Modifying Your Theme’s Design – Learning CSS: Atlanta WordPress Users Group Presentation

Here’s my presentation for the Atlanta WordPress Users Group to continuing their discussion on theming. The meetup gives you a first hand look at modifying your Theme’s look and feel. We’ll be showing you how to make typical changes to existing themes. We will not be showing you how to create your own theme from scratch, though we will have a meetup later in the year to do that.

During this meetup we discussed:

• What is CSS and why do we use it?

• What are ‘typical’ modifications to themes and how to make them

• Using ‘inspect element’ and/or ‘firebug’ to find and test

• Correct way to change Fonts

• Simple color theory and design

Here’s the slide deck for the presentation

The presentation overviews the internet, teaches us how to spell HTML and other web programming “languages” that come together to form a WordPress website, like HTML, CSS & PHP. We even discussed web development tools like FTP clients and which text editors to use. We went over what makes up a wordpress theme and then the concept of child themes. Discussed the process of creating your own child theme with just a couple files and that you can create a child theme for any theme out there. We demoed how to view source and dissect any website, but more importantly, how to inspect elements on your site and live-edit the css for any element. Then to write these CSS rules to our theme to lock in the edits in your child theme.

If you have any further questions that you would specifically like reviewed, leave them in the comments below and I’ll respond.

We created a child theme for twentysixteen

We created our own child theme and discussed the benefit to creating a child theme over other ways to modify a WP theme. Our twentysixteen child theme did wonders for the look:

Screenshot 2016-03-10 08.32.56

We explored the code to create our own WordPress child theme

Here are the code snippets for review

function theme_enqueue_styles() {
$parent_style = 'parent-style';
wp_enqueue_style( $parent_style, get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css' );
wp_enqueue_style( 'child-style', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/style.css', array( $parent_style ) );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'theme_enqueue_styles' );

view raw
hosted with ❤ by GitHub

* The template for displaying the header
* Displays all of the head element and everything up until the "site-content" div.
* @package WordPress
* @subpackage Twenty_Sixteen
* @since Twenty Sixteen 1.0
?><!DOCTYPE html>
<html <?php language_attributes(); ?> class="no-js">
<meta charset="<?php bloginfo( 'charset' ); ?>">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<meta name="who" content="is your daddy">
<link rel="profile" href="">
<?php if ( is_singular() && pings_open( get_queried_object() ) ) : ?>
<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo( 'pingback_url' ); ?>">
<?php endif; ?>
<?php wp_head(); ?>
<body <?php body_class(); ?>>
<div id="page" class="site">
<div class="site-inner">
<a class="skip-link screen-reader-text" href="#content"><?php _e( 'Skip to content', 'twentysixteen' ); ?></a>
<header id="masthead" class="site-header" role="banner">
<div class="site-header-main">
<div class="site-branding">
$description = get_bloginfo( 'description', 'display' );
if ( $description || is_customize_preview() ) : ?>
<p class="site-description"><?php echo $description; ?></p>
<?php endif; ?>
<?php if ( is_front_page() && is_home() ) : ?>
<h1 class="site-title"><a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" rel="home"><?php bloginfo( 'name' ); ?></a></h1>
<?php else : ?>
<p class="site-title"><a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" rel="home"><?php bloginfo( 'name' ); ?></a></p>
<?php endif; ?>
</div><!– .site-branding –>
<?php if ( has_nav_menu( 'primary' ) || has_nav_menu( 'social' ) ) : ?>
<button id="menu-toggle" class="menu-toggle"><?php _e( 'Menu', 'twentysixteen' ); ?></button>
<div id="site-header-menu" class="site-header-menu">
<?php if ( has_nav_menu( 'primary' ) ) : ?>
<nav id="site-navigation" class="main-navigation" role="navigation" aria-label="<?php esc_attr_e( 'Primary Menu', 'twentysixteen' ); ?>">
wp_nav_menu( array(
'theme_location' => 'primary',
'menu_class' => 'primary-menu',
) );
</nav><!– .main-navigation –>
<?php endif; ?>
<?php if ( has_nav_menu( 'social' ) ) : ?>
<nav id="social-navigation" class="social-navigation" role="navigation" aria-label="<?php esc_attr_e( 'Social Links Menu', 'twentysixteen' ); ?>">
wp_nav_menu( array(
'theme_location' => 'social',
'menu_class' => 'social-links-menu',
'depth' => 1,
'link_before' => '<span class="screen-reader-text">',
'link_after' => '</span>',
) );
</nav><!– .social-navigation –>
<?php endif; ?>
</div><!– .site-header-menu –>
<?php endif; ?>
</div><!– .site-header-main –>
<?php if ( get_header_image() ) : ?>
* Filter the default twentysixteen custom header sizes attribute.
* @since Twenty Sixteen 1.0
* @param string $custom_header_sizes sizes attribute
* for Custom Header. Default '(max-width: 709px) 85vw,
* (max-width: 909px) 81vw, (max-width: 1362px) 88vw, 1200px'.
$custom_header_sizes = apply_filters( 'twentysixteen_custom_header_sizes', '(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 81vw, (max-width: 1362px) 88vw, 1200px' );
<div class="header-image">
<a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" rel="home">
<img src="<?php header_image(); ?>" srcset="<?php echo esc_attr( wp_get_attachment_image_srcset( get_custom_header()->attachment_id ) ); ?>" sizes="<?php echo esc_attr( $custom_header_sizes ); ?>" width="<?php echo esc_attr( get_custom_header()->width ); ?>" height="<?php echo esc_attr( get_custom_header()->height ); ?>" alt="<?php echo esc_attr( get_bloginfo( 'name', 'display' ) ); ?>">
</div><!– .header-image –>
<?php endif; // End header image check. ?>
</header><!– .site-header –>
<div id="content" class="site-content">

view raw
hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Theme Name: Child of 2016
Theme URI:
Description: Twenty Sixteen Child Theme
Author: Evan Mullins
Author URI:
Template: twentysixteen
Version: 1.0.0
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:
Text Domain: twenty-sixteen-child
.site-branding .site-title a {
color: cyan;
font-size: 4rem;
// border: 1px solid red;
margin: 50px;
padding: 50px;
.site-description {
text-indent: -999rem;
background: url(img/logo.png) center center no-repeat transparent;
background-image: url(img/logo.png);
display: block;
width: 500px;
height: 500px;
background-size: contain;
.entry-date {
font-size: 10px;
.entry-footer a {
color: pink;
.entry-footer a {
color: pink;
a {
color: tomato;
a:hover {
color: rgba(130,203,45, .8);
a:visited {
color: #00cc33;
.widget_meta {
.widget_recent_comments {
padding: 1rem;
margin: 1rem 0 4rem;
.widget_recent_comments .widget-title {
background: black;
color: pink;
padding: 1rem;
.site-info .site-title {
font-size: 3rem;

view raw
hosted with ❤ by GitHub

2 thoughts on “Modifying Your Theme’s Design – Learning CSS: Atlanta WordPress Users Group Presentation

  1. Thanks for the great tips! I do have a question however that I think you could probably answer.
    I was wondering, Can a web designer/developer use ‘free’ bootstrap templates to make a website/web app for a
    paying client? Or is it better to use a paid template? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Yes, you can use bootstrap and other open source/free tools to create sites and projects for paying clients. Best,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.