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Bones: start to develop our WordPress theme

Francesco Mondello 2

Before I started to develop this website (using WordPress, of course), I asked myself what would be the best alternative to create a custom WordPress Theme without building my own around an existing one.

So, searching on the internet I’ve found Bones that, in my opinion, is the best solution to build a WordPress theme nearly from scratch because it’s simple to use, very basic and in a few hours it let us to create a lightweight and functional theme for desktop and mobile browsers. Bones, in a nutshell, is a sort of blank theme that uses the latest web based technologies to start any WordPress project.

What we need to start to develop our own theme using Bones?

The first thing to do, obviously, is to setup a lamp or wamp server on our machine, download the Bones theme and install it on WordPress.

The second thing to do is to install the less compiler. Less is a sort of flexible version of css:

LESS (Leaner CSS) is a dynamic stylesheet language designed by Alexis Sellier. It is influenced by Sass and has influenced the newer “SCSS” syntax of Sass, which adapted its CSS-like block formatting syntax. LESS is open-source. Its first version was written in Ruby, however in the later versions, use of Ruby has been deprecated and replaced by JavaScript. The indented syntax of LESS is a nested metalanguage, as valid CSS is valid LESS code with the same semantics. LESS provides the following mechanisms: variables, nesting, mixins, operators and functions; the main difference between LESS and other CSS precompilers being that LESS allows real-time compilation via LESS.js by the browser. LESS can run on the client-side and server-side, or can be compiled into plain CSS.

To develop the style of our theme, we won’t use the classic style.css file but we will work on the less skeleton that, on a second time, it will be compiled as a single css file.

If you’re searching for the smarter way to start developing your WordPress theme, I highly recommend you to take a look to Bones.

Check out this great tutorial on working with Bones on Tuts Plus.

Download Bones on GitHub.

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