We'll be touching on the Notes Blog Core theme frequently from now on, so this section demonstrates the basic theme by taking the Core theme and cutting it down a bit to illustrate what a minimal WordPress theme can look like. Sure, you can make it even smaller still—after all, you just need a style.css and an index.php to have a fully functional WordPress theme—but it is a lot more likely that you'll use at least the most common template files.
A few words about the Notes Blog Core theme are probably in order before you cut it to pieces. This theme is free to download from notesblog.com/core/ and is designed and maintained by yours truly. It is actually meant to be a host for child themes, which are covered later on, but like any good theme it works perfectly well by itself.
Remember, you have all your document heading stuff in header.php, the footer stuff in footer.php, and the sidebar content is in sidebar.php. Comment functionality is in comments.php, and, finally, the theme information is in the style.css file, along with any basic styling you may have. This will be a lot of code, even though I'll stick to the most important parts. Download the full thing from notesblog.com/core/ to get the complete picture.
The first thing any theme needs is the stylesheet. Not only does it have the actual theme information header at the very top, it is also where as much of the design as possible should be managed. If you can do something with CSS, you should put it in style.css.
First of all, you've got the theme's header, at the very top of the stylesheet:
Theme Name: Notes Blog Core Theme Theme URI: http://notesblog.com/
Description: The core for the Notes Blog theme. <a href="http://tdhedengren.com/">Made by TDH</a> and maintained at <a href="http://notesblog.com/">notesblog.com</a>. Requires WordPress 2.8 or higher. Version: 1.0
Tags: two columns, fixed width, custom, widgets Author: Thord Daniel Hedengren Author URI: http://tdhedengren.com/
Get support and services for the Notes Blog Core Theme: http://notesblog.com
Created and managed by Thord Daniel Hedengren: http://tdhedengren.com
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