A great way to get a blog or simple website up and running very quickly is to use WordPress. Blogging couldn’t be easier when using WordPress, as it provides a handy interface for writing and categorizing posts, adding features via widgets, creating RSS feeds for syndication, and allowing for static pages. Another insanely useful feature is the ability to change the look and feel with the click of a few buttons using themes.
Themes allow your blog or site to take on a look of its own. There are literally thousands of WordPress themes available for download. Many (most, even) are available directly on the WordPress website. Searching Google for wordpress themes will get you a few million results, but many websites simply repost the free sites available on wordpress.org and wrap advertisements around them. Premium themes are also available for purchase at many places, but again, some sites are more reputable than others.
However, if you want to graduate past premade themes and make your site completely unique, you need to learn how WordPress themes are created and make your own. This may seem like a daunting task when viewing the WordPress.org documentation, but I stumbled upon a little gem that can’t be beat. Go directly to Wpdesigner.com created by a young man named SmallPotato and view his tutorials. The site is now defunct, but the tutorials remain, and are priceless. There are actually two tutorials, one as HTML, and another as an eBook in 3 parts:
- WPDesigner, So you want to create WordPress themes huh? – A 16 part discourse on building a wordpress theme from scratch. It’s written for wordpress 2.2, but most of it still applies today.
- How to Design a WordPress Theme – Part 1 of the WordPress theme ebook.
- How to Slice a WordPress Theme – Part 2 of the WordPress theme ebook.
- How to Code a WordPress Theme – Finally, part 3 of the WordPress theme ebook.
After reviewing these tutorials and referencing the WordPress Codex a few times (for widget code in WP 2.5 and 2.6), I was able to construct my own WordPress themes from scratch. There are tons of WordPress tutorial sites out there, but this is by far the best place to start (IMHO). Good luck!