WordPress Theme Customization

Create custom, responsive WordPress websites using WP Jump Start

WP Jump Start is an amazing new WordPress framework that allows designers and developers to create highly unique and responsive websites. The theme has many accessible HTML elements you can modify in a child theme quite easily, great support, and awesome end-user features accessible via the WordPress Dashboard. Overall, it is a very flexible tool for building custom sites without having to know a lot of PHP coding. (Read more about Jump Start’s features and why it’s a great development tool.)

The latest version of WP Jump Start comes with an incredibly versatile page/template builder that allows you to create very dynamic and modern-looking websites featuring:

  • Full-width content blocks with optional parallax scrolling, background images, sliders, transparency, and more!
  • Layout elements including Jumbotron text over a slider, columns, Google maps, pricing charts, progress bars, promotional blocks, calls to action, and much more!
  • Shortcodes for components such as accordions, tabbed content, buttons, dividers, columns, alert boxes, icon lists, and much more!
  • Options for sticky header, deep footer, and mega menu.
  • Many template elements to create dynamic, modern-looking websites. 

This course is designed for designers and coders who want to take their skills to a new level by learning how to customize a WordPress theme to match a specific design concept.

WordPress Theme Development Course

Dates: Winter 2017 – TBA
Location: Boulder Digital Arts, 1600 Range Street, Boulder, Colorado
BDA Members: $1,150.00
Non-Members: $1,250.00
Discount Code for 10% off: Bowman2016
Registration: Advanced WordPress Theme Customization Certificate Program

This session is limited to eight students so sign up soon to reserve your spot!

During our six weeks together, you will learn how to:

  • Create a local development environment and use a code editing application to modify theme files
  • Edit a theme’s stylesheet and effectively override plugin styles
  • Work with Bootstrap components, such as tabs, toggles, modal windows, buttons, and more!
  • Work with the WordPress template hierarchy and create custom templates
  • Generate your own image sizes to use in layouts
  • Use a sophisticated Template builder to create modern, full-width layouts
  • Take advantage of the latest FontAwesome icon set
  • Integrate sliders into your layouts
  • Write @media queries for responsive styling
  • Use plugins to control content display
  • Take advantage of fancy fonts, such as Google and Typekit fonts in your layouts
  • Create and use image sprites
  • Use CSS3 generator tools
  • Write PHP functions to control content display
  • Use unique sidebars and widget areas anywhere
  • And much more!


Using a combination of engaging lectures and hands-on coding activities, you will build a fully-functional “Sweet Nothings” candy shop website that takes advantage of all the cool features of this dynamic theme.


Week 1 – Getting Started and Overview

  • How WordPress works – all about the database and template files
  • How child themes and frameworks work
  • Overview of Jump Start theme, child theme, and plugins (including the Template Builder)

Week 2 – Creating the Sweet Nothings Home Page

  • Creating the Sweet Nothings Home Page
  • Setting up the Sweet Nothings home page in the Template Builder and modifying the child theme’s stylesheet to customize the logo, menu, fonts, and icons
  • Using plugins to help manage widget content and styling more effectively
  • Integrating web fonts like Google Fonts, Typekit, and Fonts.com

Week 3 and 4 – Creating Interior Pages and Website Store

  • Working with post grids, post lists, and page templates
  • Modifying content templates in the child theme
  • Creating custom page templates
  • Defining custom image sizes
  • Setting up WooCommerce for candy store

Week 5 – Understanding Functions and Hooks

  • What is the WordPress functions file
  • Introduction to Hooks, Actions, and Filter
  • How to Write a Function
  • WordPress Action Hooks and Theme Support
  • WordPress Filter Hooks
  • Theme Blvd Action Hooks and Filter Hooks

Week 6 – Responsive CSS, Troubleshooting, Go Live

  • Learn how to write @media queries
  • Modify the child theme’s responsive CSS
  • Validation and Browser Bugs
  • Troubleshooting and identifying PHP errors
  • Go Live Checklist
  • Maintenance


You should have a good understanding of HTML and CSS and solid experience working with the WordPress dashboard (posts, pages, media library, categories, settings, adding plugins and themes). Ideally, you should have some experience customizing WordPress themes for clients and are ready to take your skills and what you can offer to the next level both in terms of efficiency and function.

Sample Sites


View sites built by developers around the world using WP Jump Start:


Testimonials from past students:

Angela, thanks for the great, great experience of your WordPress theme development class. I have been struggling for a few years to bring all the pieces of WordPress development together into a working knowledge of WordPress. I certainly appreciated all the content and your generosity in sharing all of your resources. I had high expectations for this series of classes and you exceeded them at every step. I love that I can now call myself a WordPress developer! Thank you!
~ Doug Sammond

This class gave me a quantum leap into the world of WordPress customization. I am so much improved at my customization skills now then when I began, and it feels so good. Angela provides a wealth of information and I often refer to her online documentation that is, as well, filled with useful snippets and wise counsel. If you are curious about how you might find your WordPress niche and gain experience with a flexible WordPress theme, ‘WPJumpstart with Angela Bowman’ is for you!
~ Zoe Snyder, Lafayette, CO

Angela’s class on how to customize themes with the JumpStart Framework has been the foundation for all of my website work since taking the class. Although I’d been making websites for years before taking the class, the tools I acquired gave me a leap forward. Angela is an engaging and patient teacher. She not only does a thorough job of teaching the class, but is extremely generous with her support after the class. I highly recommend this class, and Angela as a teacher.
~ Eliana Berlfein, Sidewalk Cafe Design, Boulder, CO

Angela’s WP Jumpstart class is so rich with content that I went back again this past year to review. Review? No way! I learned all new things that I am applying daily to my websites. Everything was perfectly layed out in an easy to follow program. The supplemental material has been super helpful. Don’t miss out on your chance to impact your business, your web design and your stress levels with Angela’s teaching.
~ Ingrid DiPaula, DesignInk, Boulder, CO

I can’t recommend Angela’s class(es) highly enough. She knows her stuff and, more uncommon, she knows how to teach. She works hard to stay up-to-date and she’s amazingly generous with her time. She’s honest about what she does not know (that’s very little btw), and if you have a question she can’t answer you can be sure she’ll get back to you with an answer before you’ve given it another thought. Sign up, open up, put in your time, and you’ll learn.
~Michael Signorella, Creative Director, Studio Signorella

Angela Bowman

Front-end WordPress developer since 2007 building highly custom websites for nonprofits and small businesses. Experienced in nonprofit administration, grant writing, and technical writing. Love high altitude hiking and backyard chickens.

View all posts by Angela Bowman

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