Do you want to create a custom WordPress theme for your website?
Creating your own WordPress theme from scratch used to involve writing complex code or hiring theme developers to make a theme for you. But thanks to new and easy-to-use WordPress theme generators, anyone can create a custom WordPress theme without writing code.
This article will show you how to create a custom theme in WordPress step-by-step.
What Is a WordPress Theme?
A typical WordPress theme will include some, if not all, of the following theme files:
WordPress themes also include a functions.php file and style.css file.
Typically, you’d need a solid understanding of several web design languages or a web developer to create a custom WordPress theme.
Creating Custom WordPress Themes for Beginners
If you hire a developer or web development agency, the cost of creating a custom theme from scratch can be thousands of dollars. Because many small businesses can’t afford the cost, they settle for the default WordPress themes that come with the platform.
Yet, if you’re a website owner who doesn’t want to settle for default, you can either use a theme framework, like Genesis by StudioPress for example, or a WordPress page builder plugin to create a custom theme for your WordPress site.
WordPress theme frameworks make building a WordPress theme easier by automatically handling a lot of the design and functionality. However, they’re still a somewhat complicated solution, requiring child themes for example, so they’re better for developers rather than the average website owner.
On the flip side, WordPress page builders make it super easy to create custom page layouts using a drag and drop interface, but they also have their limits. Page builders only allow you to create layouts, and typically you can’t use them to build custom themes.
What Is the SeedProd Theme Builder?
SeedProd is already a powerful drag-and-drop page builder used by over 1 million website owners. But with its theme builder, any non-techy user can build a completely custom WordPress theme without code.
Instead of juggling wp-content files, you can build themes from scratch with just a few clicks. SeedProd will even create your stylesheet automatically.
SeedProd comes with:
- Visual drag-and-drop interface
- Over 150+ Pro templates
- 2 million stock photos
- WooCommerce support
- Subscriber management dashboard
- Email marketing integrations
And so many additional features and widgets you need to build a custom website using WordPress quickly.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to create a custom WordPress theme without writing a single line of code using SeedProd.
How to Create a Custom WordPress Theme Without Code
To create a custom WordPress theme with SeedProd, you’ll first need a WordPress website to install the SeedProd plugin. If you don’t already have a WordPress installation, you can follow these steps to learn how to create a WordPress website.
Your website should also have a simple WordPress theme installed. You can find many free solutions in the WordPress theme directory. You won’t need to worry about how the theme looks because SeedProd will override it when you publish your customizations.
It’s also a good idea to use a development environment when changing your WordPress theme to avoid accidentally breaking your website. Popular WordPress hosting companies like BlueHost offer test environments by default.
You should also backup your website before making important changes. Here is a list of the best WordPress backup plugins you can use.
Once your WordPress site is ready, follow the steps below to create a custom WordPress theme without code.
Step 1. Install and Activate SeedProd
After downloading the SeedProd plugin zip file to your computer, upload, install and activate it on your WordPress dashboard. If you need help with this step, follow this guide on installing a WordPress plugin.
After installing SeedProd, navigate to SeedProd ≫ Settings from your WordPress admin area and enter your SeedProd license key.
You can find your license key by visiting your SeedProd account area and copying it from the Downloads tab.
Now you can go to SeedProd ≫ Theme Builder and see the Theme Builder overview. This is where you can create a template hierarchy for your WordPress theme.
In other words, it’s where you can create all the individual parts that make up your theme, such as the following:
- Single Post
- Single Page
- Archive (Blog Page)
- Home Page
You can create each of these theme parts individually by clicking the Add New Theme Template button.
But if that sounds too overwhelming for your first try, there’s another way to create your theme.
You can use SeedProd’s premade theme templates to quickly create the basic framework for your theme and customize them to suit your design needs, without code. Because this solution is super easy for beginners, that’s what we’ll focus on for this tutorial.
Note: SeedProd also offers hundreds of responsive landing page templates to help you build custom landing pages.
Step 2. Choose a Theme Template
SeedProd’s theme builder has several themes created for you already. To find them, click the Themes button.
At the time of writing this guide, there are 9 theme templates, including:
- Starter Theme
- Modern Business
- Marketing Agency
- Product Design Theme
- Pet Care Company
- Digital Strategy Theme
- Live Music Theme
- Mortgage Broker Theme
- Restaurant Theme
To choose a theme template for your website, hover your mouse over the thumbnail and click the checkmark icon. For this guide, we’ll use the SeedProd Starter Theme.
After choosing your template, SeedProd creates all the parts that make up your theme automatically.
If there’s a specific feature you don’t wish to show on your website, you can click the toggle under the Publish heading and turn that theme part off.
If you click the conditions link for each template part, you can change its name, type, priority, and choose when and where it appears on your website.
Step 3. Customize Your WordPress Theme Parts
With the basic building blocks of your theme in place, it’s now time to start editing each theme section to create a truly custom WordPress theme for your site.
To edit any theme section, hover over it and click the Edit Design link.
We’ll start by editing the header.
Header and Footer
When you edit a theme section in SeedProd, you’ll head to its visual drag and drop builder. You can customize your theme’s header on this screen by simply pointing and clicking.
As you can see, the Starter Theme comes with a 2 column header that has a logo and navigation menu. You can customize it to show your custom logo by clicking the logo on the live preview.
From there, you can delete the placeholder logo in the left-hand panel and upload a new one from your computer or WordPress media library.
You can adjust your logo size and alignment in the same panel and add a custom link, like your primary website URL.
If you want to change your header background color, hover over the header section until it has a purple outline, then click it to view the section settings in the left-hand panel. From there, you can give your header a custom background color, image and choose the header width.
And in the Advanced tab, you can customize your header’s shadow, spacing, border, and more.
When you’re happy with your custom WordPress header, click the Save button in the top-right corner and exit back to the theme builder.
Now repeat those steps to edit your WordPress footer. Click Edit Design to open it in the visual editor, and click any element to customize the content, colors, links, and more.
Next, we’ll customize your WordPress site homepage, which is often the first page users see when visiting your website. So open the Homepage section in the visual editor.
Because we’ve already customized the header and footer design, you’ll see your new designs at the top and bottom of your homepage. But don’t worry, the changes you make on this screen won’t affect your header or footer; they’re simply there as a visual guide.
SeedProd’s Starter Theme template has all the features that most business websites need, including a:
- Hero area
- Client logos
- FAQ section
Just like the header, you can customize every inch to make it unique. Let’s start by changing the hero area.
The hero area has the following features:
- 2-column layout
To change the default image, simply click it and upload a new image, as you did with your logo.
You can also edit the headline and description by clicking each block and replacing the contents with your custom text.
If you click the button block, you can change the button text, link, alignment, and more.
You can find all of these elements in the left-hand blocks panel. That way, you can drag a block from the left and drop it onto your design to add more content to your theme.
Follow this process for customizing the rest of your homepage until it reflects your business. For example, you can add information about your company’s services or highlight your product features in the features section.
Then you can use SeedProd’s built-in Testimonials block to add positive social proof from your existing clients and customers.
We also changed the background color of this section to match our theme header by opening the section settings and choosing a different color.
After customizing your home page, you can click the mobile preview icon to see how your design looks on mobile devices.
If anything doesn’t look right, you can move things around until your mobile screen offers a good user experience.
When you’re happy with how your homepage looks, click the Save button and return to the theme builder.
Blog Page, Single Posts, and Pages
Chances are you’ll want to include a custom page for blog posts in your new WordPress theme. The good news is SeedProd has a theme part you can customize specifically for that purpose.
That section is called Blog Index, Archives, Search in the theme builder. It lets you tailor your blog posts page, post archives, and search results page to match the rest of your website’s branding.
So click the Edit Design link to open this theme part in the drag and drop builder.
On this page, the Starter Theme uses Template Tags to pull dynamic information from WordPress, including the Archive title and Posts. When you click either of these blocks, you’ll see their settings in the left-hand panel.
For example, when you click the Posts template tag, you can display posts by default, custom (posts, media, or custom posts), or manual by typing specific query parameters.
You can also choose the number of columns, posts per page, show or hide the featured image, show an excerpt, and much more.
After customizing your archive or blog page, head back to the theme builder, and edit the Single Posts section.
This theme part uses the following template tags to pull information about individual WordPress posts:
- Post Title
- Post Info
- Post Content
- Author Box
- Post Comments
- Post Navigation
You can edit each of these blocks as you would with any other SeedProd block. Simply click any element and customize it in the settings panel.
For example, if you click the Post Info block, you can add more meta info, change the alignment, and adjust the icon colors.
Many WordPress websites still use sidebars to display important information to visitors such as their social media profiles, latest posts, and newsletter signup box. But unlike many premade WordPress themes, you can use SeedProd to create a custom WordPress sidebar with its visual building blocks.
To do that, click Edit Design on the Sidebar template part. From there, you can drag and drop any content you like onto your sidebar design.
The Starter Theme includes a search box, social media icons, and post categories by default. But you can add anything you like here. For example, you might want to display a list of recent blog posts or an image linking to an affiliate partner.
You can also use SeedProd’s opt-in form block and collect email addresses to grow your list, right in your sidebar. The best thing is, you won’t need any technical knowledge to make it happen.
By now, you’ve built out most of your custom WordPress theme without code. But there’s one more part you should look at to ensure everything is consistent right across your theme.
That is your Global CSS, which controls your theme’s global styling, typography, colors, and layout. So click Edit Design on that theme part to open it in the page editor.
As you can see, this page gives you control over a lot of your theme’s styling. In the left-hand panel are sections for:
- Custom CSS
For example, you can open the Buttons section and choose a custom color. Then that color will show up on every button in your theme.
You can do the same in the Fonts heading and assign a custom color for every link in your theme.
So go ahead and tweak these settings until your theme looks precisely how you want, then click the Save button to store your changes.
Step 4. Connect Your Email Marketing Service
If one of your business goals is to grow your email list, chances are you’ve added a sign-up form somewhere in your WordPress theme design. But to add new contacts to your list automatically, you’ll need to connect your form to your email marketing service.
SeedProd integrates directly with many popular email marketing services, like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Drip, etc. And it’s a breeze to link to your account.
Simply edit any theme part and click the Connect tab at the top of the screen.
Then, click any integration from the list and follow the on-screen instructions. As a result, anyone who fills in your optin form will automatically be added to your email list.
Step 5. Enable Your Custom WordPress Theme
The final step in creating a custom WordPress theme with SeedProd is to make the theme live on your website. To do that, find the Enable SeedProd Theme heading in the top-right corner and switch the toggle to the “on” position.
Your new theme will override your default theme, allowing you to see your customizations on the front end of your website.
That’s it! Your new custom WordPress theme is live on your website. Let’s see how it looks.
Here’s the homepage with your new header and footer:
Here’s the blog page with your custom WordPress sidebar:
You now know how to create a custom WordPress theme without code.
With SeedProd’s easy and powerful WordPress theme builder, you won’t need any technical experience, WordPress developers, or a massive budget to create a custom WordPress theme.
The power and functionality are right in your hands the moment you install the plugin.
So what are you waiting for?