How to Design Wordpress Themes For Resale


WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. The creators hoped that by focusing on user experience and web standards, they could create a tool different from anything else out there.

Intro

So you want make Wordpress templates for Freelancer Marketplace? Hopefully you already have a strong PHP, javascript, and Photoshop Background. Creating themes as with websites requires a range of abilities to complete something that people will look and want for themselves.

Design

Design is by far one of the most important components of a wordpress theme as it affects the overall feel of the site. If you can create a theme with a striking design it becomes more popular within the marketplace and will create more sales for you. Also at this phase you should consider what kind of AJAX effects you want to use. Are you going to make an interesting Lightbox effect? Or you might want to add additional graphics. Are you going to also have Flash animation? There are many things to consider in the design phase. Site architecture may also dictate that you need to create several page designs.


Slicing

PSD slicing converts design templates into readable, easy to use codes. Every design made by means of PSD slicing will make a difference when it comes to web development needs. Due to the fact the most time-consuming aspects of a project are the css or the cms integration phase, experts need slicers and coders who do quality work in a short period of time.

Almost all theme production goes through the PSD slicing phase where you break up the header, footer, sidebar, and main content area. Ajax effects will also be sliced out at this phase.

Parsing the theme

Now that we have graphics and the effects all sliced up and ready to go we will concentrate on the php portion of the code. You will need to setup the get_sidebar(); functions and such.
Once you have put the design together as a wordpress theme the real fun begins. You should create a functions.php to store all the functions for the admin.





Theme selling points

Customization for your client is by and far the biggest selling point. Being able to easily go from a 1 to a 2 column design is valuable to the purchaser. If your theme is flexible and has areas that allow widgets to be placed (and that they disappear when empty) this will make your theme stand out and be a great selling point.

Your finished theme should include:
    SEO
    Google Microformat markup
    Semantic markup structure
    Smart default CSS layouts
    Dynamic Body, Post and Comment features
    Separated trackbacks and threaded comments
    2 widget areas coded to disappear when they're empty
    Typical WordPress features


In Closing

It is important to concentrate on design, and building a solid widget based back-end with great admin panels. Your customers will appreciate an easy process so the easier you make it, the more sales you will attract.