40 Resources for WordPress Theme Designers

One of the reasons WordPress is the most popular blogging platform is its theme system. WordPress allows its users with almost unlimited design options when modifying or designing themes. This is a collection of 40 resources that every theme designer can appreciate.

If you like getting design inspiration by looking at excellent blog designs, you’ll love our new gallery site Blog Design Heroes.

Starting Points:

Blank Themes – If you’re creating your own WordPress themes, these blank themes are a great starting point. They’ll save you time by giving you the bare-bones structure and still allow you the creative freedom to design whatever you want.

6 Themes that are Perfect for Customizing – I wrote an article about customizing themes that listed 6 themes that are great for customizing. Use any one of these as an excellent starting point for your designs.

Color Tools:

A great deal of your theme’s success will depend on the color choices you make. Here are some helpful tools for deciding on the right colors.

Color Schemer Gallery


Website Color Picker

I Like Your Colors

Codex Info:

If you have much experience at all with WordPress, you’ve probably at some point referred to their Codex (a source of information on all things WordPress). Here are some of the Codex articles that are most relevant to theme designers.

Theme Development

FAQ on Layout and Design

The WordPress Loop

Anatomy of a Template Tag

Search Engine Optimization for WordPress


Photoblogs and Galleries

Developer Documentation


Almost every blog uses icons in one form or another. Here are 4 high-quality sets of icons that are great for your blogging needs.

RSS Icons – Most blog readers now recognize the common, orange RSS icon. Using the icon is a good way to draw attention to your subscription link.

Mini Icons from Brand Spanking New – A free set of greyscale icons that includes such icons as speech bubbles that can be used on blog themes.

Blog Icon Pack from graphicPUSH – Some icons that are commonly used on blogs.

Web 2.0 Icons from Utombox – A number of icons for popular web 2.0 sites like Technorati, Flickr, FeedBurner and more.

Articles and Tutorials:

Here are some of the best articles available for helping you to learn more about all aspects of WordPress themes.

Customize Your Own WordPress Theme

WordPress and SEO

Optimize WordPress for Search Engines

Blog Design 101: Creating Your Own WordPress Theme

Secrets of WP Theming – Part 1

How to Create a WordPress Template or Theme


Pictures and images can make a huge difference for a theme. The resources below will provide free or low-cost images. Be sure to check the restrictions if you are distributing the theme. Many of the photos will be limited to your own use and prevent distribution. If you find a photo that you really like you can always contact the photographer and ask them for permission.




flickr Creative Commons

Theme Galleries and Places to Distribute:

All of these sites list themes that are available for download. It’s not easy to get a theme listed, but it can really help to get more exposure and downloads.

WordPress Theme Viewer


Weblog Tools Collection

CSS Galleries:

You’ve worked hard creating a beautiful design. CSS galleries are a great way to get some exposure for your designs.

CSS Vault

CSS Based

CSS Beauty


You’ll probably experience some difficulties along the way. Most of your questions are already answered in the forums and you can always post new ones.

WordPress Forums


If you’re going to distribute your theme you’ll probably want to make sure it validates.




Browser Testing:

Your visitors will be using many different browsers, which requires testing on your part.

BrowserShots – Get screen shots of your site in a number of different browsers.

BrowserCam – A paid service for testing a site.

For more resources please see:

Looking for hosting? WPEngine offers secure managed WordPress hosting. You’ll get expert WordPress support, automatic backups, and caching for fast page loads.

50 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • TyCat, November 20, 2007

    Hey, Ive been slowly working on a wp theme for my site. This is a great set of links. Thanks.

  • Vandelay Design, November 20, 2007

    Thanks TyCat, I’m glad it’s useful for you.

  • Mike, November 21, 2007

    I appreciate your hard work. This list is very helpful and could possibly save a lot of time.

  • Mohsin, November 21, 2007

    A must bookmark for me as I have many WordPress Themes currently under development.

  • Riccardo Giuntoli, November 21, 2007

    Give a look also to the fantastic CSS Framework YAML at yaml.de

    Best Regards, Riccardo Giuntoli.

  • Alex @ Web 2.0 WordPress Guide, November 21, 2007

    This is an awesome resource list! Thanks for sharing as this is really great to have all in one convenient location.


  • LGR, November 21, 2007

    Great list. Thanks for the resources. I will have to make time to go through them.

  • Vandelay Design, November 21, 2007

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for your feedback. Feel free to leave links to relevant resources if there are other things that you feel readers would benefit from.

  • Daniel, November 21, 2007

    Another post to bookmark.

    Keep up the good work Steven.

  • Vandelay Design, November 21, 2007

    Thanks Daniel.

  • Kathleen, November 21, 2007

    Wow! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

  • merlia, November 22, 2007

    I have found here much useful information, thanks for your post, great to be a part of this blog.

  • Ruchir, November 24, 2007

    Awesome list as always! I love these kind of posts :) Especially liked the blog icons…

  • Hey, can I point you at my WordPress SEO guide too? :)

  • Reverse Funnel System Blog, November 26, 2007

    Great links, i can recommend color picker program to pick colors from websites.

  • John W. Furst, December 5, 2007

    Thanks you for submitting your article to my latest edition of “Webmaster Articles” Blog Carnival. It was my pleasure to include it.

    Yours John W. Furst
    E-Biz Booster Blog at http://blog.fcon21.biz

  • Seattle, December 6, 2007

    Great info, I came here from google when I looked for wordpress themes!

  • Thank you for very helpful information .It very interesting

  • Burak Önal, July 25, 2008

    A must bookmark for me as I have many WordPress Themes currently under development.

  • kailoon, July 27, 2008

    I have just prepared a complete tutorial on creating wordpress theme from scratch. Can include mine?


  • Web Site Design and SEO, September 9, 2008

    great resource. i will check all of those and hopefully come up with a unique design for myself. Thanks

  • Carl, November 11, 2008

    Great list. Bookmarked!!

  • Some Points, May 9, 2009

    thank you very much for providing themes making web list….can you help me to find out wordpress theme designer who should be best in designing