Resources for becoming a WordPress master
December 22, 2009 10:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the best resources (online or offline) for WordPress Theme development. Beginner to advanced -- I'm a sponge right now, so nothing is too dumb-downed or overly-technical for my consumption. What resources have you found to be most helpful on your quest to being a WordPress master?

If it matters, I'm a web designer by trade, and I know my way around PHP and mySQL just as well as CSS and XHTML. I'm equally as interested in learning backend stuff as I am design tips and tweaks. Thanks!
posted by c:\awesome to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Someone recommended it to me a few weeks ago and I'm in love with it. It's all about the sandbox. It's uh-may-zing.
posted by TomMelee at 10:10 AM on December 22, 2009

My favourite adresses for the useful but most often not too complicated tips to make a theme more useful:
WP Engineer
posted by ijsbrand at 10:40 AM on December 22, 2009

I had to create a Wordpress theme for a local business a few weeks ago and I found this to be very helpful.

A lot of it was more basic than I needed, but it was nice to put the thing together myself piece by piece instead of just screwing around with an existing theme to see what that-thing-there does. Sort of like assembling a piece of furniture. I understood how the whole thing worked better for having put it together.
posted by ZeroDivides at 11:00 AM on December 22, 2009

Themeshaper had a decent tutorial a few months back.
posted by anthom at 11:46 AM on December 22, 2009

A good framework as a base is a great start. Lately I'm partial to Hybrid, but Thematic is great too.

CSS Tricks is a great resource (some excellent Wordpress screencasts). The author of that site also has a book called Digging Into Wordpress - the website for the book is

Lastly, How To Be A Rockstar Wordpress Designer, seems like a pretty good introduction to Wordpress theming.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:04 PM on December 22, 2009

This is a year old but is a fairly good list: Smashing Magazine's WordPress Developer's Toolbox.
posted by camcgee at 2:56 PM on December 22, 2009

This tutorial on converting XHTML/CSS to WP is really basic, but it was just the thing I needed to get started; it helped me to understand how everything works and fits together. I used this as a jumping-off point. Once I created the index page, I felt more comfortable getting deeper into everything else, including functions and whatnot. Don't know if it'll be useful to you, though—I didn't know much about PHP/MySQL when I started. (But I did when I finished!)
posted by lovermont at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2009

Might be self-evident to say, but the best practice is experimentation. Pick a (free) theme you like, figure out how you'd like to alter it, and get to it. You'll learn a lot through trial and error. This might be more effective after going through the resources above though.
posted by daviss at 3:59 PM on December 22, 2009

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