A must-read is the article The ThemeShaper WordPress Theme Tutorial: 2nd Edition. This second edition includes updated code samples that draw from the Underscores (_s) starter theme, as well as new lessons and new tools. In only 16 individual lessons, this tutorial will show you how to build a WordPress Theme from scratch – one that is both powerful and up-to-date.
After completing this tutorial your finished theme will include the following features:
- A well-organized, modular file structure
- All the search-engine optimization you’ll really need
- Google-supported Microformat markup
- Valid and logical semantic markup structure than can be used to create ANY layout
- Smart default CSS layouts
- Localization support: translation-ready mark-up and an RTL stylesheet
- Dynamic body, post, and comment classes
- Separated trackbacks and threaded comments
- Two widget areas: the first one with default widgets, and the second coded to disappear when it’s empty
- Support for the Aside Post Format (after the tutorial, you’ll easily be able to add support for more post formats)
- A Custom Menu, Flexible Custom Header Image, and a Custom Background
- Simple responsive styling, including a lightweight navigation menu for mobile devices
- And all the typical WordPress stuff you expect from a theme
By the way, my favorite three are…
– A well-organized, modular file structure – important for finding files later!
– Valid and logical semantic markup structure that can be used to create any layout – again, for future edits!
– Simple responsive styling, including a lightweight navigation menu for mobile devices – because responsive styling is the current trend – especially a nav menu that works like a champ on mobile devices!