How to Extend a WordPress Theme

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In this article we’ll study regarding how you can extend a WordPress theme.

The power of WordPress isn’t within the default options of WordPress, however rather the endlessly versatile framework provided for extending WordPress. Utilizing the facility of themes and plugins, WordPress is custom-tailored to suit any web site purpose.


Themes are quite merely your WordPress style. This is often the complete look and feel of your website, together with fonts, colors, graphics, and content layout. Thousands of free and premium themes are out there (shop theme here), together with several free themes within the official Theme directory at Themes are the fastest way to create your blog distinctive along with your own color, styles, and graphics. Themes are available in every type as well, including blog themes, corporate themes, photo themes, life-streaming themes, micro-blogging themes (think Twitter), and far more. Theme designers are continually pushing the envelope and developing exciting new appearance for WordPress.

Managing Themes

You manage themes under Appearance -> Themes SubPanel on your dashboard. WordPress lists all themes presently set in your wp-content/themes directory in a grid format. Themes are displayed with a pleasant screenshot if out there. The screenshot is a image file that ought to be enclosed by the theme author, thus if no screenshot displays the author did not embody one.

Under the screenshot you may see the theme name, a link to the author’s web site, and a brief description of the theme. You’ll be able to see a real-time preview of the theme by clicking any theme listed or the Preview link. This pops up a Thickbox overlay showing you specifically what your current content can seem like within them.

To activate a brand new theme on your web site, click the Activate Theme link set at the top right of the theme preview or below the theme description. Once the theme is activated it’s live for all guests to ascertain, thus confirm your theme is prepared to go live before activating a fresh theme.

For reference the theme location is displayed below the theme action links. This is often useful if you’ve got duplicated an issue to create changes, as a result of the screenshot would still be identical. The folder displayed can assist you confirm which theme is which.

WordPress has removed support for Settings API and instead Customizer API is accustomed to implement similar theme choices on the Customizer Panel of the theme with the live preview of the theme enclosed. Previously this was placed as the Theme Options SubPanel menu as “Theme Options”, from currently on themes is tailored by you clicking on “Customize” set below the Appearance SubPanel menu. Themes will contain many various choices together with color and font choice, content aggregation management, image and thumbnail choices, and a lot more. These choices are created by the theme authors to figure specifically with their theme template files. Deactivating a theme removes any theme option pages that are displayed.

Adding New Themes

You presently have three alternative ways ton install a theme on your web site:

Auto Installer: Themes is auto-installed directly from the official WordPress theme directory. Click the Add New Theme link below Appearance to get started. Enter in a search term to start looking for a theme. Feature Filter choices also are out there to assist separate the results. Click any theme to ascertain a preview of that theme in action. Once found, click the install link. WordPress automatically downloads the theme files and installs theme on to your Themes folder on your web server. This methodology works with the bulk of web hosts, however if for a few reason it fails you may be promoted to enter your web server’s FTP info to finish the method.

Zip Upload: Zipped theme files is put in directly from the theme installer. Click the transfer button and choose the theme zip you’d prefer to install. WordPress automatically uploads the theme to your server, unzips the them, and places the theme in your theme directory.

FTP: The ultimate methodology for putting in theme is using FTP, or File Transfer Protocol. Transfer all theme files on to the wp-content/themes directory on your web server.

Upgrading a Theme

If you’ve got an theme put in from the official theme directory and a brand new version becomes accessible, a notice seems below the them description. The upgrade notice is triggered once a new version of a theme put in on your server has been uploaded to the theme directory. Theme updates will add new options, a far better look, and additionally fix security vulnerabilities.

Click the View Version Details link to look at theme info in a Thickbox overlay. Here you’ll be able to read theme description and download stats. You’ll be able to additionally download or preview the theme. To auto-upgrade your theme click the Upgrade Automatically link. If auto-upgrade is supported on your server, the upgrade starts instantly. If not, you may be need to enter your FTP info. This offers Wordpress FTP permission to download and install the updated theme to your server. Fill in your website’s Hostname (FTP Server), Username, Password, and whether or not you’re using FTP or FTPS (SSL). Click the Proceed button to start out the upgrade method.

The updated theme is downloaded directly from, the new version is unpacked and put in, and therefore the recent theme is aloof from your web server. Before upgrading an theme, bear in mind to download a backup of the theme first. If there are any problems with the upgrade, you’ll be able to revert to your theme backup and minimize any web site downtime that may have occurred.

Using the Theme Editor

WordPress features a inbuilt Theme Editor, that you’ll be able to use to edit themes directly in your dashboard. Theme files should be writable by the web server before you’ll be able to save your changes. If your theme files aren’t writable by the server the Save Changes button isn’t displayed and a message seems stating your files aren’t editable. You’ll be able to still read all theme files, however cannot make any code changes.

All theme files are listed down the right-hand side of the editor, permitting you to look at and edit any theme file you decide on. There’s a brief description of every theme file next to the link to edit that file. As an example “Search Results” is listed next to search.php, the template file that controls your search page. A small degree of caution: there’s no undo once using the editor, thus one wrong piece of code and you may break your entire web site.

Working with Widgets

WordPress widgets are an easy way to add and organize components in your sidebar. Widgets are not restricted to the sidebar and are being getting used in many various places together with the header and footer. WordPress comes with some widgets pre-installed, however you’ll be able to add alternative widget by putting in a plugin with widget support. You manage widgets below the Appearance -> Widgets SubPanel. Here you may see all installed widgets and might simply drag and drop widgets into your numerous sidebars. Multiple sidebars are listed in menu fashion on the right. You’ll be able to expand and collapse these sidebars by clicking the arrow set to the right of the sidebar name.

Drag a widget and drop it into your sidebar. The widget is automatically saved and appears instantly therein sidebar on your public web site. All widgets have an arrow set to the right of the widget name. Clicking this arrow expands the widget and displays any widget choices if they’re out there. Bear in mind that not all widgets have choices and a few widgets could store their choices below a plugin setting page instead of here. To get rid of a widget, click the Remove link. The widget is saved automatically and removed from your sidebar.

You can drag widgets to the Inactive Widgets box set at the bottom of the Widgets SubPanel. This box stores widgets with all of their settings intact, however the widget isn’t displayed on your website. This is often a good feature if you wish to get rid of a widget from publically displaying in your sidebar, however you may be adding it back in eventually. To activate, drag the widget back to your sidebar and therefore the widget appears precisely as it did before.

If no sidebars are listed, your current theme doesn’t support dynamic sidebars. You’ll be able to edit your theme template files and build as several sidebars as you wish.

What are your opinions about themes in WordPress? What theme you used in WordPress? Did you like the them? and Why? Let me know in the comments!

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Authored By Aakanksha Singh

Hi, I’m Aakanksha, a computer science engineer and the founder of TheTechPower. I help people make there online presence process easier by empowering them with clean, beautiful and easy to use wordpress themes.

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