The Naked WordPress Theme: A Crash Course For Designers

Here’s the scenario: You’re brand new to WordPress and you’ve been asked by your client to use it for their new website. You’ve created a beautiful design but have very limited time to learn about how to theme WordPress. You look to the codex but it has more information than you need and it’s difficult to piece it all together.

When you browse the code in the default WordPress theme, you have no idea what any of it does and you are running out of time. You need a crash course in the worst way. You need the Naked WordPress Theme.

“The solution for designers who don’t know WordPress”

Learn how to theme WordPress with the Naked WordPress theme

The Naked WordPress theme was created by Joshua Beckman to be “The solution for designers who don’t know WordPress”.

This is not your ordinary bare bones theme, stripped of everything but the essentials. Naked WordPress assumes that you know nothing about WordPress and includes comments on all aspects of the theme. Every single piece of the template files is commented so that you can understand what it does. Armed with that knowledge you can safely rearrange and customize your theme. You’ll be able to remove pieces without worrying about deleting something essential.

Here’s a quick example of just how useful the Naked WordPress theme is for beginners. If you’re brand new to WordPress, you probably have no idea what wp_head() does. Naked WordPress clues you in to how important it is so that you don’t screw things up:

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<?php wp_head(); 
// This fxn allows plugins, and WordPress itself, to insert themselves/scripts/css/files 
// (right here) into the head of your website. 
// Removing this fxn call will disable all kinds of plugins and WordPress default insertions. 
// Move it if you like, but I would keep it around.
?>

With this kind of commenting built into the theme, there’s no need to look things up in the codex when you’re building in a hurry. The functions are neatly summarized and commented inline to save you time.

Naked WordPress features:

  • Responsive styling
  • Custom menus
  • Custom sidebar and widgets
  • Blog, with all the WordPress goodies we know and love (comments, categories, tags, etc.)
  • Pages, Home page

Naked WordPress is the perfect starter theme for anyone who is new to WordPress.
Check out a live demo by visiting the Naked WordPress homepage. As you can see, it’s nothing but the basics and all the comments are neatly hidden within the php template files, which are not visible to your visitors.

Of course, reading up on the codex and learning all the ins and outs of WordPress theming is highly recommended if you want to be able to expertly navigate it and create your own themes. However, if you’re more interested in designing the theme than building it, then the Naked Theme will help to keep things moving while you’re still learning WordPress. It functions as both a starter theme and a crash course all in one.

Download the Naked WordPress theme for free from its homepage and follow the project on github. If it helps you build something, consider showing a little love to the developer by way of a donation.

photo credit: emanuela franchini via photopin cc

Comments (3)

  1. This looks fantastic Sarah
    Most themes are stripped down to the basics but don’t provide detailed comments.
    This could be a great learning aid.

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