WordPress theme development is not a straightforward process. It is rather a tricky and highly challenging one. There are hundreds of articles on the internet on how to build WordPress themes. While a lot of theme frameworks can get you started, some of them are great options while some can be a bit crappy. To perfect your WordPress theme development process, you must go through a lot of focused learning. Here are a few tips from leading designers and developers to refine your WordPress theme design and development process.
Peek Into Woo
Whether you work in a large theme shop or you design alone, you can learn a lot from other designer’s workflow.
At Woo Themes, the life of a theme begins on the ideas board. Also, the community gives a lot of suggestions based on customer research. It is designed in-house or by an accomplished designer hired on contract.
The theme is designed well in Photoshop. The major elements are fully designed and the pages constructed before touching the code. The quality of the Photoshop file will decide the quality of the theme you will build.
After the design approval, it is given to a developer who will work from the base theme of WooThemes. This will include the template that accompanies every WooTheme besides the basic styling. Every base theme will have a responsive layout and LESS is used to manage the CSS.
While Trello helps manage the Theme development, TeamGantt helps set the milestones.
After the theme is finalized, the developer gets a demo for the website populated with dummy content which will test all the elements of the design.
The theme will then move with beta testing the theme. Once a list of bugs, solutions, and tweaks are gathered, the developers complete everything and schedule a hackathon.
Apart from the workflow, there are also many other things to be learned from accomplished designers and developers including the following.
When you develop locally, you get to enjoy several benefits. Especially you will be able to do the following.
- Have a record of all that has undergone a change and when they have changed.
- Retrace from mistakes.
- Get more efficient by learning to use some robust text-editing features like “Find in Project”.
- Attempt major redesigns readily not worrying about screwing up a website that is live.
Make use of LiveReload
While developing a theme, it is possible to switch to the browser and reload the page. This is why some expert developers use LiveReload. This is a wonderful application that can work through a browser extension. LiveReload automatically reloads the page while you have attempted some files on the project.
This can contribute a lot to your productivity when you edit and tweak a WordPress theme. The small page refreshers add up to the big amount of time you get to save during the development process. Also, your fingers can get a highly relaxing break. In this way, you will find developing an enjoyable experience.