Building Themes for WordPress

This WordPress course runs for two days on Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, September 29th from 12:45pm to 5pm.

This class is for intermediate WordPress users with a HTML/CSS skill set who want to learn how to build custom themes for WordPress. 

We'll cover the following:

Day 1 - Intro to Wordpress themes, Child Themes, Starter Themes and Theme Templates: You'll leave with an understanding of how WordPress themes work, how to find and install them, how to safely modify them and how to create theme templates.

Day 2 - Building Theme Functionality: You'll learn how to build theme functionality such as: widgetized areas, custom widgets, menu areas and custom post types. There will be project time at the end of day 2 to work on themes and answer specific questions.


• Intermediate or higher level WordPress user (stand alone install, NOT

• Strong familiarity with HTML/CSS (PHP a plus, but not required) 

• Ability to use a text editor to edit code 

Please come to class with:

• A laptop

• A locally or remotely hosted sandbox WordPress site to play around with

• Your favorite text editor 

• Graphics editing software (optional)

About Tracy Levesque, our Instructor:

Tracy Levesque is a co-owner of YIKES, Inc., a Philadelphia web design and development company located in Fishtown. She has been designing websites since 1996 and working with WordPress since 2006. She spends her days building custom themes for WordPress and seeing how much functionality she can add without knowing PHP. When not wrangling HTML and CSS, Tracy rides bikes, eats sushi, chases her 7 year old daughter and takes pictures of abandoned buildings.

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  • lynda w.

    Thank you so much for all of your help and patience and encouragement! I was not able to attend Day II, but am grateful for all that I was able to absorb on Day I. Hope to catch up and re-take the class. Keep up the good work and gift to all of us. Loved the location as well.

    2 · October 6, 2013

    • Tracy

      We will be offering another WordPress 101 in the future if you are interested.

      1 · October 7, 2013

  • Colleen H.

    I learned so much from this class, and I'm really excited to play around with building my own theme. I didn't realize half of the things I learned were even possible, and I'm in love with the possibilities. Tracy was an excellent teacher and overall a very relatable, kind and easy going person. The TAs were friendly and helpful, as were the other classmates. Best GDI class I've attended yet!

    2 · September 30, 2013

    • Tracy

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

      1 · September 30, 2013

  • Pamela

    Learned the stuff I wish I always knew, thanks Tracy and Zoe!

    3 · September 30, 2013

    • Tracy

      Thanks for TAing, Brilliant Pamela! You are always a great resource.

      1 · September 30, 2013

  • Tracy

    Thank you all for coming! I had a great time talking about themes.

    3 · September 30, 2013

  • Karen M.

    Anyone know if the metered parking is free on Sundays on 3rd St.?

    September 29, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      Market Street no, but maybe on 3rd, can't remember!

      1 · September 29, 2013

    • Karen M.

      My prompt reply from the nice folks at Indy Hall for anyone else's interest-

      "It depends on exactly where you are on the street. There's definitely free street parking, just MAKE SURE to triple check those crazy signs. So long as it DOES NOT say "no parking", plus the allowed time period says "mon-sat", you're safe. Confusing enough? I swear those signs are designed to make people go crazy!"

      September 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't attend... is there a waiting list who could buy my spot at half price? ... can my non-refundable $90 be donated to Philabundance?

    September 27, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      Randy, sorry you can't make it. Unfortunately we don't offer refunds and there is no wait list. We also can't redistribute funds creatively, based on the system we have. Same offer goes as last time. If Tracy offers this class again, you can sign up again. Thanks!

      September 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Got it. Thank you.

      September 27, 2013

  • Tracy

    Hi Folks. It seems like some people did not get the welcome email I sent out on Monday. Here it is if you didn't get it.

    Hello, WordPress themers!

    Class is coming up this weekend and it's going to be awesome! We are going to learn a lot about building WordPress themes!

    Getting Ready

    Please come to class with a laptop and a locally or remotely hosted sandbox WordPress install ( software not a blog). I would also suggest that you fill your test site with pages and posts with tags and categories. It can just be fake content -- it will come in handy when we get into making templates. You may want to bring some images with you or use an image placeholder site like Also, bring your favorite text editor and File Transfer Program (FTP, SFTP, Git, etc.) if you will be using a remotely hosted WordPres site.

    FYI: We will not have WordPress installs available for folks so please email me if you need help setting one up ahead of time.

    1 · September 27, 2013

    • Tracy



      Class will be taking place at Indy Hall - http://www.indyhall.o...­ 22 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

      Here is their FAQ on getting there:

      What is the best way to get to Indy Hall?

      By Public Transport:
      Our location is conveniently near the 2nd Street stop on the Market Frankford Subway Line, which provides easy cross-town access. We're also very close to stops on several Septa bus routes through Old City Philadelphia.

      By Bicycle:
      If cycling is your preferred mode of transportation, there is ample on-street lockable bike parking as well as limited indoor bike storage.

      September 27, 2013

    • Tracy

      By Car:
      There are several pay-per-day parking lots within a block of Indy Hall, with fees ranging from $8-20 per day depending on your time of entry and the day of the week.

      There is often on-street parking as well, but BE CAREFUL when reading parking signage and be sure to set a timer if you need to feed your meter during the day. You may find free parking, just be mindful of time limits.


      If you have any questions feel free to post them in comments or click on my profile and message me directly.

      See you Saturday!

      September 27, 2013

  • Tracy

    Hey Guys. My company is having a food drive for Philabundance. If you like you can bring food to contribute to class. Here is more info:

    2 · September 27, 2013

  • lisa

    what is the situation for parking for this class?

    September 24, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      There are pay lots and metered parking nearby. All day parking about 6 blocks away if you want to go that route.

      September 24, 2013

  • Karen M.

    DANG!! This look like a great class. Unfortunately I'll be paddling in a Cape May dragon boat regatta that weekend. : ( Repeat!

    August 22, 2013

    • Tracy

      Sorry your Regatta was cancelled, but I'm glad you can join us!

      September 23, 2013

    • Karen M.

      Thanks Tracy, I'm kinda glad too! Really looking forward to this.

      1 · September 23, 2013

  • Adeline K.

    ARGH! I REALLY want to come to this, but have committed to a conference that weekend. I agree with Karen PLEASE DO IT AGAIN!

    1 · August 26, 2013

    • Rebecca

      Same here! I'm totally bummed to miss it. I will make time for this in the future, so please get it back on the calendar!

      1 · August 27, 2013

  • Heather T.

    I would class myself as still a beginner user but I'll look for this class in the future also; it's a great looking curriculum.

    1 · August 27, 2013

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