In This Chapter
Looking at the basic blog structure
Exploring the required templates
Understanding The Loop and Main Index template
Putting together a basic theme
Using common template tags
There are those who like to get their hands dirty (present company included!). If you're one of them, you need to read this chapter. WordPress users who create their own themes do so in the interest of:
Individuality: Having a theme that no one else has. (If you use one of the free themes, you can pretty much count on the fact that at least a dozen other WordPress blogs will have the same look as yours.)
Creativity: Displaying your own personal flair and style.
Control: Having full control of how the blog looks, acts, and delivers your content.
Many of you aren't at all interested in creating your own templates for your WordPress blog, however. Sometimes, it's just easier to leave matters to the professionals and to hire an experienced WordPress designer (check out Chapter 15) or to use one of the thousands of free themes provided by WordPress designers (see Chapter 11). Chapter 18 also tells you where you can get ten free WordPress themes.
Creating themes does require you to step into the code of the templates, which can be a scary place sometimes — especially if you don't really know what you're looking at. A good place to start is understanding the structure of a WordPress blog. Separately, the parts won't do you any good. But when you put them together, ...