- Theme Options Panel – Changing themes is fun and a themes options panel allows you and your clients to change a number of things on WordPress theme without having to touch codes. Today, a majority of theme developments require carousal boxes, advertisement blocks, rss boxes and newsletters. Hence, every theme developer should know how to create a themes options panel.
- Short Codes – Understanding these can help you improve your themes. By using simple short codes in place of complicated codes to a page or post, you are making the use of themes easier for your users.
- WordPress Conditional Statements – These can improve the look of your website tremendously. Instead of just appearing like a normal blog, WordPress conditional statements can make your website look supremely attractive. All it needs is a little knowledge and code hacking to achieve the stunning effect you desire. If you know php, it’ll be easy for you understand conditional elements.
- Streamline – Theme development could take half the time it now takes if you can streamline your development. To start with, download dummy posts that somebody else has created. Better still; create your own dummy post so you can instantly load the file onto WordPress. Once you have all the posts you need, click sidebar Tools/Export in the WordPress Admin page and export your posts. For future use, loading these posts onto a new test WordPress install will be easier through the sidebar Tools/Import option.
You could also create your own theme framework that will give you a solid base to build your custom WordPress themes. Just note the header, footer, navigation, sidebar, etc so you can customize easily and quickly.
- Theme Specific Widgets – Options like related post widgets, block widgets, etc allows your users to easily rearrange areas and customize the theme.
- Extras – Adding items like author comments highlights, author bio box for each post, main and sub categories on the same page, and related posts without plugins, can help polish your themes.
- PHP v Plugins – Use php instead of plugins. Without the need to download and install plugins, users will find it easier to use themes.
- Keep it Clean – Excess third-party scripts and codes can slow down your blog. To make your WordPress theme faster, you only need to add a couple of plugins and make simple code changes. Use the ‘wp super cache’ plugin to make your dynamic pages static html pages and decrease load time. You could also use the ‘optimize db’ plugin to optimize your database.
- WordPress Hacks – As a blogging community, WordPress knows little competition. To make it into a great web community, a few adjustments and hacks can be made. A few simple plugins can turn your WordPress website into a Content Management System.
- Update Yourself – This is the best way to improve as a WordPress developer. You must know what latest developments are taking place in your industry. If you don’t yet know that WordPress 2.9 is ready to be released, or that WordPress 2.8.5 takes care of the vulnerabilities of WordPress 2.8.4, then we suggest you read up WordPress development blogs and update yourself.