WordPress is the preferred choice blogging platform for a lot of bloggers these days. The other day, WordPress celebrated their fifth birthday and they have certainly come a long way since they started out.
When bloggers first download their WordPress theme, they often don’t know what to do to customize the looks of their blog to stand apart from their competition.
While premium WordPress themes are a great way to add zing to your blog, not everybody can afford them. Therefore learning a bit of CSS and HTML doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, the more you learn some of the basic coding languages of HTML and PHP, the better you will be able to customize your WordPress blog design.
When it comes to coding most people are totally lost. And they are not to blame as it does require some experience. I myself didn’t understand it when I first started blogging. But over the years I gradually learned the language of blogs and websites and am now perfectly capable to change things around to suit my taste.
To understand though how it all fits together you first need to understand what the terms mean and how they all complete each other.
What is CSS?
CSS is a stylesheet language that is used to describe the presentation of a markup language online. Also known as hyper text markup language or HTML.
CSS is generally used to define a presentation such as color, fonts or the layout of a blog or website. The advantage of using CSS separate to HTML is the added functionality this provides users.
It allows webmasters to easily change the layout of their blog, as well as the look at any given time without having to rewrite the whole code.
WordPress blogs usually have a stylesheet that can be manipulated from within your admin or else via FTP.
What is HTML?
HTML is the predominant markup language for the web. HTML contains the text based information in online documents. The language denotes certain text as headings, lists, paragraphs, etc.
To write HTML, tags are used surrounded by angle brackets. Those tags tell the language what to do. For example you can bold text, write it in italics, underline and much more all with the help of tags.
So where CSS provides the visual display, HTML forms the content of a document.
What is PHP?
PHP was invented by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and has since made a full impact in the way we script language today. PHP runs on the actual web server and is capable of creating dynamic web pages.
PHP can be inserted into HTML and on WordPress themes we have a combination of all the three. While this presents users with a vast range of functionality, PHP has its negatives, mainly being vulnerable to hackers if the code is written poorly.
Put it all together
If you currently struggle to understand any of this, don’t despair. I did too and only by learning bits and pieces at the time do I understand a lot more these days.
It is actually a lot of fun to study these languages and programs and implement them on your blog. Just be wary of making changes. Always make a backup of the original theme, before you go about creating new designs.