4. Custom Websites with Timber

Create responsive, mobile first WordPress websites using the Timber library and Advanced Custom Fields.

Class 4

Custom Websites with Timber

Okay...what the heck is Timber?

Timber is a library that allows you to use the Twig templating language for PHP in your templates.

Given the amount of jargon in that sentence, we haven't really answered the question. Let's take a step back.

If you've ever coded a WordPress theme, you know that PHP syntax can be nasty. You also know that seemingly simple tasks in WordPress, like showing a list of posts in the same category, for instance, can involve way more steps than you'd think is necessary. Or maybe that's just me (but I don't think so). Timber lets us use the much cleaner Twig syntax in our templates, and it allows us to separate the gross PHP logic from the HTML.

Still confused? Then this class is for you! Well, if you can check off the pre-knowledge at the end of this page.

The Project

I build all of my websites with Timber along with Advanced Custom Fields for customizing the WordPress experience for my clients. In this course, we will build a website following the process I've figured out for building client websites. We will create a highly customized content management system based on a content-focused approach to web design. After we've fine-tuned that content structure, we'll move into marking up our templates with semantic HTML, then to adding a visual layer with Sass, and finally adding any interactive flourishes with jQuery. We won't be using plugins to display related posts or to add a slider to the home page.

In addition to the development itself, we will talk about incorporating your WordPress skills into a freelance practice, and how to create your own process to ensure successful relationships with your clients.


Timber has a learning curve, no doubt about it. It's a very different way of approaching WordPress development, therefore it is important for anyone taking this class to have a certain level of WordPress and front-end development expertise ahead of time. You should be able to do or figure out how to do all of the following:


  • Use an action to enqueue new scripts or stylesheets
  • Register more than one custom menu
  • Create a widget area or dynamic sidebar
  • Register custom post types and taxonomies
  • Exclude a category from the loop
  • Create an an archive template for a specific category

Front-end development

  • Use Sass, or be very familiar with what it does
  • Use Grunt, Gulp, CodeKit, or equivalent for compiling code and running tasks
  • Look for errors in the JavaScript console
  • Fix a navigation bar to the top of the page
  • Change the background color of the page when a button is clicked
  • Understand the programming concepts of loops, arrays, and objects

If you are dying to take this class but can't check off all of the above items, you are in luck! As the culmination of the Tackle Box curriculum, all of the knowledge necessary for this class is covered in the other Tackle Box classes!

Your Instructor

Lara Schenck
Lara Schenck

Lara Schenck is a freelance front-end and WordPress developer and instructor currently in the Pittsburgh area. In addition to private tutoring and client work, Lara has taught web development courses at General Assembly, Noble Desktop, and Pratt Institute during her years in New York City, and is passionate about providing project-based, online resources for learning WordPress development. More at notlaura.com and @laras126.

Course Curriculum

  It's All about Process
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  Set the Stage
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  ACF is Amazing
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  Menus and Sidebars
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  Front-End Workflow
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  Open Session
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  Make it Faster... and Faster
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  Annnnd... Launch!
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I need help during the course?
Each Tackle Box class has it's own Slack channel where you can ask questions and receive real-time support from either myself or other Tackle Box students. Email me at [email protected] to request to join the Slack channel.

If you need help with a specific project or concept, you may want to check out my tutoring services. Active Tackle Box class members receive a special discount!

"Lara's enthusiasm for front end web development is contagious as is her enjoyment of teaching. She is very knowledgeable, and always patient and happy to help students understand complex concepts. Also very helpful, is watching her debug when things don't work for her or one of us students."

-Nan Davenport