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How to Convert PSD Design to WordPress Theme

July 12, 2016


Website design and development are the two most imperative skills required in today’s era. Having a beautiful yet functional website is a must for businesses of all sizes, types and lengths to not only increase sales but also to improve the user experience.

WordPress powers more than 24.7% of websites today, which clearly indicates the rising popularity of WordPress among website and business owners. Moreover, when it comes to building visually appealing and feature-rich websites with WordPress, you get to choose between hundreds of themes offered by WordPress. Unfortunately, almost every other website created with WordPress uses the same themes, which makes them lose their originality and uniqueness.

But thanks to image editing software and WordPress flexibility, you don’t have to settle with an ordinary WordPress theme that may have been used by millions of websites. You can simply create a beautiful PSD design and then convert it to WordPress theme to create your own customized website.

To help you build a customized website with a customized theme, we are going to share the simplest method with steps to convert your PSD designs to WordPress theme.

Designing your PSD designs in Photoshop

The first step in the process of creating a personalized website is designing your PSD designs in Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop is one of the most popular graphic design software that enables you to create images and designs that can then be converted to web pages. It has a largely intuitive user interface, which encourages significantly shorter learning curve in spite of sophisticated design capabilities and complexity of the software.

The software allows you to design a web page like a professional designer, comprising background and professional page layouts, posts, ads, search bar, social media icons, site navigation, logos and so much more.

The initial step towards designing a PSD design is creating a professional logo that reflects your brand’s identity. The software allows you to import already created a logo from Illustrator or any other program to Photoshop or create a new one in it.

Then comes setting up the background to your website design a profound base. Now, you layer in the ad and page layout, search functions, sliders, social media icons, navigation icons, logo, footer and so forth.

Converting your PSD design to WordPress theme

Step 1. Slicing PSD

Slicing PSD

Slicing is the first step in PSD to WordPress conversion process. As the name suggests, it involves dividing a PSD image design into multiple design files each containing the varied design component of the overall design.

Slicing is important to give your website a strong foundation as well as flexibility to be framed as per your requisites. In fact, to create a robust and scalable website, multiple images are brought together seamlessly, where every component has its own purpose and functionality.

The main part of the template should include following files

  • Background
  • Header
  • Content
  • Sidebar
  • Footer

Background

To create background file, you would need to disable all the layers except for the background and save it as bg.jpg.

Header and menu

Similarly to create header and menu files, use crop tool and crop the relevant area from the image and save it as header.jpg. Also, within the header image, crop the navigation bar and save it as menu_line.jpg.
Footer

Now, let’s move to the footer and slice it from our PSD design. Repeat the same process and cut the relevant section from the image and save it in a new file called footer.jpg.

Use the same method to create sidebar.jpg, content.jpg files, and other files.

Step 2: Creating index.html and style.css files

Creating index.html and style.css files

Index.html and style.css are the two most important files of a WordPress themes without which you cannot expect your theme to function.

However, you should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS to code the sliced images into HTML and CSS files.

First of all, create a folder and save it with any name. Now create two files index.html and style.css in your Dreamweaver software (or any other preferred software).

Your template folder will contain three things including images folder (where you would keep all your website images), index.html and style.css.
Write the HTML code in the index.html file and CSS code in style.css file.

Step 3: Breaking HTML file into WordPress theme files

Breaking HTML file into WordPress theme files

A theme consists of a variety of PHP files including the header.php, archive.php, category.php, index.php, comments.php, single.php, 404.php, sidebar.php and more.

Create these files by adding PHP code to your HTML files created using images sliced in the first step and save them with a .php extension.

Keep all the relevant code between PHP tags i.e.

<?php
your code
?>

Step 4: Adding WordPress Tags

Adding WordPress Tags

Once you have created all PHP WordPress files, it’s time to add the basic functionality to the theme with hundreds of inbuilt functions and tags.

You don’t need to have in-depth technical knowledge. Simply add WP inbuilt function tags in the themes files to get the job done. WordPress will take care of the working of these functions. And that is the beauty of this popular CMS.

Let’s suppose you want to show latest posts on your homepage. For this, you would need to add wp_get_recent_posts($args, $output) function. Similarly, you can use other inbuilt functions to add relevant functionality to your website.

Step 5: Adding files to a folder

Adding files to a folder

Once you have all your WordPress theme files ready, you can start adding them to a folder which was created in step 2. The folder may comprise other folders for your website images, CSS files, and Javascript files.

Now, connect to FTP and place your theme folder into /wp-content/themes/

Congratulations, you have successfully converted your PSD file into fully functional WordPress theme.

Now you have custom built theme that will be working on your WordPress powered website. Go to appearance ? themes to activate the theme to see it in action.

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