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WordPress 2.8 Theme Design Paperback – December 17, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
WordPress themes are of interest to me since they fuse a visual aspect with PHP code, and there's no doubt that they appeal to many other people too.
1. Getting Started as a WordPress Theme Designer
2. Theme Design and Approach
3. Coding it Up
4. Debugging and Validation
5. Putting Your Theme into Action
6. WordPress Template Tag, Function, and CSS Reference
7. AJAX/Dynamic Content and Interactive Forms
8. Dynamic Menus and Interactive Elements
9. Design Tips for Working with WordPress
The book's author Tessa Blakely Silver starts very gently with an introduction to WordPress themes and why downloading a theme that's already been coded and designed may not always be the best solution. Subsequently, the book develops a theme from scratch and examines core technologies such as WordPress, CSS, XHTML and PHP.
The second chapter starts with a discussion of theme design in general, followed by the beginnings of the theme that's developed throughout the book. There are further discussions on semantic markup, typography, fonts and layout.
The following chapter focuses on the code aspect of theme design, and suggests a workflow strategy as well as template tags, hooks, and the WordPress loop. Comments are then discussed in some detail, the topic including pagination and threaded comments.
Chapter four examines the process of debugging and validating.Read more ›
Silver has what some would consider a unique way of creating rapid prototype composites. Rather than sketching and designing first is a design program (e.g. Photoshop), she starts out with a rough sketch then moves directly into developing the layout in HTML and CSS. Her reasoning for this is twofold: First, she knows that by creating and laying everything out in XHTML and CSS that the site actually works for the real environment it will be used on. Second, many changes from clients come in the form of text tweaks. Working this way is easier in her view then wading through many Photoshop layers. From there, she takes a screen-capture of the layout and finesses it in Photoshop to create a comp that is easy to update and has the benefit of being partly coded. From there she takes the reader through the steps to convert the HTML to XHTML & PHP for Wordpress, widgetizing, testing your code and more.
There's a lot to like about this book.Read more ›
Tessa's approach is to create a theme from scratch, creating each file one at a time, cutting and pasting what she wants from the Default Theme and leaving out anything she doesn't plan to use. I liked this approach a lot. I have a background in C programming and have been doing web development as a corollary part of my job for 15 years and, while I'm no professional by any stretch, I have many opinions and biases. One, I like to understand what I'm coding. Two, I don't like having any unnecessary overhead, especially with the Web. I've avoided adopting the "Child Theme" approach for exactly that reason since I haven't been convinced yet that this is the cleanest and fastest way to code (but it may be; jury's still out). Tessa's book was the only one I found that shows you how to create a theme from scratch and follows that process from the beginning to the end of the book.
Tessa can write. Her prose style is approachable and makes one feel like one is sitting with an enthusiastic friend. She offers plenty of advice about which tools she likes but leaves the final choice to the user (not always the case).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is great to get you started with Theme Design, at the very minimum. However, if you want to do some really in-depth and complex Theme Design this book will leave something to... Read morePublished on December 22, 2011 by Hells Vetica
I've read quite a few books on WordPress, and I can honestly say I wish this woman had written more of them. Read morePublished on August 27, 2010 by Honor Macdonald
I'm writing this review in part as an open letter to Tessa, the book's author, as well as to provide some insight into making your purchase ("you" being the shopper). Read morePublished on July 3, 2010 by Storm
I highly recommend WordPress 2.8 Theme Design. For beginners it provides an easy to read guide that details the process of theme design from start to finish. Read morePublished on March 18, 2010 by Mr. S. Parkinson