How to Develop a Custom WordPress Theme

November 29, 2023


March 25, 2024

A WordPress theme is the foundation for the website’s layout, offering a consistent look for all your web pages and posts, effectively altering the entire appearance of your site. According to W3Techs, WordPress was used by 45.8% of all websites in 2023 (it was 43.2% in 2022). Consequently, 2/5 websites use WP, requiring an attractive theme. 

This article discusses how WordPress themes work, what responsive design is in WP themes, and reasons why a custom WordPress theme is better for your business.

What are WordPress themes?

WordPress themes

A WordPress theme serves as the cornerstone of your entire WordPress site’s design, dictating its overall appearance and functionality by managing the front-end aesthetics. When we refer to it as the cornerstone of the design, we encompass all aspects of web design: color schemes, backgrounds, headers, footers, typography, page layouts, dimensions, placement, and more.

The terms “WordPress Themes” and “WordPress Templates” are frequently used interchangeably, but there’s a notable distinction. 

WP themes available in the WordPress repository often lock you into predefined layouts with limited room for customization. WP theme marketplaces offer pre-made layouts, but they can be cumbersome, slow, and sometimes come bundled with a mandatory page builder.

WP templates are specific to individual web pages within a WordPress theme rather than governing the entire website. A template represents a single-page layout incorporated within a broader WordPress theme. Some themes even provide a variety of templates, including multiple versions of the same page type.

How do WordPress themes work?

While equating a WordPress theme to a mere “skin” might be tempting, its significance goes far beyond that. In reality, a WordPress theme grants you authority over the visual representation of your site for visitors and even influences how various elements of your site behave during visitor interactions.

For example, your theme can dictate the behavior of specific elements when visitors engage with them. Consider a mobile-responsive theme. It can dynamically rearrange itself, concealing certain elements on the page when accessed via a mobile device.

This adaptability is possible because a theme comprises its templates, plugins, and an array of files.

What is responsive design in WP themes?

Devices come in various shapes and sizes, each with unique screen attributes, such as resolution, orientation (landscape or portrait), and the capability to switch between these modes. Given this diversity, developing a tailored WordPress theme that adapts to different screen resolutions is crucial.

Responsive design is the art of presenting your website in the optimal format, depending on the visitor’s screen size. This approach ensures that your page layout dynamically adjusts to the available space, guaranteeing that content is correctly positioned without any awkward cutoffs or overflows, resulting in a clean and polished website appearance.

To achieve responsive design, envision your website’s layout as a collection of grids instead of static pixel measurements (px). These grids are divided into percentages (%), accommodating various screen sizes effectively.

For images, it’s advisable to set them with a max-width of 100% of their original dimensions and a height of auto. This configuration automatically adapts images’ width and height when viewed on different screen sizes. So, if you embed a 200px width image within a div occupying 100% of the screen, it will maintain its actual width, ensuring a consistent and visually pleasing user experience.

Reasons why a custom WordPress theme is better for your business

custom WordPress theme

A custom WordPress theme can offer several advantages for your business compared to a pre-made or off-the-shelf theme. Here are some reasons why a custom WordPress theme may be better for your business:

  • Unique branding. A custom theme allows you to create a website that reflects your brand identity perfectly. You can match your brand’s color scheme, typography, and design elements, making your website stand out from competitors.
  • Improved performance. Custom themes can be optimized for better performance. You can eliminate unnecessary code and assets, resulting in faster loading times and a more efficient website. This can improve user experience and SEO rankings.
  • Better mobile responsiveness. You can create a responsive design tailored to your specific content and layout requirements. This ensures that your website looks and functions well on all devices, which is increasingly important for mobile users.
  • Less bloat. Many pre-made themes come with unnecessary code and features that can slow down your website. A custom theme allows you to build a streamlined site without the bloat.
  • Ownership and control. With a custom WP theme, you own and have full control over the code. This means you’re not tied to the limitations and licensing agreements that often come with pre-made themes.
  • Support and maintenance. You can have ongoing support and maintenance from a developer who is intimately familiar with your website. This can help ensure your site stays up-to-date, secure, and performs well.

While custom WordPress themes offer many advantages, it’s important to note that they require more time and financial investment than using pre-made themes. Your decision should be based on your specific business needs, budget, and long-term goals. If your budget is limited, starting with a pre-made WP theme might make sense.

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How can SoloWay Tech help you design and develop an informative WordPress theme?

SoloWay Tech is a team of diverse experts in numerous domains, uniting their powers to create the best solutions for over 15 years. When it comes to designing and developing informative WordPress themes, we at SoloWay Tech are your go-to collaborators. Here’s how we can assist you in developing your WP website:

  • Custom WP theme development. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. We work closely with you to understand your specific needs, target audience, and brand identity. Our experienced designers and developers then customize WordPress themes to align with your objectives.
  • User-focused design. Informative themes need to be user-friendly. We prioritize user experience, ensuring that your content is easily accessible, structured logically, and visually appealing. Our designs are responsive and compatible with various devices and screen sizes.
  • Performance optimization. Slow websites can deter visitors. SoloWay Tech places a premium on performance optimization, ensuring your WordPress theme loads quickly and efficiently, regardless of the content volume.
  • Custom features. Sometimes, a standard WordPress theme might not meet your unique requirements. We can develop custom features, plugins, and integrations to enhance the functionality of your theme.
  • Maintenance and support. Our relationship doesn’t end with the WP theme launch. We provide ongoing maintenance and support services to address any issues or updates that may arise.

You probably cannot choose a reliable IT partner who can create a high-quality WP theme for you. If you are looking for an IT partner with case studies and niche expertise, investigate our case studies! We are your best choice for WP theme development!


Creating a custom WordPress theme from scratch allows you to break free from the constraints of pre-made themes. It can result in a website that is both visually distinctive and performance-optimized. Feel free to contact us to discuss your custom WP theme development.

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