Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Web and User Experience Emphasis



First Advisor

Jason Lively

Second Advisor

Michael Thomas Lavella

Third Advisor

Justin Kussmann


The aim of this project is to offer a new, easier method to web designers and web design instructors for creating a custom-built WordPress theme using primarily Underscores, a starter theme made by Automattic, the creators of WordPress; and Elementor, a leading WordPressbased web creation platform. WordPress is a leading, free content management system (CMS) for building websites. Premised on user experience/user interface (UX/UI) applied research, this method can help web design professionals avoid using third-party WordPress themes. Moreover, web design instructors can incorporate this method into their course curricula to prepare their students for professions in custom CMS web design. Collectively, these strategies will best serve novice to advanced WordPress web designers (and educators) with little to no PHP (a popular general-purpose scripting language used for web development) coding experience.