If you’re looking to up your game with your WordPress own theme, let’s take a look at 7 ace tips and tricks that will enhance you as a theme developer.
Take Advantage Of get_template_part
The get_template_part function is not just a normal old php include, and is used to incorporate template files into your theme.
get_template part is an original way to incorporate files because of its child theme awareness; as well as this, get_template_part breaks down your theme into bite-sized chunks and comes with a neat fallback model.
Enqueue Scripts and Styles
An ace WordPress coding theme tip is to enqueue your scripts and styles.
WordPress will do the rest.
The best thing about these functions is that they allow for automatic dependancy resolution.
Customiser > Theme Options
When working on your WordPress own theme in the past, you may have noticed that most WP themes come tied with a theme options page. In WP 3.4, though, WP introduced something called the Theme Customiser.
The Customiser is an extremely handy tool that you need to use. It has pre-built controls for things like drop down selects and text, as well as more complicated controls for the image uploader and the colour picker.
Use An Editor Style For Your WordPress Coding Theme
There are something like 1,600 WP themes available, but only 200 come with an editor style. This is very frustrating because what you see looks nothing like what eventually gets published.
You can actually add an editor style to your theme by calling add_editor_style when setting up your theme in functions.php. Then add an editor-style.css file to your template.
There are three ways to query in WordPress, and you should avoid each one when working on your WordPress own theme.
Why? Because secondary queries in WP replace the main query with a different one, and invariably break things like titles and pagination. Not cool.
To apply a secondary query without changing the main query, use either get_posts or WP_query. They are much much safer.
Don’t Start From Scratch
Working on a new WP theme from an empty folder is a nightmare. To speed up custom WordPress theme development, you should use each of the following:
- Child themes
- Theme frameworks
- Starter themes
Know Your Tools Inside Out
You cannot become an ace theme developer if you don’t take the time to learn your tools. After all, you are only as god as your tools. Some of the tools you will need to know inside out include:
- Theme check
- Theme unit test
- Log deprecated notices
- Debug bar
- Debug bar extender
- Debug bar console
- Monster widget
- WordPress beta tester
- Core control