Many people help others create WordPress websites by purchasing premium themes and then setting them up. Premium themes typically offer many options for fonts and colors. Some even include builders like Visual Composer. While these features can get a site  close to the desired look, feel and functionality, sometimes more is required. When you cannot get exactly what you want from a theme, the ability to write code can help you out:

Thunderbird Marina

The site designer for Thunderbird Marina wanted the series of photos below the video on the home page have a yellow overlay with a brief description in addition to linking to another page. The link capability is provided by the theme but not the exact overlay. To achieve the results, custom CSS is used to generate the overlay color and the description. In particular, the :after pseudo-element provides a convenient way to add the description.


The theme used for this project includes the Visual Composer plugin mentioned above. It even has some special, custom elements for building team pages. However, the team element does not allow for linking the image and title. It also removes any HTML from the description. Fortunately, Visual Composer allows templates to be overriden by themes.  And we are using a child theme for MoveMend so we could code a  our own template which is in use on MoveMend’s about page.

The theme also allows the inclusion of a Google Map, again making use of Visual Composer.  A problem arose when Google changed how the maps API worked and started requiring a key. The lack of a key on the site resulted in a javascript error.  It is easy to get a Google API key but the theme does not provide a way to use it. To use the key it must be appended to the javascript filename in this format  –  Since theme enqueues the Google API script without the key, it must be dequeued and the script with the key enqueued. The functioning Google map can be seen in the sidebar of the contact page.

So, why learn to code if you implement premium themes?  The simple answer is that coding extends a theme’s out-of-the-box functionality, fixes errors and helps create something unique.