May 26th

PSD to XHTML: Create a Chalkboard Style Wordpress Layout

PSD to XHTML: Create a Chalkboard Style Wordpress Layout

In this tutorial you will learn how to convert the Chalkboard Style Wordpress Layout PSD to XHTML. If you have any questions about this tutorial be sure to ask in the comments. Also, remember with all the tutorials, the source files are available for download.

Coded Preview

Tutorial Resources

Lets Get Started

1. The first thing we need to do is set up our folders. Create a folder called “xhtml”, and then create another folder inside it named “images”. The xhtml folder is where we will be saving our html and css files. So next open up Dreamweaver and create a new html document. Choose XHTML 1.0 Strict.dtd from the doc type option – then save it as index.html.

2. Next create a CSS file in the same fashion, and save it to your xhtml folder with the name “style.css”. You could save it to a separate folder, but for this tutorial it will be easiest to keep in the same directory as your html file.

3. So far your file structure will look something like the following:

4. We want the CSS file to link to our index file, so we need to add the following link tag in our header before the closing head tag.

5. Before we get into the coding, lets go ahead and get all our images ready for the design. Open up your template in Photoshop and then proceed to crop or slice the following images in your design.  Images that are saved with “.png” need to be transparent, so hide all layers under given item.  Filenames are above each image.


























6. Now that you have your images prepared and ready, we want to get into the code. Starting with the header, copy and paste the following CSS into your CSS file.

body {
 font: 11pt Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
 background: url(images/background_pattern.jpg) repeat;
 margin: 0;
 padding: 0;

img {
 border: 0;

#wrapper {
 width: 940px;
 margin: auto;

#logo {
 display: inline-block;
 float: left;
 width: 272px;
 height: 171px;
 text-indent: -999999px;
 background: url(images/logo.jpg) no-repeat;

#header {
 height: 112px;
 margin: 20px 0 0 0;
 overflow: hidden;

#header ul{
 float: right;
 margin-top: 22px;

#header ul li{
 display: inline-block;
 float: left;
 height: 48px;
 margin: 0px 0px 0px 5px;

#home_btn a {
 display: block;
 width: 102px;
 height: 48px;
 text-indent: -999999px;
 background: url(images/home.jpg) no-repeat;

#home_btn a:hover {
 background: url(images/home_active.jpg) no-repeat;

#about_btn a {
 display: block;
 width: 102px;
 height: 48px;
 text-indent: -999999px;
 background: url(images/about.jpg) no-repeat;

#about_btn a:hover {
 background: url(images/about_active.jpg) no-repeat;

#contact_btn a {
 display: block;
 width: 102px;
 height: 48px;
 text-indent: -999999px;
 background: url(images/contact.jpg) no-repeat;

#contact_btn a:hover {
 background: url(images/contact_active.jpg) no-repeat;

 /* \*/
 /* */

.replace span{

7. Then in your HTML File you will have something that looks like the following:

8. Next we want to set up our chalkboard. Add the following chunk of code to your CSS file. You will notice an “@media screen” option in this stylesheet. What this does is gives a different set of styles for users using Safari in order to make it look the same across all browsers.

#content {
 display: block;

#categories {
 height: 58px;
 width: 940px;
 background: url(images/frame_top.jpg) no-repeat;

#categories li {
 display: inline-block;
 margin: 20px 0 0 5px;

#categories li a {
 display: inline;
 color: #d8c0a8;
 padding: 7px 17px 15px 13px;
 text-decoration: none;

#categories li a:hover {
 height: 31px;
 width: 87px;
 padding: 7px 17px 15px 13px;
 background:url(images/category_hover.png) no-repeat;

#content_frame {
 display: block;
 position: relative;
 height: 850px;
 margin: -13px 0 0 0;
 background: url(images/border.jpg) repeat-y;

#content_area {
 display: block;
 height: 100%;
 width: 875px;
 margin-left: 33px;
 padding: 20px;
 background: url(images/green_board.jpg) repeat-y;

#latest_articles {
 display: block;
 width: 183px;
 height: 38px;
 background:url(images/latest_articles.jpg) no-repeat;


.left {
 float: left;
 width: 560px;

.left ul {
 position: relative;
 margin: 0 0 0 -30px;


.left ul li {
 display: inline-block;
 list-style: none;
 margin: 10px 20px 20px 0;

.left ul .comment {
 position: relative;
 float: right;
 margin: -3px 0 0 -25px;
 width: 29px;
 height: 32px;
 background:url(images/comment.png) no-repeat;

@media screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio:0) {
/*These are alternate styles for Safari */

.left ul .comment {
 position: relative;
 float: right;
 margin: -243px 0 0 -25px;
 width: 29px;
 height: 32px;
 background:url(images/comment.png) no-repeat;


.left ul li .comment a {
 color: #000;
 font-weight: bold;
 text-align: center;
 text-decoration: none;
 margin: 0px 6px 0px;

.left ul li img {
 float: left;

.datetitle {
 float: left;
 position: relative;
 margin: 160px 0 0 -234px;

.title {
 width: 207px;
 height: 37px;
 background: url(images/title_back.png) no-repeat;

.title span {
 display: block;
 padding: 10px;
 font: 13pt Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
 color: #FFFFFF;

.date {
 width: 90px;
 height: 17px;
 background:url(images/date_back.png) no-repeat;

.date span {
 color: #FFFFFF;
 padding: 6px;


#right {
 width: 290px;
 height: 100%;
 float: left;
 padding: 12px;
 margin: -20px 1px 0 0;
 position: relative;

#sponsors {
 display: block;
 width: 167px;
 height: 52px;
 background:url(images/sponsors.png) no-repeat;

#search_title {
 display: block;
 width: 127px;
 height: 32px;
 margin: 15px 0 10px 0;
 background:url(images/search.png) no-repeat;

#search_field {
 width: 283px;
 height: 49px;
 margin: 0 0 0 -9px;
 postion: relative;
 background: url(images/search_field.jpg) no-repeat;

#search_field input {
 width: 170px;
 height: 20px;
 border: 0px;
 color: #515151;
 margin: 10px 0 0 50px;

.social ul {
 margin: 30px 0 0 -35px;

.social ul li {
 display: inline;

9. Now your HTML will look like the following for the chalkboard area of your design (the content area).

10. In our unordered list, each “li” tag will look like the following for each individual post.

11. The last thing we need to create is our footer. Add the following to your CSS file for your footer styles:


#frame_btm {
 height: 83px;
 background: url(images/frame_btm.jpg);

#footer {
 font: 10pt Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
 display: block;
 height: 84px;
 padding: 15px 0 0 0;
 background: url(images/footer.jpg) no-repeat;

#footer ul li {
 color: #D5D5D5;
 display: inline-block;

#footer ul li a {
 color: #D5D5D5;
 text-decoration: none;

#footer ul li a:hover {
 color: #D5D5D5;
 text-decoration: underline;

#footer ul li span {
 color: #D5D5D5;
 margin: 0 11px 0 11px;

#copyright {
 display: block;
 float: right;
 text-align: right;
 margin: 0 30px 0 0;


12. When your CSS is finished, you want your html to look something like the following:

Final Result

*Tested in IE8, FF3+, Safari 2.0+

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Written by Matthew Heidenreich

Matthew Heidenreich is a freelance designer from St. Louis, Missouri. He enjoys teaching others how to create interface and web design tutorials. Find his work on his site, DeviseFunction. You can follow him on Twitter @Spicypepper.

Share Your Thoughts36 Comments

  • designfollow May 26th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    great tutorial, very useful.

    thank you very much.

  • Mark May 28th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    How do I use this as a Wordpress theme? It’s nice :)

    • Matthew Heidenreich May 28th, 2010 at 10:19 am

      You would have to integrate it with WordPress.

  • Sitesyrup May 30th, 2010 at 2:14 am

    good tut, although wordpress could have been left out of the description. Thanks

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  • arman May 30th, 2010 at 2:38 am

    can you teach us to create those codes you just tell us to copy and paste?

  • Ilie Ciorba May 30th, 2010 at 3:54 am

    A truly, unending topic, people will always convert their psds to websites, so tutorials like this are alwas popular. There are some difference between writing habits of blogger, everyone covers details that he consider to be more important that other, so you always have to read multiple tutorials to slice and code your website.

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    A truly, unending topic, people will always convert their PSD to websites, so tutorials like this are always useful.
    Thanks for sharing…!

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  • Convert PSD to XHTML April 19th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial.
    Wonderful tutorial..Thanks for sharing.
    This is very helpful.

  • vantay May 3rd, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    thank you very much for this your tutorial, I like that and wish many people will be enjoy more to your website

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  • Johnny September 8th, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Great tutorial, but it seems like this things are child-play to you, isn’t it.

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    good tut, although wordpress could have been left out of the description. Thanks!!!!!

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  • ajit September 20th, 2012 at 5:52 am

    wow, what a nice use of xhtml …
    create a chalkboard style wordpress..
    thanks for sharing..

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    Today we are going to write and save our first CSS file. Let’s begin by opening a text editing program. If you are on a Microsoft Windows PC open the program named Notepad (hold down the Windows Key on your keyboard and press R, then type notepad and press enter). If you are using a Macintosh computer, launch the application named “TextEdit” (which can be found in your Apps folder).

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