how to design a template for wordpress

I’ve created this template for you to use as a starting point for your own blog, and it’s completely free to download. You can use it to create a new blog, or use it as a starting point for an existing one. The design is based on the Bootstrap framework and features responsive design, so it’ll look great on any device or browser size.

I’ve also included instructions on how to install the theme and customize it. Let’s get started!

how to design a template for wordpress

I like to think of WordPress as the gateway drug of web development. Many people who get started using the platform are initially merely looking for a comfortable (and free) way to create a simple website, often with the help of a WordPress page builder plugin. Kind of like “I’m just going to try it once.”

However, a good chunk of users don’t stop there. Instead, they get hooked. Come up with more ideas. Experiment. Try out new plugins. Discover Firebug. Boom. Soon there is no turning back. Does that sound like your story? As a WordPress user it is only natural to want more and more control over your website. To crave custom design, custom functionality, custom everything.

Luckily, WordPress is built for exactly that. Its flexible structure and compartmentalized architecture allows anyone to change practically anything on their site.

Among the most important tools in the quest for complete website control are page templates. They allow users to dramatically alter their website’s design and functionality. Want a customized header for your front page? Done. An additional sidebar only for your blog page? No problem. A unique 404 error page? Be. My. Guest.

If you want to know how WordPress page templates can help you achieve that, read on. But first, a little background information.

Template Files In WordPress 

What are we talking about when we speak of templates in the context of WordPress? The short version is that templates are files which tell WordPress how to display different types of content.

The slightly longer version: every time someone sends a request to view part of your website, the WordPress platform will figure out what content they want to see and how that specific part of your website should be rendered.

For the latter, WordPress will attempt to use the most appropriate template file found within your theme. Which one is decided on the basis of a set order, the WordPress template hierarchy. You can see what this looks like in the screenshot below or in this interactive version.

wordpress page template plugin

When it comes to plugins for laying out the pages on a WordPress site, WPBakery Page Builder is hard to top. This easy-to-use drag-and-drop page builder with over 200 unique addons helps developers and novices alike create just about any layout imaginable.

1. UberMenu

UberMenu - WordPress Mega Menu Plugin

What’s a great site without an equally great menu layout to help your visitors navigate your content seamlessly?

The UberMenu plugin is designed to facilitate just such easy navigation. The highly customisable and responsive plugin offers seven main menus and several submenu options to suit a wide variety of tastes and needs.

Notable features:

  • easy to add images and descriptions
  • Google Maps
  • choice of 18 layout variables
  • fully responsive and compatible with mobile and touch-enabled devices
  • extensive user-friendly documentation
  • and more

UberMenu works out of the box with the WordPress menu system, making it simple to get started and create gorgeous menus quickly and easily.

2. Justified Image Grid: Premium WordPress Gallery

Justified Image Grid - Premium WordPress Gallery

If you have images of different dimensions and orientations, displaying them in a grid can often be tricky. But as the image above shows, the Justified Image Grid plugin makes it easy.

Notable features include:

  • responsive gallery
  • retina-ready
  • special effects on-the-fly
  • gallery support for YouTube, Vimeo and self-hosted
  • video gallery support
  • right-click content protection

3. Real3D FlipBook WordPress Plugin

Real3D FlipBook WordPress Plugin

If you’ve ever wanted to offer that book or magazine experience of flipping pages backwards and forwards, then this layout manager is worth a look.

It’s certainly a different way to lay out pages, and the big advantage of this WordPress plugin is that it is 100% HTML5, meaning that Adobe Flash is not needed. It’s easy to use and customisable for you to create interactive pages.

Notable features:

  • create flip-books directly from PDF files
  • 100% HTML5 (no Flash!)
  • light/dark skins
  • Font Awesome or Material Icons
  • responsive mode
  • optimised for mobile

The flip book layout can be changed based on the device type. Besides the standard double-page view, there’s a single-page view that’s used on mobile devices as it offers a better reading experience on smaller screens whilst retaining the 3D flipping effect and shadows.

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