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How To Develop A Theme In WordPress General Template File List

how to develop a theme in wordpress

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Your WP themes are the files that work in harmony in order to create the look and functionality of your website. Each theme is different, offering you the chance to develop a WP site that is unique and consistent with your branding. Theme developers use WordPress themes to work on a project for a client, their own personal project, and sometimes they submit them to the WP theme director.

But how to develop a theme in WordPress with the general template files? Let’s take a look at the files you will need to use to get your themes up and running for the development of your WordPress theme.

How To Develop A Theme In WordPress Using Template Files

Templates are PHP source files. These files are responsible for generating the pages requested by your site visitors. They are made up of PHP, HTML and WP template tags:

  • Style.css – This file is the main stylesheet. You absolutely have to include it with your theme.
  • rtl.css – This is the rtl stylesheet and will be included automatically if your text direction is right-to-left.
  • index.php – This is your main template: It must be present.
  • comments.php – This is the comments template.
  • front-page.php – This is the front page template.
  • home.php – This is the home page template by default.
  • single.php – This is the single post temple which is used whenever a single post is requested.
  • single-{post-type}.php – This is the single post temple that is used whenever a single post is requested from a custom post.
  • page.php – This your page template and used whenever an individual page is requested.
  • category.php – Your category template and used whenever a category page is requested.
  • tag.php – Your tag template and used whenever a tag is requested.
  • author.php – Your author template and used whenever a author page is requested.
  • date.php – Your date template and used whenever a date is requested.
  • archive.php – Your archive template and used whenever an author, category or date is requested. This template can be overridden by author.php, date.php, and category.php.
  • search.php – Your search results template and is used whenever a search is carried out.
  • attachment.php – Your attachment template and used for viewing single attachments.
  • image.php – Your image attachment template and used when you are viewing single attachments.
  • 404.php – This is the 404 Not Found template and used whenever WordPress cannot find anything that matches a request.

A WordPress website cannot exist without style.css and index.php. These are your website’s bare minimums. Your index.php is typically made up of the following files:

  • comments.php
  • comments-popup.php
  • footer.php
  • header.php
  • sidebar.php

With these files, the theme development runs smoothly.

To override index.php, you need to use the temple hierarchy by providing special-purpose template files. These special-purpose files include many in the list above. For example, category.php will override index.php if chosen. If category.php is not present, index.php will take precedence as always.

To load another template into an existing template, simply use get_template_part ( )

Good luck!

You might be also interested in our WordPress custom theme tutorial.

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