Join Carrie Dils for an in-depth discussion in this video Why build a theme from scratch?, part of WordPress and Genesis: Building Child Themes from Scratch.
- There are hundreds of themes available for the Genesis Framework. So you might wonder why someone would bother creating a theme from scratch, versus just customizing a theme that already exists. Well, the benefits of starting with simply a blank file and a code editor, is that you don't carry over any unnecessary code. You only create the code that you need. On the other hand of course, the benefit of starting with an existing theme, is that you can reuse code you've already written, speeding up your development process. So, which is better? Well, there are a lot of opinions on that, but here's the general guideline I recommend.
Ask yourself, where are you in your development journey? If you're brand new to child theming, I don't recommend starting from scratch. Find a Genesis child theme that most closely resembles the end result you want, and then customize it to match exactly what you need. Over time, you'll develop a level of comfort working with theme files, and a basic understanding of working with the unique hooks and filters found in Genesis. If you're already comfortable modifying the existing themes, I'd definitely recommend starting from scratch, at least once.
It doesn't have to be complex, or even for a real project. But building a theme from the ground up will help you submit your knowledge. As you add only the code you need to get the result you want, you'll gain a far deeper understanding of the Genesis Framework. That's what we'll focus on in this course. Finally, if you're really finding your groove as a developer, create your own starter theme. There's no need to reinvent the wheel every time you build a new theme. As a developer, you'll have elements you always like to incorporate. By including these in your starter theme, you'll save yourself time with each new project.
So, in this course, I won't show you every last thing you could possibly do as part of a theme customization. Rather, I want to explain the "why" behind the basic elements that make up a Genesis child theme.
- Why build a theme from scratch?
- Creating a theme folder
- Creating the CSS and PHP files
- Adding a theme setup function
- Adding features and functionality to your child theme
- Styling the theme
- Adding content to widgets
- Making the theme responsive with media queries