Design Your Own WordPress Theme Easily With Constructor

00 Free WP Theme   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With ConstructorThe broad choices of themes is one of the major factors that make WordPress so great. There are literally thousands of themes out there for you to choose from. Whatever your taste and needs, chances are, there are themes that will suit you.

But this factor is also one of WordPress’ drawbacks. As Seth Godin put it in his book, too many choices will make people panic. They lose the ability to choose the best and might end up not choosing any of the available choices. And unless you design your own WordPress theme (or pay somebody to do it), there will be no perfect theme for you.


While hiring a theme designer would be too much of a burden for an ordinary blogger, you can easily design your own WordPress themes with the help of a particular WordPress theme called Constructor.

Constructing Your Own WordPress Theme

Recently, as part of my just-published MakeUseOf ebook: Recording Your Next Hit With GarageBand, I needed to quickly create a website. The choices were: build my own design with iWeb, or accept whatever theme that I could find for WordPress for the sake of richer functionality.

Constructor came to save my day. By using the features of this highly tweakable theme, I can have the best of both worlds.

You can find and install Constructor directly from your WordPress’ theme admin page.

01 Search and Install Themes   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

Then after the installation and activation, click on the Customize link on the Appearance tab in the left sidebar.

02a Customize Theme   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Constructor customization area will be displayed. There are so many elements that you can adjust there, and the combination of different settings of every element will design your own unique WordPress theme.

Let’s start with Theme tab. Constructor comes with several mini themes that you can choose as the base of the theme that you are going to build. Pick one and save your choice.

02b Customize Theme themes   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

Then comes the Layout tab. Here is the place to choose what kind of layout that you want to use for your group of pages like homepage and archive page.

02c Customize Theme Layout   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The next element that you can tweak is the Sidebar. You can decide the number and the positions of the sidebars. You can also set the width of the sidebar, extra bars and the containers.

02c Customize Theme Sidebar   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Header tab deals with all the elements of the header like the header height, font color of the title, those kinds of things.

02d Customize Theme Header   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Content tab deals with elements of the blog posts, such as: hiding/displaying the author’s link, auto-generating thumbnails and creating an additional widget area under the post.

02e Customize Theme Content   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

There’s nothing much going on in the Comments tab other than adjusting the size of commenter’s avatar.

02f Customize Theme Comments   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

As the name suggests, the Font tab will let you choose which combination of fonts to use. But I personally think that the number of available choices is too little.

02g Customize Theme fonts   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Color tab lets you choose colors and transparency of the theme.

02h Customize Theme Colors   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Design tab deals with borders and shadow.

02i Customize Theme Design   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

Constructor also comes with an option for users to include their own CSS style.

02j Customize Theme CSS   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

If you want to use your own graphics for the site, you can manually upload them via the Images tab.

02k1 Customize Theme Images   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

And for those who feel confused about which one is which in the image, you can click the question mark to get help.

02k2 Customize Theme Image Help   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The last function tab is Slideshow tab. The function is to allow users to display slideshows of images from the existing articles. Just check the box “Enable”.

02l Customize Theme Slideshow   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The Help tab contains link to Constructor-related websites and donation request. If you like the theme, you may donate the author some money via PayPal.

02m Customize Theme Help   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

And this might be the most important ab of all: the Save tab. After making changes here and there, you might want to save your creation as a new sub theme under Constructor. Write down the necessary information and then click the “Save Theme” button.

02m Customize Theme save theme as 1   Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

Enjoy your creation

To get the best result, you have to experiment with each and every element one by one. Do a couple of small changes, save, and preview the result. Continue doing it until you are satisfied.

Just to give you an idea of how far the theme customization can go, here’s the result of my creation that I use for my website dia.lo.gues. I use iWeb to create the design for the main page, then replicated the look using Constructor in WordPress.

03 dia.lo .gues    Design Your Own Wordpress Theme Easily With Constructor

The customization process is rather long and will require you to go back and forth between the admin area and your blog’s main page. So, some of you with active blog(s) with tons of visitors might want to experiment with this theme safely behind the curtain.

There are other highly customizable themes available for WordPress. You can perform a search in the WordPress Free Themes Directory using the word “customizable” as the search string.

Do you customize your WordPress theme or you just use one without modifications? Do you know other good alternatives to customizable WordPress themes? Share using the comment below.

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20 Comments -

Haplo

“Made on a Mac”

LOL and lame. In the same sentence.

RG

Won’t be long or we are already there when from scratch WP theme creation is done with. This is beyond those online theme creation scripts.

Jackie

Thanks so much. Clearly explained and very helpful.

Praveen

Wow Nice explanation

Someone

I recently created a wp.com account and I’ve been looking for days for how to redesign the page, but it’s been hard as hell. Now, I found this for wp.org and I totally can’t use it for/in wp.com. Which is the difference between the two? Do you know any way to redesign the page in wp.com?

This is an awesome article, but it still doesn’t solve my problem.

Thanks in advance. Best compliments.

Shanna

The .com version of WordPress is for those that are creating blogs on/at WordPress itself. WordPress.org is for those that host their blogs on their own web servers, and so are able to implement, download, etc. their own themes (and have their own domain names). I hope this helps.

Someone

I recently created a wp.com account and I’ve been looking for days for how to redesign the page, but it’s been hard as hell. Now, I found this for wp.org and I totally can’t use it for/in wp.com. Which is the difference between the two? Do you know any way to redesign the page in wp.com?

This is an awesome article, but it still doesn’t solve my problem.

Thanks in advance. Best compliments.

Blogger

a perfect constructor for theme generation.

skatoolaki

Wow! I am always putting together new blogs for new ideas or for friends, and what takes the longest is hunting down just the right theme and then the hours tweaking it to make it work just how we envision it. This is a godsend! Thank you so much for this article; I can’t tell you how much time you have saved me – now I need to go create a new blog! lol

skatoolaki

The .com version of WordPress is for those that are creating blogs on/at WordPress itself. WordPress.org is for those that host their blogs on their own web servers, and so are able to implement, download, etc. their own themes (and have their own domain names). I hope this helps.

Jeffry Thurana

Adding to Shanna’s comment, there’s an old article here about setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog – that would be the WordPress.org.

Akash | AM Blogger

I never thought that customizing a wordpress template can be that easy.

I totally agree with Shanna that searching the right template eats up a lot of precious time and this will save a lot of time.

Thanx :)

Gurl

I have been using the Atahualpa theme (can be found here http://wordpress.bytesforall.com/?cat=15) for a good bit now. It is HIGHLY customizable, and that’s actually an understatement. The only issue I have is due to my lack of programming understanding and wanting to do major changes to theme. I am just an overachiever I guess LOL

I am going to play with this one “behind the curtain” as you put it. If it will do EXACTLY what I want, how I want it…the Ata has seen its day. Thanks for this post! I love trying new themes!

Gurl

I have been using the Atahualpa theme (can be found here http://wordpress.bytesforall.c… for a good bit now. It is HIGHLY customizable, and that’s actually an understatement. The only issue I have is due to my lack of programming understanding and wanting to do major changes to theme. I am just an overachiever I guess LOL

I am going to play with this one “behind the curtain” as you put it. If it will do EXACTLY what I want, how I want it…the Ata has seen its day. Thanks for this post! I love trying new themes!

Jamie

Thanks so much for your post! This is a great theme.

Praveen

Wow!!! Nice Stuff buddy…..
Recently there is a attack over WordPress Blogs by Hackers.The saddest part is exploited security Hole not yet Identified,

Dirty Attack Over Hundreds Of WordPress Blogs
http://www.techpraveen.com/2010/04/dirty-attack-over-hundreds-of-wordpress.html

Sahana

Thanks a ton !! Amazingly flexible theme…..

JasonB

Very nice description of this customizable theme. I’ve been looking for a new theme for http://www.benway.net
I think I’ll give this one a try.

JasonB

Very nice description of this customizable theme. I’ve been looking for a new theme for http://www.benway.net
I think I’ll give this one a try.