New theme: Part 1

I’m writing the mutli-part article in the hopes that it may help other designers and developers with their projects. I’ve always believed it’s about the follow-through on a project. It’s not about secret methods and tricks to get things done. It’s about hard work and well-considered decisions.

Not all themes are the same. Themes should be different because each is being build to fulfill a specific function and conform to a clients needs. For a common blog WordPress offers over 1,700 themes for free. There are also a multitude of premium themes out there that cater to many different markets. Blogs, online stores, online magazine, reviews, hobbies.. and so on.

I’m building a theme for my own website. This can be tricky.. it’s not easy being your own client. Luckily I have some guidlines┬áin mind that should make the decisions about features a little easier. My immediate goals are:

  • get the first version up quickly
  • a portfolio custom post type
  • demonstrate modern web design techniques
  • elegant design with a solid UI

This could describe a lot of themes clients ask for. One of the primary differences is how and why I have the first item listed. There will be many iterations of my theme because the theme is going to be built to help grow my web design business. I get work through oDesk and by word-of-mouth, but I really need to start doing more to get clients directly. It may seem silly that my own website isn’t where I started in the first place.. but that is another story. There is also a common problem that I hear stated by a lot of web designers and developers. “Who’s going to pay me to build my own website?” Nobody, of course. Then you have to decide.. do I give up client work to build my own website? At some point.. we all do.

Next post: The nuts as bolts. Actually selecting parts and putting them together.