Learn how to code WordPress themes from scratch

Just you + WordPress. No frameworks or page builders.

Relying on frameworks, plugins, and more advanced developers to implement the functionality you need is not fun. They limit what you can create. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to hack together a solution or having to say no to clients because you can’t accomplish what they need. All of this limits how much money you make.

This course will give you the tools and knowledge to figure out how to create any kind of WordPress functionality you can dream up.

You’ll learn how (and why) things work, with detailed explanations, code reviews, step-by-step instructions, and insight into developer workflows. Break free of page builders and say YES when your clients ask if you can build something.

Already convinced? Order the course here.

Save 50-60 hours of Googling and learn what you need to know step-by-step

Does this sound familiar? You’re struggling to figure out something that feels like it shouldn’t be so hard. You Google it, click from link to link to link, searching for a solution that actually works. Next thing you know, it’s been 40 minutes and you still haven’t finished the task that should have been easy.

Been there, done that.

As a developer, Google (and the internet) is your friend. This course won’t change that. You’ll still search for helpful solutions to problems, but because you’ll understand the foundations of how things actually work in WordPress, your searches will be more specific, you’ll find your answers more quickly, and you’ll understand how to apply what you find more easily.

Your time is valuable and this course will help you make the most of it.

This course is for you if

You want to understand how WordPress themes work.

You want to start building themes yourself without helper themes and plugins like Divi or Elementor.

You have a working knowledge of HTMLHTML Hyper Text Markup Language. The semantic language of the browser. and CSSCSS Cascading Stylesheet – the aesthetic language of the browser

You are familiar with WordPress

By the end of this course, you’ll have

A fully functional personal portfolio theme that incorporates everything you learn in the course.

More time and less frustration when researching how to build something

A deeper understanding of PHP and programming practices

The ability to build more complex themes for clients and charge more

Course Details

The course content is broken down into six modules, designed to take you from zero to fully functional theme with detailed explanations, code reviews, step-by-step instructions, and insight into developer workflows.

This isn’t one of those courses where things are “explained” without actually being explained. You’ll get whys and hows, because this course is the beginning of your theme development journey. You need to know this stuff in order to start learning and creating more without guidance. By the end of this course, you’ll be well on your way to being a WordPress Theme Developer, not just a WordPress Code Copy/Paster.

Plus, you’ll get source files for everything you build so you can check your work as you build alongside the lessons.

Module 1: Building and understanding a basic WordPress theme

Learn the basic requirements of all WordPress themes, function foundations, and what The Loop is, really.


  1. Setting up your Development Environment
  2. Your First Theme File (style.css)
  3. Your Second Theme File (index.phpindex.php index.php is a catch-all template. It’s used to display your blog index, but also displays any other page that doesn’t have a defined template assigned to it. For example, if your theme didn’t have a single.php, WordPress will default to index.php to display your single post.)
  4. Header.php
  5. Footer.php
  6. Theme Setup
  7. Widget Areas
  8. Enqueuing scripts and styles

Module 2: Understanding the Loop


  1. What is the loop, really?
  2. Modifying the Default Loop using WP_QueryWP_Query WP_Query is the class that creates the query/search that allows you to grab posts from the database that match the parameters you specified and use them in a Loop. Read more here.
  3. Modifying the Default Loop using pre_get_posts()
  4. Creating a loop using get_posts()
  5. Multiple Loops on a Page

Module 3: Understanding and customizing WordPress templates


  1. Single.phpsingle.php This template controls how single posts show up. If you don’t have a single.php then WordPress defaults to using your index.php file. See this lesson for more information.
  2. Page.phppage.php This template controls how pages show up. If you don’t have a page.php then WordPress defaults to using your index.php file. See this lesson for more information.
  3. Archive.phparchive.php This template controls how archives show up. If you don’t have an archive.php then WordPress defaults to using your index.php file. See this lesson for more information.
  4. Sidebar.php
  5. 404.php
  6. Transients
  7. Searchform.php
  8. Search.php
  9. Comments.php
  10. Other Available Templates
  11. Custom Templates
  12. Template Parts

Module 4: Advanced WordPress Customization


  1. Building custom functionality with Gravity Forms
  2. Creating custom templates with Advanced Custom Fields
  3. Creating custom templates with Carbon Fields
  4. Child Themes
  5. Custom Post Types
  6. Shortcodes
  7. Customizer

Module 5: Working with Gutenberg


  1. How Gutenberg works
  2. Building a testimonial block with Block Lab
  3. Building a testimonial block with Carbon Fields
  4. How to develop themes with Gutenberg blocks

Module 6: Best Practices


  1. Good PHP practices
  2. How to think about a project and how to tackle it
  3. Crafting your own Development Workflow
  4. Adding Web Fonts
  5. SEO-friendly development
  6. How to use the WordPress Debug mode

You’ll learn the ins and outs of creating a good WordPress theme, from scratch. Good means thoughtful, accessible, well-written, and clean code.

Bonus Features

Mini PHP Lessons

WordPress themes require the use of PHP. You can get by without knowing PHP deeply, but things start to just click when you know what’s going on and why. These lessons – sprinkled throughout the regular lessons – will help you not only understand PHP, but basic programming concepts that you can apply to advanced Javascript, and any other language or library you ever want to dabble with.

Definitions Library

Key terms are highlighted within the lessons. If you want the definition, all you have to do is hover. They are also accessible in an easy to peruse glossary that you can refer to whenever you want.

Answers to your questions

If you have a question, you can click a button to ask and you’ll get responses fairly quickly (within a couple days, max). Eventually there will be a Slack team where all students can ask questions and share their work.

Oh hey! We created this awesome course!

I’m Aurooba Ahmed and I wrote this course.

Aurooba Ahmed - We Start With Good

Don’t learn WordPress theme development from people who only dabble in it. Instead, learn what actually works from someone (that’s me!) who actively builds WordPress themes for clients and businesses of all sizes.

I wrote this course because I believe learning how to develop WordPress themes is a more pleasant and helpful experience when you have some guidance. It incorporates everything I’ve learned about the foundations of theme building and how to figure out what you need to learn to make something new, and then how to learn and apply it. This is truly the course I wish existed 5 years ago when I started building WordPress themes.

I’m Bobbi Reyda and I edited and tested this course.

As a designer interested in code and development, this course was created for someone like me. Since much of this information was new to me, any over-technical bits and missing details were caught while I edited and tested the course. You’re getting a course where each lesson builds on the last without missing a step, because someone just like you helped create and test it.

I’m excited about putting this course out to the world because I know how useful it can be for designers to have this knowledge, and want more people to be able to create good things for themselves or their clients.

Together we design and develop great themes for amazing clients over at our studio, Wanderoak.

We’ve built so many different types of themes – from simple blogs to full blown membership sites with e-commerce functionality – and this course will teach you how we do it.

Order this course today!

A portion of the course is already available and the rest of the course will be available soon.


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