No one can argue that one of the most popular blogging platforms these days is WordPress. The solid framework makes it the geek’s choice, but WordPress further gains its popularity among laymen because of its flexibility for expanding its functions and looks. There are thousands of plugins and themes available to be downloaded and used for free from the official WordPress site alone which opens up unlimited possibilities of what you want your blog to be.
After using numerous items, I (and I’m sure that most people too) have reached the point where I wanted to make my own blog. While developing your own WordPress plugins requires a certain level of programming knowledge, building the themes is not.
So, before the CSS and PHP die-hard fans begin shouting their protests, let me assure you that these two free easy options to build WordPress themes are only for beginners and for those with basic knowledge.
Online WordPress Theme Generator
This online WordPress Theme Generator has been around for sometime but seems to be unheard of among the thousands of freely available themes.
Creating your own personalized theme is a snap. Just tweak the options in the left column and see the real-time results on the right. My experience of using it to create my first theme took me less than ten minutes and resulted in an acceptable design.
I have to admit that the available options will make the ‘really-true beginner’ feel overwhelmed. But if you’ve been around your WordPress blog for some time, you’ll be fine.
The real beauty comes after you click the “Save” button at the very end of the left column. Aside from getting a download link for your piece of virtual art, you’ll also get the “Theme Setting URL” link (http://tinyurl.com/xxxxx). You’ll be able to share your design with others or re-tweak the design again at a later time.
Becoming a Theme Artist
The second option is a Windows-only application which I stumbled onto by accident. The name is Artisteer and is actually a web design app.
The good news is that this one is a great and easy web design application and is (still) available for free. The bad news is that the beta version is watermarked and I didn’t find it sooner (the beta testing period will end on September 1st with a possible availability of a free version).
Creating a beautiful WordPress theme is a no brainer. You can choose to tweak each and every element of the design, or let the app suggest a design for you. You then can export the result as a WordPress theme. (We’ll wait and see what will happen after September 1st.)
Being a person who has tried to build a WordPress theme from scratch (and failed miserably), I can say that these two are the easiest methods I have ever tried. If you can suggest a better option, shoot it out in the comments below.