First steps in designing a WordPress theme

Since my post recently about my plan to design a WordPress theme, I’ve taken some first steps in the project. I’ve learned some things and I have a question for you. I have been looking around for inspiration, and have spent lots of time on CSSbeauty.com – really nice stuff there. Char recommended I go to this well-written tutorial for direction and I’ve gotten through the first couple of pages. He recommends that you install WordPress on your computer, and I started to download all that is necessary to do that and it seemed like such a hassle when I have still 6 available MySQL databases with my hosting package. So I set up a test database, which has come in handy already as I’ve been working on customizing a theme for a client.

So, here’s my question. I see that lots of themes that are in the WordPress theme database indicate that they are based on another theme. How much do you have to change the theme you’re basing yours on to call it “new” and upload it to the database? For example, I started out on my personal blog with the really wonderful Misty Look theme by Sadish Bala, but if you compare the two, you’d never know the two were related. I’ve obviously created a custom theme there, but where is the line? Seems just slapping a different header on a theme wouldn’t be enough, but with some of them it appears that’s all they’ve done. Also, when have you gone so far in customizing it that you no longer include the “based on…” link in the footer. Help me out here.

Thanks for your comments on previous posts David, Char, Phil, Brian and Steve.

Published on: March 20, 2007 | Category: Wordpress Themes