9 Best Resources for Creating a Custom WordPress Design Theme

If you’ve ever wanted to create a website for yourself or someone else, you must have come across the name WordPress. This is by far the most popular website creation platform you can use today and powers a majority of the world’s websites.

Most of the sites you visit on an everyday basis are created using WordPress, thanks to the number of tools it provides. It makes it easy to organize your content the way you want, and it’s free to use!

One of the greatest things about WordPress is that it comes packed with best WordPress themes. You can simply select one design and start uploading your content.

Whether you want to write a blog or offer some services, these templates help you create awesome websites in no time.

Such online design bundles have made it possible for many content creators to develop custom WordPress theme. You can use images like these to create your background, add texture to your posts, and much more.

Once you have gotten your hands on some design bundles like this one and decided which clipart or images you want to use, you may find that the WordPress themes in front of you don’t match the aesthetic of your brand or the images you wish to use. That is where the possibility to design your own WordPress theme comes into play.

Custom WordPress Theme

Reasons to Create WordPress Themes of your own

With so many great ones already available, why would anyone want to create a custom WordPress theme? Well, there are some good reasons:

Your Own Aesthetic

You might want to create something that looks and works exactly the way you want. Using premade templates is great but there has to be some room for compromise that you should be ready to make.

There will always be something, even if it’s tiny, that you might not like 100%. And while there might be a way to change that one thing, it can get really taxing.

That is one of the biggest reasons you would want to design your own WordPress theme. Not only will it look the way you want but it will also function the way you want for your brand.

And you can design it in any way you like – whether you are inspired by another great website or you like some Google Slides themes that you wish to recreate. To each their own.

For a Base

For those who create websites professionally, you might want to have a simple template created that you can then use to develop new websites. These simple designs can act as templates on which you can build, depending on what each client wants.

There are some existing WordPress themes that can be used for such a purpose but creating something for yourself will give you a better understanding of how it works and give you more room for customization when you’re building on top of it.

For Selling

And of course, you can create WordPress themes for selling them on the platform. You can either create an all-rounder template that people can customize for their needs or develop niche ones like those based on sports reviews, selling services and photography portfolios, etc.

If you’re good at making themes that not only look great but also load quickly and function well, you can make a decent earning through this process.

Resources to Create WordPress Themes

Now that we’ve talked about design bundles and background images, let’s take a look at some of the best resources you can use to build your own designs:

WordPress Plugins

There are over half a million WordPress plugins that can help you manage SEO, social media, backup, and of course your website design. For example, WooCommerce can help you create your own online store, while Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin for any WordPress-based website.

If we are talking about custom theme design, WPForms and StockPack will come in handy. WPForms is a plugin that helps create various forms for your WordPress website.

Whether it is a contact form or a newsletter subscription form, their drag-and-drop builder will help you create powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.

StockPack is a plugin that helps integrate DepositPhotos directly to your WordPress media library. With this plugin, all you need to do is open any post, use Depositphotos 100 for $69 deal to save up on picture price and insert the desired photo for better customization. The choice of pictures is usually what makes your website design follow your style on every page.

WordPress.org Itself

The first resource you should check out is the official Theme Development documentation that is offered by WordPress.org. This will teach you everything you need to know about the technical aspects of designing templates.

You will find out about the coding standards to follow, how to create the structure, and customization. As far as knowledge goes, this resource has heaps of it for you and you’ll likely keep returning to it.

How To Be A Rockstar WordPress Designer

If you find books helpful then you should check out How To Be A Rockstar WordPress Designer. It will teach you a lot of stuff, even if you’re a beginner at coding.

It will show you how to create different kinds of themes and the book does a great job in building upon the skills you learn at each step. This gradual climb teaches users very well about coding and other aspects of designing themes.

It also comes with a lot of reference material to help you develop the design you want. All you need to have is a little prior exposure to CSS and HTML and you’ll be able to design your own WordPress theme after going through this book.

Building WordPress Themes from Scratch

This is another book you should get if you want to learn how to code. It takes you through the whole coding process and also teaches you how to build a new theme using a template.

You’ll also learn to create different widgets and develop different template options. And to boot, you’ll even learn how to create your very own plugins.

This is not a book for complete beginners though, as it does require some exposure to CSS, HTML, MySQL, and a couple of other things.

Developing Your First WordPress Theme – WP Tuts+

If you’re a complete beginner, then this tutorial is a great place to start with your journey. This is a step-by-step tutorial designed to help you design your own WordPress theme.

It will teach you everything you need to know and you’ll end up with a great custom WordPress theme by the time you finish the three-part series offered by WP Tuts+.


The last thing anyone needs is to design something that is not very responsive as that can make a whole website feel slow and old. You will learn how to create home, contact, news, and about pages as well as a sidebar with widgets.

Theme Check

If you’re creating a custom WordPress theme, you should use a plugin named Theme Check. This is a great tool to assess whether the code you’re using for your design is based on the newest standards laid out by WordPress.

The reasons why it’s important to have codes follow the latest standards are pretty obvious to everyone, so it’s crucial that you’re sure of this aspect. This makes Theme Check a great resource to help you during your design process.


A free service that helps you quickly and easily generate codes for your themes? Yes, please! Hasty does just that.

You can quickly get high-quality codes for your menus, sidebars, custom post types, and more when you use Hasty. This makes the process of generating codes very simple and easy, without you having to pay a dime.

WordPress Basic Themes

One of the best ways to learn about how to code is to go through a well-written code. And that is where some WordPress starter themes come in. The default layouts that are created by WordPress each year are a great source of information.

You can go through the code and see how the various elements are designed and set up. Doing this in a complicated theme will be daunting for new coders but a simple one will be a great starting point.

Online Cheat Sheets!

A simple search will reveal some very good cheat sheets that have been developed for those who want to create WordPress themes. These will give you a consolidated view of the most useful functions that you can use to create your designs.

No more having to hunt the internet for individual answers about coding and template hierarchies – you can find them all in cheat sheets!

And with that, we conclude our list of the best resources you should be looking at if you’re designing your own custom WordPress theme.

All of these are a great way to get into designing, whether you’re thinking of doing so for your own website or for some commercial purpose.

When you combine these resources with online clipart images, background textures, and design bundles, you can easily and quickly come up with great-looking custom WordPress theme for all kinds of websites. And the best part about all of this is that a lot of the stuff you’ll find online is free knowledge!

About Sonnal S Sinha

Sonnal S SinhaSonnal S Sinha shares exciting WordPress themes, plugins and other WordPress related news for our viewers. He also posts selected WordPress developers interviews from time to time.