Creating a simple responsive wordpress theme from scratch using Twitter Bootstrap: Part 2

In the last part of this tutorial we started with our theme with just two files: index.php and style.css. What we got was a terrible looking website that looked like a notepad text editor. In this part we are going to style our theme to give it a professional look.

Below is what it is going to look like.

front-end-preview
For this we are going to use Twitter Bootstrap CSS file that we downloaded in previous tutorial. And yes, the above template is taken from readily available Bootstrap template on below url.

http://getbootstrap.com/examples/blog/

Of course, we have modified it a little bit to keep it simple. Below is the html markup

Copy and save the above code in index.php

Assuming you have already downloaded bootstrap files, search for bootstrap.min.css in the downloaded zip file. Usually it is in bootstrap-{version-no}-dist/css directory as shown here. Create a directory css in our theme folder and copy it in this folder.

Now view your website. You should see something as below.
unstyled-theme-frontend

Now as you guessed this is because the browser is unable to pick up the correct path to our stylesheets. Reason being we have used a relative path. So lets go ahead and fix it. Replace the below line in head tag

with below code

get_template_directory_uri

What we have done here is replaced the relative path ../../dist/css/bootstrap.min.css with get_template_directory_url() which is a WordPress function. What it does is return the url to active theme. So in our case it will return http://localhost/wordpress/wp-content/themes/perials. To this we append /css/bootstrap.min.css since our bootstrap.min.css is located not in the hellotheme folder but in the hellotheme/css folder.

With the same logic, change the path to blog.css with the below code

blog.css should be placed in same directory as bootstrap.min.css. You can download it from here

Once you replace and save the above you should see something like below.

front-end-preview

There is a far more elegant way of adding stylesheets in WordPress. But to avoid getting you startled at this moment we’ll be using this

WordPress Loop

Now the next step is to change the static content to the current page content. To do this we’ll be using the WordPress loop. Observe the markup contained in div class="blog-main". There are two occurrences of it, one for each blog. The div with blog-post-title class (div class="blog-post-title") contains the post title and one with blog-post-meta contains the publish date of the post. The p tag following it contains the post content. Now instead of hard-coding the content in the index.php file itself we’ll do it dynamically. That is we’ll let WordPress do it for us by using some of its functions. So replace the two divs having below code

with this

We have wrapped the markup in if ( have_posts() ) { while ( have_posts() ) { the_post(); . This is nothing but the WordPress loop. What it does is process each post to be displayed on the current page. So say on a WordPress page it will process the data for singular page, on a Post it will process data for the particular post and on an Archive page it will repeat itself for each post. The loop will display following information by default for each post

There are many other functions that you can use inside the loop to retrieve information (say featured image, categories, tags etc) for a particular post. The above ones are purposely listed since we are going to use them now.

the_title

Replace the below line of code

with

We have replaced Sample blog post with the_title. This function will return the title of the current post in the loop.

the_time

Replace the below line of code

with

We have replaced January 1, 2014 with the_time. This function will return the published date of the current post in the loop.

the_content

Replace the below line of code

with

As you guessed the_content() will return the content, the one that you type in WYSIWYG editor, for the current post in the loop.

get_bloginfo

We’ll now move away from the loop.

Replace above line with

Similarly below line

needs to be replaced with

We have now replaced the The Bootstrap Blog with the site title and the tagline with the WordPress site tagline.

get_pages

We’ll now replace the navigation menus with our WordPress pages. Replace the below code in index.php

with

get_pages returns an array of pages of your WordPress blog. What we do in above code is to loop through this array to generate the markup for our navigation menu.

Summing it up

Below is how the index.php should finally look

Thats all for now. In next part we’ll have a look at how to create the sidebar using widgets. Stay tuned.

Join the discussion

  1. zenny says:

    Hi

    Thanks for the great tutorial so far, well explained and clear.
    I’ll wait for the next part.

    greetings Zenny

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