Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes

Build Your Own Wicked Wordpress Themes

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Product Description

Wicked WordPress Themes is a step-by-step guide to creating beautiful themes for the world's most popular CMS, WordPress.

By following the book's advice, readers can produce designs that are aesthetically stunning, consistent, and for-purpose -whether it's for their own use, or to drive a high price on the theme marketplace.

All facets of theme design are covered: from design, coding, and deployment, to ensuring readers' designs are ready-to-go as soon as they're installed.

Wicked WordPress Themes teaches readers how to leverage theme design frameworks to dramatically shorten development time, enabling them to enter the theme market faster.


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  1. Jason E. Rice says


    I received the book Friday afternoon (8/20/2010) and finished reading it Sunday (8/22/2010), and my head is still spinning … but in a good way. I am about three weeks new to WordPress, and I have to say that it’s overwhelming trying to learn about everything that makes it what it is. I had been reading through the codex ([…]), which is a tremendous resource by the WordPress folks, but it has been difficult for me to tie it all together. This book is a great primer to theme building with WordPress and will help you to understand the main components that make up the WordPress software, and it does so in a pleasant and organized way. I dabble in web design, but my profession is that of web development and programming, and I’m pleased to say that this book, while aimed at web designers, will encourage the curiosity of developers alike.

    I had some reservations about the book having four authors, as the flow of a tech book doesn’t always work when there are too many “experts” coming to the table. I’m pleased to say that the book flows quite well, and the language and format with which the authors use to explain theme building is mostly consistent and cohesive. The only problem I had was in chapter 7: Theme Options, as it felt like the author of this chapter was jumping around a bit and not quite as organized and detailed with some of the explanations, and perhaps rushing a bit. Otherwise, I now feel much more confident in WordPress and theme building from not only a 10,000 foot view, but a 1,000 foot view as well. As with anything tech, you have to “pop the hood”, and get your hands dirty, and I now feel like I can thanks to this book.

    The book is broken into 8 chapters … interestingly, each chapter fundamentally builds upon the last, but you could easily make a quick pass through the book to get familiarized with WordPress and themes, and then use it as a high-level reference thereafter (and using the codex will probably make much more sense after moving through this book). The chapters are:

    1. Introducing WordPress

    2. Planning Your Theme

    3. Theme Design 101

    4. Theme Frameworks

    5. Advanced Theme Construction

    6. Widgets

    7. Theme Options

    8. Selling Your Theme

    I bought this book with two ideas in mind: learn about the “guts” of WordPress from a high level, and understand what goes into a WordPress theme to eventually make and sell them, and the book moves you forward in the right direction. This book, IMO, does a very good job of covering a great deal of ground in a short amount of time. I have only started to work on converting my business website to WordPress, but this book, and the information in it, has given me the confidence to play and experiment, and really go after the inner workings of the Thematic framework.

    Thanks to SitePoint for a great book on the topic!

  2. C. Miller says


    I am now officially pleased I was able to read and review Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes by a grouping of authors: Allan Cole, Raena Jackson Armitage, Brandon R Jones and Jeffrey Way.

    This book definitely took my thoughts on WordPress theme design to new levels while simplifying the entire process. The book is made to teach you how to design, build and sell your own themes. But, it is just as informative for someone wanting to extend themes into your own creations for your WordPress blog.

    A brief few pages are placed at the beginning to introduce WordPress and what a theme means inside the system. Chapter 2 starts the process of planning your theme and stresses the importance research of existing themes before building your site. Wireframe design is explained for the entire site and page layouts.

    Theme design in Chapter 3 gives great example screenshots and explanations of color selection. The remainder of the chapter is a core port of the book breaking down each individual component of a WordPress theme. I learned incredible amounts in these 30 pages of content.

    Theme frameworks are an excellent starting point where you use existing themes and build child themes that refer to them. Chapter 4 gives examples to investigate and start the child theme build. Once we entered Chapter 5 for advanced theme construction I took away a lot of tips as someone that runs multiple WordPress sites, but is not a developer. The simple way they show code usage, inserts and placement made it easy to understand. The authors then start bringing your child theme and customizations together.

    Later chapters get into WordPress widget placement, design and even building your own. They close the building process in Chapter 7 with theme options. This runs through creating extra options and controls panels, variants in color and more for someone interested in selling their new creation. it streamlines how a buyer would use and implement your new theme.

    The last portion in Chapter 8 surprised me it was in the book as I would not have thought of including it, but it was definitely needed. Chapter 8 covers the licensing, GPL, around your theme and what it means. The authors make you think about support, proper documentation and even tutorials. Some tips at the end help you sell the theme by including options and where to best list it to be sold.

    Overall, I am very impressed. Look for a bunch of changes coming to my WordPress based sites very soon. With this book and some basic WordPress knowledge, you can easily create or customize any WordPress theme you can get your hands on.