Creating a WordPress Theme from Scratch: Getting Started

Creating a WordPress Theme from Scratch: Getting Started

There are actually only two files that you need to get a basic theme up and running: index.php and style.css. If you add these to a new theme folder (wp-content/themes/new-theme-dir/) then you can choose your theme from the dashboard (Appearance->Themes):

New blank theme


To populate this data with the details of your theme, you need to create an initial comment in the style.css file like so (I called my theme Raul just because…):

Theme Name: Raul
Theme URI:
Description: A nice clean news looking design.
Author: Robert Desmond
Author URI:
Version: 1.0
Tags: responsive, white
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:

Detailed Theme

To add a screenshot of how you want your theme to look you simply need to add a file called screenshot.png to your theme directory (dimensions 600×450). (I took a picture of my drawing on paper until I would finally get a real screenshot!)

Updated Screenshot

There you go! You now have a theme that you can activate although you are probably a fair way from making it look good!

Next steps: Structure of a Theme…

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