For non-programmers, the open source community has gifted WordPress, an open source website building tool and content management system that is highly user friendly and can be used efficiently to create a quality website. But in WordPress also, creating a custom website is not that easy. Therefore to alleviate this problem here we give you 5 concrete steps to convert PSD design to WordPress template.
Step 1: Slicing PSD
The slicing is usually done in image editing software and most designers usually prefer Adobe Photoshop or comparable. But in the end the point is to cut the pixel perfect images and this can be performed using any image editing software including Microsoft paint. But, Adobe Photoshop only makes the job easier to perform and easier to organize.
Now, most designers make a design using a graphic software that allows layered image creation, again like Photoshop, and create design files that are already divided into different components in its layers. This effectively makes the process of slicing obsolete but still it is important to know how to do it.
Another thing to note here is that even though some features like buttons and embedded images have to cut in entirety as they cannot be created dynamically, other features like solid color background, header and footer color, or solid design features, that can be created dynamically, are not required to be cut in full. It is up to the designer and coder what they want to create dynamically and what not.
Step 2: Creating Index.html and Style.css
The main aim is to code the sliced images into an HTML and CSS format, with complete rollover effects and pixel perfect placement. This is also the step where you decide whether the site will be responsive or not by modifying the CSS accordingly. For convenience it is better to name the CSS file as Style.css and HTML file as index.html.
To learn CSS and HTML here are a few resources
•W3Schools:- This website is a complete web developers guide to CSS programming. It has many detailed examples on CSS and HTML coding and even has an online compiler on which you can practice CSS and HTML.
•TutsPlus:- Tutsplus offers a complete video tutorial series aimed at teaching HTML and CSS programming for free.
•https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/learn/css: - Created by open source community behind Mozilla Firefox browser, this page contains a step by step guide list to tutorials and articles for the purpose of making the reader a CSS master.
•CSS Basics:- The best resource for beginners to learn the basic concepts of CSS.
•http://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/coding-standards/css/:- A complete guide of CSS coding standards that is important for making search engine friendly and cross browser compatible WordPress website. This standard is provided by the WordPress community itself.
Step 3: Break Index.html According to WordPress Theme File Structure
Therefore to get the most out of WordPress, it is important to design your initial HTML file according to WordPress theme’s file structure and break your single HTML file into multiple HTML files according to the theme file structure.
A typical WordPress theme comprises of many PHP files such as archive.php, Header.php, Footer.php, Index.php, single.php, page.php, Sidebar.php, category.php, search.php, 404.php, comments.php, and comments-popup.php. Out of these, index.php along with style.css are two necessary files for a theme to function. However most WordPress themes consist of nearly all the above mentioned files to facilitate better compartmentalization and theme coding.
Thus the next step is to break up your index.html into index.php, header.php, footer.php, sidebar.php and other necessary feature files.
For understanding more about WordPress theme anatomy and creating WordPress themes from scratch you can refer to this post.
Step 4: Adding WordPress Tags
In the previous step we have broken up the HTML into a WordPress file structure. Now we will add WordPress PHP tags to these WordPress files and make it a combined WordPress theme. For a complete list of WordPress tags and functions refer to these pages
•http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags:- The page contains a full list of all the WordPress tags. Every tag is explained in detail in a dedicated page for that tag.
•http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference:- This page is a reference guide to all the functions in WordPress software. Just like tags, each function enjoys a dedicated page which contains detailed description about the function along with examples.
These files are then stored in a single folder that has the same name you wish to give to your theme, and the folder it’s placed into --/wp-content/themes/ folder that could be found in your WordPress installation. For example if your WordPress is installed in a folder named WordPress-testing, the theme name is theme-test, your files will go to location WordPress-testing/wp-content/themes/theme-test/
After this step you now have a custom theme that would be working in your WordPress software. You can activate it through the WordPress dashboard.
Step 5: Adding Functionalities