WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores
Illustration by John Hersey

WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Installing and setting up NetBeans or another IDE

The final step in setting up a development environment on your My chosen option is called NetBeans, and it's open From here, I get to choose what type of project this
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. What to know before you start this course
      2m 40s
    3. How this course and the lesson files work
      3m 12s
    4. Introducing Simone: A preview of the final project
      3m 59s
  2. 21m 28s
    1. Installing and running WordPress on your computer
      3m 53s
    2. Getting and installing Underscores
      4m 11s
    3. Installing WordPress Theme Unit Test data
      4m 18s
    4. Installing the Developer plugin
      2m 58s
    5. Installing and setting up NetBeans or another IDE
      6m 8s
  3. 16m 15s
    1. Designing for mobile, content, and style
      4m 52s
    2. How do WordPress themes work?
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding the WordPress template hierarchy
      2m 19s
    4. Underscores: An overview
      4m 16s
  4. 37m 5s
    1. Setting up style.css
      4m 47s
    2. Configuring baseline settings and functions
      6m 6s
    3. Enabling custom fonts and font icons
      5m 44s
    4. Applying global styles
      5m 11s
    5. Styling basic layout components
      6m 19s
    6. Making the site layout responsive
      8m 58s
  5. 23m 18s
    1. Styling the default header
      6m 25s
    2. Hiding the site title and tagline
      5m 32s
    3. Adding an optional header image function
      5m 23s
    4. Placing the header image behind the site title
      5m 58s
  6. 40m 55s
    1. Setting up menus
      3m 12s
    2. Styling the menu
      7m 42s
    3. Using Superfish for accessible menus
      8m 0s
    4. Making the menu responsive
      7m 3s
    5. Creating a custom social media menu
      5m 51s
    6. Styling the menu with icons from Font Awesome
      9m 7s
  7. 18m 9s
    1. Adding the search form
      6m 27s
    2. Adding the search icon
      6m 55s
    3. Adding show/hide functionality to the search form with jQuery
      4m 47s
  8. 33m 20s
    1. Adding a widgetized area to the footer
      7m 10s
    2. Using the Monster widget plugin to test all widgets
      2m 11s
    3. Styling the footer
      3m 6s
    4. General widget styling
      5m 33s
    5. Adding custom styles to specific widgets
      7m 34s
    6. Using Masonry to make footer widgets responsive
      7m 46s
  9. 54m 49s
    1. Changing the Single Post Template content structure
      5m 54s
    2. Changing the output of meta elements
      7m 2s
    3. Styling the Single Post Template
      7m 57s
    4. Making post meta responsive
      6m 21s
    5. Styling blockquotes
      5m 39s
    6. Creating pull quotes and pull images
      5m 1s
    7. Working with image captions
      4m 27s
    8. Working with image galleries
      4m 57s
    9. Single-post navigation
      7m 31s
  10. 30m 23s
    1. Working with the comments template
      8m 42s
    2. Using Gravatars in comments
      2m 42s
    3. Styling comments
      7m 26s
    4. Highlighting post author comments
      3m 36s
    5. Styling the comment form and messages
      7m 57s
  11. 18m 43s
    1. How do featured images (post thumbnails) work?
      2m 57s
    2. Defining featured image sizes
      3m 30s
    3. Generating new featured images with a plugin
      1m 46s
    4. Adding featured images to a template
      5m 7s
    5. Styling the featured image
      5m 23s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. The index template hierarchy
      2m 21s
    2. Customizing and styling index templates
      10m 10s
    3. Displaying excerpts or full content on index pages
      3m 6s
    4. Adding a custom Read More link
      3m 48s
    5. Adding featured images
      4m 0s
    6. Creating custom pagination navigation
      6m 4s
    7. Highlighting Sticky Posts
      2m 55s
    8. Creating custom post format templates
      5m 30s
    9. Highlighting the most recent post in the index template
      7m 22s
    10. Embracing modular design
      2m 29s
    11. Working with archive.php
      5m 54s
    12. Customizing the search results and the 404 template
      8m 28s
  13. 9m 7s
    1. Styling pages
      3m 4s
    2. Creating custom page templates
      6m 3s
  14. 4m 30s
    1. Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
      4m 30s
  15. 2m 20s
    1. Further learning
      2m 20s

Watch every course in the library with a lynda.com membership.
Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch With Underscores
6h 23m Advanced Jun 11, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Ready for your next WordPress challenge? Learn how to build more complex custom themes using the _s (aka Underscores) starter theme. Morten Rand-Hendriksen takes you from basic layout and customization to enabling advanced responsive design and accessibility features. He reinforces the basics lessons with DRY (don't repeat yourself) development practices and a structured approach that will help you build WordPress themes that meet modern standards. Plus, he'll explore core concepts like understanding the WordPress template hierarchy, creating functions, adding custom JavaScript, applying styles, and more.

Topics include:
  • Installing WordPress, Underscores, plugins, and NetBeans
  • Designing for mobile, content, and style
  • Setting up the basic theme
  • Building a custom header
  • Designing responsive, accessible menus
  • Adding a custom search form
  • Using and styling widgets
  • Adjusting the Single Post Template
  • Working with comments, featured images, index templates, and static pages
  • Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
WordPress underscores
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Installing and setting up NetBeans or another IDE

The final step in setting up a development environment on your computer is to install and set up a proper development application. While you can develop WordPress themes using a simple text editor, it's much more effective to use a full-scale IDE to do this job. An IDE or Integrated Development Environment, is an advanced text editor that has additional features like function tracking, syntax highlighting, code debugging, and so on. As you progress through this course, you'll see me using an IDE and you'll see why it comes in so handy, so getting one installed right now, off the top, is a really good idea.

Traditionally, when we speak of IDEs, you're probably thinking of Dreamweaver and yes, Dreamweaver is an IDE, but it's more focused on what's known as WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get type editing. That doesn't really work all that well for advanced WordPress development. You're better suited getting a proper IDE that focuses mainly on code, and then use your browser as the WYSIWYG component of your platform. There are several different IDEs that you can choose from here.

One popular option that's a premium option, so it's for pay, it's known as PhpStorm and it's very popular in the WordPress community. It also recently introduced very advanced WordPress integrations, so if you want all the features that you can get from a premium application, PhpStorm is a great option. Another option is Eclipse. Many people are big fans of Eclipse. Personally, I don't really like it because it's very large and clunky, and can be a bit confusing to work with. My chosen option is called NetBeans, and it's open source and available both for Mac, and PC, and Linux.

So if you want to follow this course and see exactly what I am seeing, you need to install NetBeans, and you can get it straight from netbeans.org. Here if you go to the Download option, you see you have several versions of NetBeans, and what you want here is this All option that has everything. If you're on a Mac, you can simply download it straight from here and it should just work. If you're on a Windows computer, you also need to install what's known as JDK, which is a a Java environment for NetBeans to work within. So if you just download NetBeans here and you don't already have JDK installed on your computer, you'll have to redo the whole process.

So it's actually much easier to scroll down and find the link where it says JDK 7 and later versions are required, etc. Then follow this link at the bottom, that takes you to an Oracle website and from here, you can download both JDK and NetBeans at the same time. So here you need to pick the correct platform that you want to install this application on, download it to your computer and install NetBeans. Once NetBeans is installed, you can boot it up, and now I'm going to show you exactly why this application is so powerful and why you should be using a proper IDE.

So first, I need to set up my project. So, the project is the full application that I'm going to be working with, so it's not just the theme, it's actually all of WordPress. So I'll create a new project by going up to the top here and clicking on the New Project button. From here, I get to choose what type of project this is, so this will be a PHP application, and I'll click Next. Then I have to give my project a name, so I'm going to call it My Simone, which is the name of my theme. And then instead of setting up a new project from scratch, I'm going to to use this Sources folder here to browse to the location of WordPress installed under Wamp.

So on my computer, this would be under C and then under wamp, and then under www, and here you see we have WordPress. So here it's important that you target the main folder that contains all of WordPress, that means WP admin, WP content, WP includes, and all the other files, and you'll see why in a second. So now open that, I can finish the process, and now NetBeans sets up a project for me. So here I can close the Navigator, and I'll make a little less space here, and here, you see, it also opens the index.php file for me right away, which I don't need.

So, I'm going to close these two windows and now I'm going to show you why NetBeans' so powerful. So if I want to work on a theme, let's say the theme I just installed, I can now go to My Simone > Source Files and then wp-content here, and then Themes, and here I find My Simone. Now, I can open My Simone and go to any of the files within here. So let's say I want to make a change to the content.php folder. Here you see all the code that's in that file, and you'll notice that within WordPress, you have a lot of these WordPress template tags.

They look like this. It says wp_link_pages. Now, this is a function that's been defined within the application itself, and sometimes I may wonder, huh, what is it this wp_link_pages function does? Well, when you're using an IDE like NetBeans, you can go directly to the source of this function simply by holding down Ctrl on a Windows computer or Cmd on a Mac and hovering over a function. And if you just hover over it, you get an explanation of what the function is, and if you click on it, the application will actually open the template that that function was created in.

And this is extremely powerful when you start working with several different files that are interconnected with each other because you can use the application to jump between the different files and find what you're looking for. And as we progress through this course, you'll see me do this several times, and I'll give you some techniques and tips on how to make the process as easy as possible. So before we go any further, set up your IDE, set up the WordPress install as your project, and make sure you get all of WordPress inside your project. And then, we'll get started building themes from scratch with underscores.

There are currently no FAQs about WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.