Web Design & Development: Level III

WordPress Next Steps: Custom WordPress Themes

Instructor:  Kris DeBruine
Mondays, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Spring Quarter, 2015 – 9 Weeks
April 6 - June 1, 2015
Cost: $495


This course is designed to advance students’ understanding of WordPress as a web development platform. We will focus on more advanced WordPress concepts, such as custom page templates, custom post types, template tags, custom queries, and the use of “The Loop” to control the presentation of content. By the end of the quarter, students will have designed a custom WordPress theme from the ground up on their own hosting account. We will be using the self-hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.org) rather than the hosted version (wordpress.com). The course is a hybrid course with a weekly face-to-face session and corresponding online resources and assignments.

Prior Knowledge:  Students must have a good understanding of HTML and CSS as a foundation for this class. Students should also be familiar with basic WordPress publishing techniques.  Students are encouraged to take the WWU Web Design & Development, Level 1 and Level 2 courses, as preparation for this advanced class.

Weekly class sessions will consist of lectures, discussion and guided demonstrations. Our time together each week will be packed with important information and skills, therefore attendance is critical to a student’s progress in the course.

The online portion of the course will consist of reading assignments, web development assignments and quizzes. In addition to the two hours of weekly class time, students should expect to invest another two to five hours to homework each week.


  • Introduction to PHP
  • Understanding “The Loop”
  • Custom Templates: Posts, Pages & Archives
  • Dynamic Sidebars and Widgets
  • Using Custom Fields
  • The WP_Query Class
  • Developing a Custom WordPress Theme


Course Materials

Web Hosting Account
Each student is required to purchase a web hosting account for the duration of the course (3 months of hosting) from an approved hosting provider (approximately $36). The accounts must meet minimum requirements, which include cPanel access, an FTP account, mySQL 5.0+ and PHP 5.2.4+. Web hosting sign-up information will be provided when students register for the course. The web host must be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

Page Updated 11.12.2014