It has been for quite some time that I wanted to expand my creative horizons into website creation, and in particular, using systems and processes that would greatly benefit my clients needs (as well as my own!). I started my journey with various online learning tutorials in HTML and CSS, before getting the excellent—From Photoshop to HTML by Jeffery Way—which turned out to be an invaluable resource… but I will talk about that education tool another time.
How to be a rockstar WordPress designer enters my world
After much research I decided that creating templates (aka themes) for WordPress would be the best fit for me and in the typical Kiwi / Aussie she’ll be right attitude, I dived straight into enforcing my will on a seeming timid standard WP install. It turns out that WP is rather complicated in it’s simplicity and even though I was able to alter the look of a default template, I quickly realised that I was going to need some outside assistance if I was to corral this WP monster.
After an intense search of the internet I found an ebook that has been an incredible help – How To Be A Rockstar WordPress Designer by Collis Ta’eed & Harley Alexander. Having already grasped the basics of HTML and CSS from my previous learnings I found this book to be easy to understand and logically laid out. I must admit that I have still to grasp object oriented programming in PHP, but that is an advanced topic that the book only touches on briefly so I don’t feel ‘under gunned’ when approaching a WP theme.
Rockstar WordPress Designer takes you from Photoshop, to static HTML/CSS, and through to fully functioning WP theme. The book comes complete with Photoshop, HTML / CSS and theme files for each step of the way. I found this to be an amazing resource, and in one occasion comparing the finished code to my own code was the only way I was able to find and correct an error that had broken my template (I had a comma where there should have been a semi-colon… rookie mistake, but a big one none the less).
Over the course of the book you will build three WP themes starting with a blog, then a portfolio site, and finally a general site. The book states that you do not need any prior knowledge of PHP or WordPress (luckily for me), but you will require a solid understanding of HTML and CSS.
I can highly recommend this ebook to anyone with an interest in WordPress theming, it is straight forward, no non-sense, without taking itself too seriously. To find out more and to download some sample pages follow this link.
Rockable press has a great selection of educational ebooks centred around web design and blogging. Chances are they will have something for you that will expand your understanding and make you a champion web designer and blogger. Check out Rockable press here.