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Development Creating a WordPress Theme

As I mentioned in my very first post, the first goal of this website was to get something created and online. For the first few days, I didn’t give much thought to appearance, maintenance, backups, etc… However now, a little ways down the road, those other things are creeping up and starting to bug me. So, this post is about my inaugural WordPress theme!

In my progressively limited spare time, I’ve been working on this new Windows 8/Metro-ish theme for my site. The way I began was by installing a trusty WAMP server on my computer, doing a local WordPress install, and then filling it with fake content. After I prepared my environment, I began working on the theme and it is now nearing ‘completion’. By ‘completion’, I mean I’m ready for it to go live, even though it’s not 100% finished… I accept there is no 100% finished when I’m doing anything development-oriented, but rather the theme is sufficiently finished for me to present it to the world. I’ll probably tweak things here and there based on feedback or user testing, but for the most part it’s ready.

This left me with a dilemma a few days ago… Do I package it as a child theme, install that on my server, and then run with it? Or, do I pull my server-side information down locally, then apply my child theme to test it out first?

In reality, it didn’t matter. I haven’t yet published links to this website anywhere, so my traffic is largely random Google searches. I can work on production stuff, have it break, fix it, etc… For the sake of correctness though, I did all my theme development locally before pushing to my ‘production’ environment. There were still some small tweaks to make, but nothing crazy.

Anyways, the site you’re looking at is the theme so far. I am still working on some of the other pages (mostly filling them with content). One thing I’ve discovered is that I am particularly bad at colour scheming. I’ve referred to myself as having colour dyslexia (not trying to mock actual dyslexics). I have absolutely no sense when it comes to this. I can’t distinguish what other people think might look good or bad, nor do I even have my own opinion on colours. It’s the most bizarre sensation ever, because I have opinions on EVERYTHING.

I’ve tried using Adobe Kuler, but I really don’t know what type of colour scheme I should go for. Monochromatic, triadic, etc…? I even have this problem day-to-day when dressing myself. I don’t know what colours ‘work’ or what clashes. This was why I spent so much of my life wearing black, blue, and shades of grey (not 50 of them, though).

In any case, as I have never made a WordPress theme before, I’m more than open to suggestions. How would I publish something like this? Should I fork it as a child theme? Or start from scratch? Somewhere in-between?

Now that my theme is live, I would really appreciate any advice about it. Especially in the colour scheme department. As I’ve said before, the reason I picked ‘steel blue’ is because it’s the only colour I know the name of.

Otherwise, if you like the WordPress theme and would be interested in using it, let me know and I might get around to publishing it!