How to Combine WordPress Themes

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WordPress is a popular blogging and content management platform that gives users the ability to customize the look of their blogs and other Web pages. WordPress can be deployed in two ways; the simplest is to have a blog where your site is hosted by WordPress.org. For a more custom approach, you can install and run the WordPress software as the core content management system on your own website. Either way, you can combine two WordPress themes to create a unique theme, although this task is a bit easier if you have access to the server.

  • Download the two themes that you want to combine to separate folders on your computer. Then, open the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file for each theme in any Web page editor. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the names of the components in WordPress so you understand which elements of the style sheet create the visual styles you like. The names of the core components in WordPress remain the same in all themes; only the style values change. For example, when a WordPress blog loads an entry it looks to a style sheet to know how to display the headlines between the <h1> and </h1> and the body text between the opening <p> and closing </p> tags.

  • Open a browser window from your WordPress dashboard and click "Appearance," then "Themes." Install the two themes you want to combine using the WordPress interface; then, apply one of the themes to your blog. View your blog in another browser window. Right-click any blank space and select "View Page Source" from the context menu that appears. Scroll down through the code until you see a "div" container and note the "class" name. Write down which elements you like from your applied theme, then return to the WordPress dashboard and make the other theme active. Repeat this process -- view the source, write down the attractive elements -- for the new theme.

  • Return to your editor and locate the class elements that you liked from each theme and wrote down in Step 2. Select the entire class definition. For example, if you like the paragraph style from the first theme, copy everything from the opening "p {" to the closing "}" curly bracket. Create a new file named "style.css" and paste the code in this file. Do this for every element in the style sheet, building a third CSS file from the styles associated with the two themes. Save the new file.

  • Open the WordPress dashboard again and click "Theme." Click "Edit CSS" and paste your new CSS file into the input field. Alternatively, if you have access to your Web server, upload the new "style.css" file you created in Step 3 to the folder that contains your active WordPress theme.

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