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How to Create a Custom WordPress Theme Without Code

How to Create a Custom WordPress Theme Without Code in 2024 

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of SeedProd. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Ever wanted 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 one for you. But thanks to new and easy-to-use WordPress theme generators, anyone can create a professional theme without writing code.

With this in mind, I’ve made one myself to show you how easy it is.

In This Guide

Creating Custom WordPress Themes for Beginners

If you hire a developer or web development agency, creating a custom theme from scratch can cost thousands of dollars. Since many small businesses can’t afford the cost of custom WordPress themes, they settle for the default themes that come with the platform.

Yet, if you’re a website owner who doesn’t want to settle for default, you can use a WordPress page builder plugin. They make it 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; typically, you can’t use them to build custom themes. That was until SeedProd decided to solve this problem with its WordPress theme builder.

SeedProd Drag and Drop WordPress website 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 create a 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.

The plugin comes with:

  • Visual drag-and-drop interface
  • Over 150+ Pro templates
  • 2 million stock photos
  • WooCommerce support
  • Subscriber management dashboard
  • Email marketing integrations

And many other features and widgets to build a custom website quickly.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to create a custom WordPress theme using SeedProd.

How to Create a Custom WordPress Theme Without Code

To create a custom WordPress theme with SeedProd, you’ll 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 the theme’s appearance 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 hosting companies like BlueHost offer test environments by default.

bluehost best WordPress hosting solution

You should also back up your website before making essential 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

The first step is to install and activate SeedProd. You’ll need a SeedProd Pro or Elite license to access the theme builder feature.

After downloading the 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.

Enter your SeedProd theme builder license key

You can find your license key by visiting your SeedProd account area and copying it from the Downloads tab.

Find your SeedProd license key

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.

SeedProd WordPress theme builder overview

In other words, it’s where you can create all the individual parts that make up your theme, such as the following:

  • Header
  • Footer
  • Single Post
  • Single Page
  • Archive (Blog Page)
  • Home Page
  • Sidebar

You can create each of these theme parts individually by clicking the Add New Theme Template button.

Add new theme template

But if that sounds too overwhelming for your first try, there’s another way to create your theme.

You can use the 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 I’ll focus on for this tutorial.

Note: SeedProd offers hundreds of responsive 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 Theme Template Kits button.

SeedProd theme template kits

When writing this guide, there are over 100 theme templates for various niches and industries.

SeedProd premade WordPress theme templates

To choose a theme template for your website, hover your mouse over the thumbnail and click the checkmark icon. For this guide, I’ll use the SeedProd Starter Theme.

Choose a SeedProd theme template

After choosing your template, SeedProd automatically creates all the parts that make up your theme.

SeedProd WordPress theme templates

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.

unpublish a WordPress theme section

If you click the conditions link for each template part, you can change its name, type, and priority and choose when and where it appears on your website.

Edit WordPress theme conditions

Step 3. Customize Your WordPress Theme Parts

With the basic building blocks of your theme in place, it’s time to start editing each theme section to create a custom WordPress theme for your site.

To edit any theme section, hover over it and click the Edit Design link.

edit WordPress theme design

I’ll start by editing the header.

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 has a 2 column header with a logo and navigation menu. You can customize it to show your custom logo by clicking it on the live preview.

Change your WordPress header logo

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. You can give your header a custom background color image and choose the width from there.

Give your WordPress header a custom background color

You can customize your header’s shadow, spacing, border, and more in the Advanced tab.

Advanced WordPress header settings

When you’re happy with your custom WordPress header, click the Save button in the top-right corner and return 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.

Custom WordPress theme footer

Create a Custom WordPress Theme Home Page

Next, I’ll customize the WordPress homepage, which is often the first page users see when visiting your website. So open the Homepage section in the visual editor.

Because I’ve already customized the header and footer design, the new design will be at the top and bottom of the homepage. But don’t worry, your changes on this screen won’t affect your header or footer; they’re there as a visual guide.

Customize your WordPress homepage template

SeedProd’s Starter Theme template has all the features that most business websites need, including a:

  • Hero area
  • Client logos
  • Features
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ section

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:

  • Section
  • 2-column layout
  • Image
  • Heading
  • Text
  • Button

To change the default image, click it and upload a new image, as you did with your logo.

You can edit the headline and description by clicking each block and replacing the contents with your custom text.

Change your homepage template content

If you click the button block, you can change the button text, link, alignment, and more.

customize WordPress theme buttons

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.

drag and drop content

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.

Add a features section to your homepage

Then, you can use the built-in Testimonials block to add positive social proof from your existing clients and customers.

add customer testimonials to your WordPress theme

I also changed the background color of this section to match the theme header by opening the section settings and choosing a different color.

custom section background color

After customizing your home page, you can click the mobile preview icon to see how your design looks on mobile devices.

Preview WordPress theme in mobile

You can move things around if anything looks wrong until your mobile screen offers a good user experience.

create a custom WordPress theme and preview on mobile

When you’re happy with how your homepage looks, click the Save button and return to the theme builder.

Custom WordPress Theme 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 that 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 post 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.

SeedProd WordPress blog archive template

The Starter Theme on my page uses Template Tags to pull dynamic information from WordPress, including the Archive title and Posts. If your template is similar, clicking these blocks shows 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 manually by typing specific query parameters.

Add the posts template tag in WordPress for blog pages

You can also choose the number of columns posts per page, show or hide the featured image, an excerpt, and more.

After customizing your archive or blog page, head to the theme builder and edit the Single Posts section.

SeedProd WordPress single post template

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 these blocks as you would with any other SeedProd block. 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.

post info settings

Many WordPress websites still use sidebars to display important information to visitors, such as their social media profiles, latest posts, and newsletter signup boxes. 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. You can drag and drop any content you like from there onto your sidebar design.

SeedProd sidebar template

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 in your sidebar. The best thing is you won’t need any technical knowledge to make it happen.

Add an optin form to your sidebar template

Custom WordPress Theme Global CSS

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. 

Your Global CSS 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.

SeedProd global css

As you can see, this page gives you control over your theme’s styling. In the left-hand panel are sections for:

  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Background
  • Buttons
  • Forms
  • Layout
  • 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.

Custom global theme buttons

You can do the same in the Fonts heading and assign a custom color for every link in your theme.

Customize your WordPress link colors

So 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 in your WordPress theme design. But to automatically add new contacts to your list, 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.

Edit any theme part and click the Connect tab at the top of the screen.

SeedProd email marketing integrations

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.

Enable your custom WordPress theme

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.

Here’s the homepage I created with a new header and footer on my test site:

Custom WordPress theme homepage

Here’s the blog page I made with a custom WordPress sidebar:

Custom WordPress theme blog page and sidebar

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a WordPress theme?

WordPress themes are template files written in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Each file works together to create the design and functionality of your WordPress site. A typical WordPress theme will include some, if not all, of the following theme files:

  • footer.php
  • header.php
  • index.php
  • page.php
  • sidebar.php
  • archive.php

WordPress themes also include a functions.php file and a style.css file.

Can I create a custom WordPress theme without any coding experience?

Yes, you can create a custom WordPress theme without any coding experience by using a theme builder like SeedProd, which provides a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates to help you easily design your theme.

How do I export the custom theme I created with SeedProd?

You can export your WordPress theme as a .zip file using SeedProd’s import/export feature. Follow this guide to learn how to export a WordPress theme with SeedProd.

Congratulations!

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 when you install the plugin.

If you want to make a specific type of website, you may like these guides:

Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave a comment with any questions and feedback.

You can also follow us on YouTubeX (formerly Twitter), and Facebook for more helpful content to grow your business.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

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