theme template
      4m 35s
    5. Introducing template file structure
      4m 55s
    6. Breaking up the HTML
      9m 53s
    7. Building the sidebar
      3m 54s
    8. Building the navigation
      7m 20s
    9. Showing one recent post
      4m 1s
    10. Fetching external content
      8m 23s
    11. Creating a custom home page
      3m 30s
    12. Introducing custom fields
      5m 23s
    13. Creating custom product pages
      9m 52s
    14. Creating custom category pages
      15m 39s
    15. Creating the blog home page
      5m 39s
    16. Creating a single blog entry page
      4m 15s
    17. Implementing comments
      5m 57s
    18. Finishing the home page
      4m 45s
  5. 34m 17s
    1. Will this work with WordPress?
      3m 10s
    2. Using JavaScript in themes the right way
      8m 35s
    3. Implementing something fun with JavaScript
      7m 53s
    4. Introducing plug-ins
      6m 31s
    5. Setting up security
      8m 8s
  6. 2m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 7s

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