WordPress theme development and design is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of web development. Whether you’re building a custom theme for a client’s website or designing a theme for widespread distribution, WordPress theme development is one of the most sought-after skills in our industry currently.
As a freelance web designer specializing in WordPress, I spend roughly half of my time designing themes to release as commercial products through my company, ThemeJam. The rest of my time is spent building custom themes for clients through my consultancy, CasJam Media.
In this article, I will break down these two avenues of WordPress theme development and discuss how you, the designer/developer, might approach each situation differently.
For the sake of easy labeling, I’ll refer to each as follows:
How does the task of designing a WordPress theme come about?
If it’s a custom theme project, the job may have come about in a variety of ways. Perhaps it’s for a client that hires you directly. Or you may be working for an agency or acting as a sub-contractor. Perhaps it’s a custom theme design for your own personal project, like your portfolio website or personal blog.
The one thing that all of these scenarios have in common is they come with a set of defined project requirements. Your job is to deploy a custom WordPress theme that delivers on these project objectives.