#25: Designing for WordPress: Part One

WordPress is a hugely popular CMS for blogging. The blog section of CSS-Tricks is run on WordPress and I am very happy with it. By popular request, we are going to walk through designing for WordPress. In part one, we will be downloading and installing WordPress. Then we will install the "Starkers" theme by Elliot Jay Stocks to start with a completely fresh slate for our new design. No sense starting with the default theme, it's more trouble than it's worth! In part two, we will go over the theory behind designing for WordPress and how it's much like "working modularly" and actually get started designing. In part three, we will finish up the design and start in with some more advanced functionality.

Links from video:


  1. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris great tutorial as always keep them coming however why didnt you setup the site on a local host?

  2. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Good idea, I added those links. There is also a home-base style post here:

  3. User Avatar
    Web Design Company in Mumbai
    Permalink to comment#

    A quick suggestion would be if you could add links to the part two, three…. here that way we can bookmark this page and use it as a reference for anyone wanting to learn how to design a WP theme…

    Anyways.. this is a great resource.

    Alexander Gounder

  4. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks, fixed that.

  5. User Avatar
    Mikael Rieck
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, your link to part three links to part two ;)

  6. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    hi. i’m new to webdesign. quick quesiton, how do I sign up for joyent is it free. I tried to sign up for the open social developers. Is that what I want? sorry.

  7. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    great tutorials for wordpress beginners man. Quick question though kind of off-topic what app or extension do you have installed on your mac that displays the download completed msgs?

  8. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial videos. I am learning tons from them. The WordPress ones have really peaked my interests though with my new website I am wanting to create.

    I have a small question though. I have installed WordPress on my server; I get to the screen where it generates that random password and then I click on the Login button where it is supposed to take me to the actual login screen but nothing comes up. I even try clicking on the index page after and nothing comes up there either. Have you ever heard of this problem. Is this a server side problem?

    Thanks for your help and I really appreciate you making those great videos.

  9. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Could you place a link to your videos on Youtube so I can watch them from my iPhone?

  10. User Avatar
    Jennifer Eden Cruz
    Permalink to comment#


    That’s really a great tutorial. Can’t wait to see the next one! This will really help a lot in building a home based business

  11. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks a bunch for these videos mate.

  12. User Avatar
    Web Designing Company in Mumbai
    Permalink to comment#

    Your tutorial is great and I have opted some great techniques to create new designs for my client. Thanks!

  13. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Now that there has been a number of WordPress updates since this tutorial was released
    do you still use Starkers theme for your clean starting theme?

    • User Avatar
      Permalink to comment#

      I just wanted to ask this same question because the starker theme link is just html.

    • User Avatar
      Permalink to comment#

      Just realized the link has no CSS it’s meant to be naked. Does the theme work in 3.3.1? It says it’s good for 3.0.

  14. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Hello, I have tried to downloadthe starker but it is no more there… how is it possible to get it?

  15. User Avatar
    David Nguyen
    Permalink to comment#
  16. User Avatar
    Mark Rojas

    This post is a great resource for those of us who want to use WordPress effectively and have no idea where to start, thanks for your work, brilliant use of multimedia

  17. User Avatar
    Thomas Eriksen
    Permalink to comment#

    Thx Chris and thx David Nguyen.

  18. User Avatar
    Mikael Carlsson
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for a great tutorial, Chris! Before I watched this I didn’t know whether to run WordPress or Drupal on my new website. I have some experience from Drupal 7 so it would, of course, be an easy choice for me. However, after seeing you work with WordPress I really want to get my hands on it and start playing around!

    I really enjoyed your unconventional way of removing your old site live! Haha!

  19. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    hey, i get some trouble when i click on Download this video, so please help me how can i download this video?

  20. User Avatar
    Bruce C
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks, Chris. I am redesigning the WordPress theme for one of the sections of Latest Blog Posts, so this tutorial was very helpful.


  21. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Hello, I have tried to downloadthe starker but it is no more there… how is it possible to get it?

  22. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Heya Chris, I know you must have heard it a thousand times over, but thank you for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. It was definitly very useful and the way you take your time and and explain everything is just awesome. Thanks again and thumbs up from the Netherlands

  23. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Heya. tyvm Chris for sharing what you learn, its so helpful to a newbie like me.
    Its helps a lot.:)

  24. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    I always use for my wordpress blogs, I think it’s a great platform. I liked the video is true even if the post 2008 I congratulate you. Greetings!

Leave a Comment

Posting Code!

You may write comments in Markdown. This makes code easy to post, as you can write inline code like `<div>this</div>` or multiline blocks of code in triple backtick fences (```) with double new lines before and after.

Code of Conduct

Absolutely anyone is welcome to submit a comment here. But not all comments will be posted. Think of it like writing a letter to the editor. All submitted comments will be read, but not all published. Published comments will be on-topic, helpful, and further the discussion or debate.

Want to tell us something privately?

Feel free to use our contact form. That's a great place to let us know about typos or anything off-topic.