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WordPress Theme Checklist

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Note: The following checklist was based on WordPress 2.0. Since WordPress 2.1, WordPress has replaced and introduced new template tags.

Files, functions, and to-dos you need to check-off before using / publishing your own unique WordPress theme:

Files and Templates

  • 404.php
  • archive.php
  • category.php
  • comments.php
  • footer.php
  • functions.php (for widget-ready sidebar)
  • header.php
  • index.php
  • page.php
  • search.php
  • searchform.php
  • sidebar.php
  • single.php
  • screenshot.png / .jpg / .gif
  • style.css
  • readme.txt (optional)

Header.php

  • Blog’s Title
  • Blog’s Description

Footer.php

  • wp_footer()
  • Footer text and links (usually, copyright message)

Sidebar.php

  • Search form – Does the regular search form match the widget search form?
  • Pages / wp_list_pages() – Have you styled the second level links? Third level links?
  • Categories / wp_list_cats() – Sort by name or ID? In what order? Is hierarchical turned off or on?
  • Archives
  • Calendar – Does the regular calendar match the widget calendar?
  • Links / get_links_list()
  • Meta: wp_register(), wp_loginout(), wp_meta()

Index.php, Archive.php, Category.php, Search.php, Page.php, Single.php

  • the_ID()
  • Post title: the_permalink, the_title()
  • the_content
  • Postmetadata: edit_post_link(), comments_popup_link(), the_author(), the_category(), the_time(),
  • trackback_rdf() [hidden]
  • posts_nav_link() – Next/Previous page links
  • Else – What to display when there is no content.

Archive.php, Search.php

  • the_excerpt() replaces the_content()

Page.php

  • link_pages()
  • Remove Postmetadata
  • Keep edit_post_link()
  • Remove posts_nav_link()
  • comments_template()

Single.php

  • link_pages()
  • Remove comments_popup_link()
  • comments_template()

Comments.php

  • Comments list
  • Comment forms and textarea
  • ‘No comments’ message
  • ‘Comments awaiting moderation’ message
  • ‘Must login’ message
  • ‘Password protected’ message
  • Comments off message

Pages to Validate

  • Home page
  • Archive pages
  • Category pages (if you customize category pages)
  • Search result pages
  • Pages (i.e: About)
  • Single post view page
  • Single post with no comments
  • Single post with comments
  • Single post with must login message
  • Single post with no login required message
  • Password protected single post with comments

Note: This is not an end-all checklist. It covers just the basics. More items will be added.

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