A Complete Guide To Convert A PSD Template To A WordPress Theme

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WordPress has tremendously covering a wide landscape of web design and development. The platform provides web inspirations that instantly grab visitors’ attention due to their elegance. This ultimately increases its dominance in web development industry. At present, around a quarter of overall websites are based on WordPress which makes it more popular and one of the best open source content management systems in the globe.

If you have shortlisted WordPress to boost your business’s presence, then you have chosen the right path. Because websites based on WordPress win in any condition as these are robustly designed by integrating all the required features and functionalities. To achieve this, you only need to select a WordPress theme to win this race. So, don’t wait and choose an eye-catching WordPress theme which you consider suitable for your business.

Introduction To PSD

Although PSD and WordPress are two known facts hence need no introduction in this advanced web designing world. PSD is basically a Photoshop Document created by using Adobe Photoshop. PSDs are the workable files that let the designers edit and save the image into a separate PNG or JPEG files. Creating PSD designs allow a designer to pour all his creative abilities to design exquisite custom designs.

Now let us move to get an idea of the WordPress themes:

Here, we will be discussing the concept of WordPress themes so that the theory is clear to everyone’s mind including the newbies. For a reference, one can consider WordPress themes similar to their smartphone’s themes. When you apply a theme to your smartphone, it decides the look & feel, icons, navigation and wallpapers. Just like a phone’s theme, WordPress themes act similar and provide a visual identity to the websites and blogs.

Technically, a WordPress theme is a group of small files generally called templates that are designed to completely change the look and feel of a blog page or entire website. Earlier, WordPress was introduced as a simple blogging platform and has grown as a wonderful website development platform which is being admired and loved by web developers. It is the tool which lets designers add additional functionalities with the aid of hundreds of plugins that are easy to use. One can consider WordPress themes as the building blocks of a WP website. Designers also call them the ready to use web designing templates.

In this high-tech world, a wide majority is also running PSD based websites. But, by observing the fast changes in the tech world, they have started moving towards transforming their PSD template to WordPress theme. They consider this technique fairly straightforward and adopting this to uplift their traditional PSD websites to WordPress themes. However, it’s not exactly easy to carry out PSD to WordPress conversion but you can do it by putting your technical skills and coding knowledge. So, it’s the time for you to put your exceptional web designing skills and convert your beautiful PSD designs to fantastic WordPress themes.

Converting PSD to WordPress Themes:

WordPress comes with a wide scope hence facilitates developers with the pre-built themes that one can use to create attractive web pages. It also provides the facility to create your own custom WP themes which can be done by converting your PSD to WordPress themes. You may feel it so complicated but when you follow the below-mentioned steps, you will find the process easy to execute:

Step 1: Slicing The PSD

The method of crafting PSDs into WordPress theme starts with slicing. This process requires all the PSDs to cut into layers and divide them into separate image files. Doing this helps designers save each component in a separate design file. There are many photo editing tools and software that you can use to slice your PSD files. More preferably, designers use Photoshop to accomplish this purpose.

Make sure you are slicing and uploading those images to your website that are actually needed. More image uploads lead to slower page loading. So, try to upload lesser and optimized images. Segregating between the static and dynamic images is also necessary. So, do it carefully.

The most important components that need to look first while slicing the PSDs are:

  • Background
  • Separator and header
  • Footer and others

Be cautious while slicing the aforementioned components as a single mismatch or mistake can result in a messy final webpage.

Step 2: Create index.html and Style.css

The next step leads web designing towards the programming world where developers use techniques to create powerful codes for sliced PSDs. This phase carried out by creating static HTML & CSS templates from the layered & sliced PSD designs. To make all your PSDs identifiable for the future, it is better to name the files as index.html and Style.css.

Designers use different tools and software to get the coding done in easier ways. Most of the designers also use Dreamweaver and Fireworks to make the coding phase convenient. If you get stuck during making codes for some specific area, taking help from some of the online HTML tutorials like TutsPlus, W3Schools and specific developer community would be of your great use.

You can implement this phase by first placing all the sliced components and images to the right positions with the help of assigned index.html and associated CSS file. To make the site beautiful and fully compatible, one can also adopt the tactic to convert PSD to responsive WordPress in order to customize the design in your own ways.

Let’s go through a sample code based on div tag including CSS styling.

CSS and its sample output:

Here, in the above-placed image, you can see how header, background and footer images are converted from the sliced PSDs.

Step 3: Break Down The index.html into WordPress Theme Structure

Now, what you have got in your hands after completing the 2nd phase? Obviously, a basic final template which needs to port to the WordPress framework. But, if you are a newcomer and working without taking help of a professional WP developer, then you may require a basic knowledge of how things can be organized in WordPress.

When you work with WordPress, you will find a different type of file structure which you need to follow for uploading the modified web changes. Basically, you need to upload your finalized webpages to WordPress environment. Doing this will reduce your hassle of adding additional functionalities compatibility issues because WordPress handles all these issues seamlessly and professionally. So, you should use the WP file structure properly to break your index.html file into necessary coding (.php) files.

Besides index.html and style.css, there are so many other PHP files like archive.php, header.php, footer.php, sidebar.php, etc. are available in a WordPress theme. It’s all up to you, how you break down, divide and organize all the index.html files into necessary .php files. In case, if you find breakdown and division of code intimidating, you can hire WordPress developer to precisely accomplish this task. Taking help from online tutorials can also prove to be beneficial for this step.

Let’s give you an idea of the types of files in a WordPress theme:

  • header.php
  • index.php
  • sidebar.php
  • footer.php

Now, move on to knowing about some more related WP theme files:

  • rtl.css
  • style.css
  • front-page.php
  • comments.php
  • single.php
  • home.php
  • tag.php
  • category.php
  • page.php
  • archive.php
  • search.php
  • date.php
  • image.php
  • attachment.php
  • 404.Php

Without using these files, a developer can’t proceed with creating a fool-proof WordPress website design. Therefore, using these files in the accurate ways is necessary to compose a great website design.

Step 4: Adding WordPress Tags

You are almost at the end of your PSD to WordPress theme conversion process. Only the part which is left is importing the excellent inbuilt WP functionality to the integrated theme files with the help of WordPress tags. Your actions of integrating a WordPress theme are not completed until you add these WP tags to the design. You can follow the links to get deep knowledge about different types of WP tags.


There are a variety of tags that are used with .php files to enhance the usability of a WP theme. If you want to know more about the WP tags that are used to add functionality to a theme. Consider below link as your guide.


Here, you will find a detailed description of each WP tag with elaborated examples.

After using the functions and tags, it is the time to place all the necessary conversion files into a single uniquely defined folder from where you can handle each website related activity. Next, you need to put this folder under the —-/wp-content/themes/ folder which you may find in your WordPress installation destination. Suppose, if you have installed your WordPress in the WordPress-testing folder, then the theme name is theme-test and your final file will automatically save to the location WordPress-testing/wp-content/themes/theme-test/.

If all the steps are done exactly as per the criteria, you are now be able to activate the PSD to customized WordPress theme by accessing your WordPress dashboard.

You can now enjoy working with a completely new website having a customized look and feel.

Step 5: Add additional functionalities

You have reached the last step and till now, you have completed the PSD to WordPress conversion for your website. Undoubtedly, you have integrated all the required features to the website. But, there is always a room for improvement where you can test your skills by adding some other functionalities to improve the visibility of the finalized WP website. You are free to unfold the magic of WordPress which you can see by experimenting with its features and functionalities.

The Bottom Line:

Go through each step deeply and you will find that the process of converting PSD template to WordPress theme is quite simpler. If someone still finds the conversion process tough or daunting, he/she can choose to hire WordPress developer to get this done timely and proficiently. A WordPress developer is experienced and abreast of each WP related aspect. So, hand over your project in expert hands to get outstanding final PSD to WordPress conversion results.

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