BlogHer '10 Speaker Spotlight, July 27, 2010: Creating (or Massively Altering) a WordPress theme

BlogHer Original Post

Many bloggers choose WordPress when creating a new blog: the interface is simple enough for even the most novice blogger, and themes are fairly easy to change. More savvy bloggers customize their sites, which requires knowledge of HTML, and CSS, and PHP. If you're looking for your next Geeky challenge, we've got just the session for you! We're calling it:  "Creating (or Massively Altering) a WordPress Theme." The workshop is intended for Intermediate to Advanced levels.

Here's the description:

More and more of our community are using Wordpress. Ed Donahue and Shazia Mistry
will focus on taking your blog design and layout to new heights, getting into the nuts and bolts of everything beyond basic HTML and CSS.

Creating a WordPress Theme, led by Shazia Mistry
Learn to create a magazine-style website with WordPress and Thematic. Thematic is a WordPress framework theme, with 13 widget-ready sidebars. In the session we will be dismantling an existing blog - taking a close look at the WordPress tags and templates that makes up a dynamic and highly functional website. Prerequisites: Previous experience modifying WordPress themes, working knowledge of html, css, php (as it applies to WordPress development).

Modifying a WordPress theme, led by Ed Donahue

Take a look under the hood of your WordPress theme to take your blog to new heights. Learn about the required elements of a WordPress theme and how to modify them to fit into your blog’s unique visual style. Prerequisites: Previous experience with or, some familiarity with CSS, HTML and PHP is a plus.

These are workshop-type sessions; if you're coming with a laptop, feel free to have a sandbox WordPress installation ready, and thematic downloaded and activated as your active theme. Come with your existing WordPress issues.

Meet the speakers:

Shazia Mistry began creating websites in 1998. She works with many different content management systems, including WordPress, Expression Engine, and Textpattern, plus forums and shopping carts. As a freelance designer, she offers complete web solutions - not just website support. At past BlogHer conferences, Shazia has taught on WordPress, social networking, beginner blogger FAQs and more.

Erin "Ed" Donahue is a software engineer, graduating from Depauw University in 2009 with a degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about teaching and getting women involved in technology, and is active in women's tech groups such as Girl Geek Dinners and the Grace Hopper Celebrations. Ed blogs about her life at

Have you ever altered or created a theme in WordPress ... or have you wanted to? Join this session to challenge your inner geek, to pick up new tips, and to share a few of your own.

About the Speaker Spotlight Series: BlogHer is excited about our upcoming conferences this summer (yes, conferences, plural: BlogHer Business '10, White House Project Workshop and BlogHer '10 will all be taking place under one roof in New York City this August). Though we may still be a few months away, we figure it's never too early to begin introducing you to our speakers. Over the next many weeks, I'll randomly select a panel or two to highlight each Tuesday. Though the panels are randomly selected, our speakers are not -- we take great care in researching, considering and inviting speakers for each conference, with a special focus on featuring new and diverse voices. We hope you’ll learn a lot, think a lot and jump into lively conversations with these speakers!

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