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Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts

Activating a theme


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Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts

with Joseph Lowery

Video: Activating a theme

In this lesson I'll show you how to work with different themes in WordPress completely altering the look and feel of your blog with just a quick click. A WordPress theme controls the layout as well as the styling of a WordPress site. There are a great many WordPress themes available and customizing one is a terrific way to learn how WordPress works, as well as developing your own custom site, but before you can gain access to the theme you'll need to activate it. Let me show you how that's done. So here we are in the WordPress Dashboard, and I am going to expand the Appearance category, and you see the very first option is Themes where there are two tabs, Manage Themes and Install Themes.
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  1. 4m 7s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 54s
    3. A word about updates
      1m 15s
  2. 15m 28s
    1. Overview
      1m 51s
    2. Creating the database and the initial site
      3m 45s
    3. Configuring WordPress
      5m 54s
    4. Establishing a Dreamweaver site
      3m 58s
  3. 20m 18s
    1. Accessing dynamically related files
      4m 12s
    2. Filtering files
      4m 20s
    3. Following links
      4m 15s
    4. Employing Live Code
      2m 54s
    5. Enabling site-specific code hinting
      4m 37s
  4. 21m 8s
    1. Adding blog posts
      4m 55s
    2. Editing blog posts
      3m 20s
    3. Adding new pages
      2m 59s
    4. Including images
      6m 59s
    5. Adding videos to posts
      2m 55s
  5. 18m 12s
    1. Understanding WordPress structure
      3m 52s
    2. Activating a theme
      7m 21s
    3. Setting up a child theme
      6m 59s
  6. 1h 29m
    1. Updating the page structure and the background
      12m 53s
    2. Working with web fonts
      4m 3s
    3. Styling a header
      11m 48s
    4. Adding header functions
      7m 40s
    5. Setting up content columns
      10m 9s
    6. Changing the main content
      5m 17s
    7. Managing the content code
      4m 48s
    8. Customizing the sidebar
      10m 32s
    9. Styling search
      7m 8s
    10. Working with search text
      5m 49s
    11. Integrating the footer
      9m 40s
  7. 27m 18s
    1. Setting up media queries
      6m 12s
    2. Customizing for tablets
      12m 19s
    3. Building smartphone layouts
      8m 47s
  8. 23m 28s
    1. Working with categories and posts
      5m 31s
    2. Developing category-driven pages
      11m 22s
    3. Changing headers by category
      6m 35s
  9. 36m 32s
    1. Adding Spry accordion panels
      17m 44s
    2. Working with Spry form validation
      11m 56s
    3. Integrating jQuery functionality
      6m 52s
  10. 11m 7s
    1. Understanding WordPress plugins
      6m 20s
    2. Styling plugin output
      4m 47s
  11. 25m 44s
    1. Customizing the Dashboard
      6m 52s
    2. Working with WordPress functions
      8m 7s
    3. Including administration interactivity
      10m 45s
  12. 13m 10s
    1. Setting up the data in WordPress
      2m 17s
    2. Adding dynamic data from WordPress to your web pages
      10m 53s
  13. 11m 38s
    1. Modifying general settings
      4m 12s
    2. Setting up users
      3m 11s
    3. Restricting access to specific WordPress pages
      4m 15s
  14. 26m 38s
    1. Exporting and importing WordPress files
      7m 9s
    2. Backing up and restoring the database
      8m 10s
    3. Transferring files
      6m 3s
    4. Testing and fine-tuning
      5m 16s
  15. 18s
    1. Next steps
      18s

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Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts
5h 44m Intermediate May 27, 2010 Updated Oct 23, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Joseph Lowery shows how to combine the utility of WordPress and the power of Adobe Dreamweaver to transition existing websites to the WordPress platform. The course demonstrates how to create new blog posts and pages, customize WordPress themes, and extend WordPress editable pages from within Dreamweaver. It also covers how to add Spry elements, add and customize plugins, and enhance WordPress-stored content with Dreamweaver's dynamic pages. Plus, a chapter on responsive design shows how you can adapt your layouts for tablets and mobile devices.

Topics include:
  • Using the Dynamically-Related Files feature in Dreamweaver to design WordPress pages
  • Applying WordPress themes
  • Customizing themes
  • Adding Spry widgets
  • Adding WordPress dynamic data
  • Populating the WordPress database
  • Publishing a WordPress site
Subjects:
Web CMS Blogs Web Design
Software:
Dreamweaver WordPress
Author:
Joseph Lowery

Activating a theme

In this lesson I'll show you how to work with different themes in WordPress completely altering the look and feel of your blog with just a quick click. A WordPress theme controls the layout as well as the styling of a WordPress site. There are a great many WordPress themes available and customizing one is a terrific way to learn how WordPress works, as well as developing your own custom site, but before you can gain access to the theme you'll need to activate it. Let me show you how that's done. So here we are in the WordPress Dashboard, and I am going to expand the Appearance category, and you see the very first option is Themes where there are two tabs, Manage Themes and Install Themes.

On the Manage Theme side you'll see two themes ship by default with WordPress. Twenty Ten listed down below here under Available Themes and Twenty Eleven, which is the currently activated theme. I could activate Twenty Ten, but honestly there's not a tremendous difference between these two themes. So that you can get a good sense of the power of themes, let me install and activate another theme. We'll go to Install Themes, here, where you can, if you like, search for a theme with specific characteristic as you see here, Colors, Columns, Width, and so on.

You can also browse the Featured Themes or the Newest Themes or Recently Updated. As I said there are thousands and thousands of themes. But I am going to kind of cut to the chase here, and let's go to Search, and we are going to search for a theme called Motion that I thought was kind of really nice and very, very different from the default themes. So let's take a look at how that looks in preview. I'll click the Preview link below that.

And you can see the thumbnail over on the left, and this is just the generic preview text and setup that is used at every WordPress theme. As you can see, it has a very different background and a very different feel to the navigation. Now as I scroll down you can see how the various headings are handled as well as basic paragraphs, the different list types, forms, and so on. So I am going to go ahead and click Install and WordPress will download the install package, unpack it, set it up, install it, and now that it's installed we could do a Live Preview which would show you what your content look like with this theme.

But let's go ahead and just activate it so we can see it very quickly. You will notice that the previously currently active theme, Twenty Eleven, has now been moved down to Available Themes. So let's take a look at our existing content for the Roux Academy site in the Motion theme. I'll go ahead and just click Roux Academy here, and there is the Roux Academy titled there as well as our video production blog and here is our video, and actually it looks quite nice sitting there.

Let's take a look at the standard blog entry that we had put in here. Here is the Roux Academy Art Conference with its styling. I'll go ahead and click on that to go to the single page. As you can see, it's really a different style, all the way through, including your links which even have a dotted border below it. Very stylish. Next, I want to show you one other way to bring in a theme and along the way introduce you to the simple theme we'll be customizing to create our site-specific blog.

So let's head back to the Dashboard, go back down to Themes. Here is another way to get to it just roll over Appearance and then choose Themes from the flyout menu. Now again we'll go to Install Themes, and this time choose the Upload link that you find near the top. And we'll choose a file, we'll navigate to your exercise files, Chapter 4, and select the custom.zip file.

Themes are stored as zip files, so you want to make sure that you choose that one rather than the uncompressed custom folder that you see there. Click Open and then back in WordPress choose Install Now. It looks like it's installed successfully. Let's activate it. Now this is a very stripped-down theme that was created from scratch. If you're interested in how that was done, check out my course from the lynda.com online training library. Now let's take a quick look at the site with the theme applied.

Again, I'll go up and click Roux Academy. As you can see, it's very bare bones which makes it ideal for applying your own custom look and feel. Here is my video, let's go to the Roux Academy Art Conference. There's that. Here is the Conference Schedule At-A-Glance. It looks like we need some styling there to take care of that. Let's head back to the Home page. Now you may be wondering how themes fit into the overall site structure. Let's head back over to Dreamweaver so you can see exactly how it works.

I am going to expand the Files panel here so you can focus on that. Now let's open up the blog folder, which you will recall, of course, is our WordPress folder, and there within the blog folder is another folder called wp-content. So let me open that up and scroll down. Let me open up the names a little bit here, because it is going to be expanding into that area and here we see several subfolders under wp-content, including themes.

So if we expand that one, you'll see a different folder for each of the themes. There are the two default themes twentyten and twentyeleven and the themes we brought in, motion and custom. When you're first working with WordPress, you will probably download and try out a bunch of themes just to see what's available. That's fine. However, there will come a time when you want to remove any unused themes, especially when you're turning over a custom site to a client. Now you can via the Manage Themes area in WordPress delete any unwanted themes.

Let me show you where that is go back to Dashboard > Themes, and if I go down to the Available Themes here, each of them has a Delete option. Now you also have the ability to remove themes right from Dreamweaver. So I'll head back to Dreamweaver where you will see that all you really need to do is to go in the themes folder and delete the related subfolder. So let's get rid of motion here. I'll select that and press the Delete key. Dreamweaver asked for confirmation, I'll click Yes, and now that, that file is gone let's head back to WordPress, and once I refresh the page, you will see that Motion is no longer one of my Available Themes.

With basic theme management under your belt you are ready for the next step, child themes.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts.


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Q: While trying to set up a Dreamweaver site, an error occurs that says Dreamweaver cannot resolve the dynamic files because the site definition is incorrect. What is causing this? This is using WAMP on a Windows 7 computer.
A: When setting up the site in Dreamweaver and creating a local testing server, make sure to point it to the folder in c:/wamp/www/ that is being used for the site. If using the same naming convention as shown in the videos, the server folder should be pointing to C:\wamp\www\explore_ca\ and the Web URL field should read http://localhost/explore_ca/, like the picture here:

Q: How do I set the password for WAMP Server 2?
A: The WAMP server does not include a password for MySQL when first installed. You’ll need to add a password by modifying a configuration text file and set up a password in the MySQL server.
Setting a password on the MySQL server:

  1. From the Start menu, enter CMD to open the command line interface.
  2. Switch to the bin directory of your MySQL folder, installed by WAMP. For version 5.1.36 of MySQL, for example, enter cd c:\wamp\bin\mysql\mysql5.1.36\bin
    Navigate within the WAMP folder installed on your system to find the proper path.
  3.  Enter the following: mysql -u root
  4. The command line for MySQL will open with a mysql prompt like this: mysql>
  5. Enter the following:
    SET PASSWORD for 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('yourPassword');
    - replace 'yourPassword' with the password you want to use. 
  6. Close the CMD window.
Setting the password in the phpMyAdmin config file:
After you change the MySQL password you will have to edit the config.inc.php file. Here's how:
  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\wamp\apps\phpmyadmin3.2.0.1 (version number may vary). 
  2. Open the file config.inc.php in Dreamweaver or another text editor.
  3. Locate the following line:
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '';
  4. Enter your password between the quotes; make sure the password is the same as the one you set in the MySQL server.
  5. Save the file.
  6. From the system tray icon for WAMP, choose Restart All Services.
  7. To test, choose phpMyAdmin from the WAMP system tray icon.

Q: After creating a template following the instructions in the Chapter 5 video “Creating a page template in Dreamweaver,” I am unable to select the template. In the video, the instructor’s page shows a heading of Template, with a dropdown menu, but my version shows only a dropdown labeled “Attributes,” and the newly created template does not appear. What is causing this issue?
A: This seems to be a bug in WordPress that occurs occasionally. Although a cause has yet to be determined, a possible workaround to get the Template option to appear is switch themes. Switching to the default theme and then back again to Explore_California should reveal the Template option.
Q: While following along with the instructions in the "Setting up a MySQL password for Windows," I encountered this error: MySQL said: "#1045 – Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’ (using password: NO)" What is causing this error?
A: This error occurs when trying to enter the MySQL monitor with a password for a user who has not set a password yet. In that case, removing the “-u root” part should resolve the problem.
Q: While following along to the chapter 2 movie "Using dynamically related files," I get an error message that reads: "Dynamically-related files could not be resolved because the site definition is not correct for this server." What is causing this error?
A: This is a known issue with Dreamweaver, and relates to the permalink settings in the WordPress installation. If the permalink setting is set to something other than the default, like “Month & Name,” for example, Dreamweaver is unable to resolve the dynamic files, and the described error will occur. Changing the permalink setting back to Default will clear the error.
Q: I am bit confused as to my need to use MAMP with a WordPress site in Dreamweaver. If I am going to use a separate commercial hosting site as my server, do I still need to use MAMP in my WordPress site?
A: MAMP is installed to provide an easy-to-use development server capable of handling MySQL and PHP on your local computer. It's also possible to set up MySQL and PHP servers separately, but it requires many more steps and is not as "user-friendly" as the described process. Your hosting server will have MySQL/PHP enabled on their servers for the remote live setup, but that doesn't have anything to do with developing and testing pages on your own computer.
Q: I can't find the file named commevents.php in the exercise files. I need it to set up an online database in the last chapter.
A: This is a file you create yourself when you first connect to a database. Refer to the "Adding WordPress dynamic data to pages" video in Chapter 7. commevents.php should appear in the Connections folder once you establish a connection.
Q:  In "Setting up a MySQL password for Windows", I'm getting the error "#1045 - Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'" when testing the phpMyAdmin.

If I try and re-do the steps, I get the following error "ERROR 1044 (42000): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' to database mysql'" when I try to change the password.
A: This seems to be happening because of the combination of Windows 7 and a
new version of WampServer 2.1. Here's another approach that should work
for the new combination.

Follow these steps instead of the ones using the CMD prompt. (As a bonus, they're much easier!)
  1. Left-click on the WampServer icon tray.
  2. Choose phpMyAdmin.
  3. When the phpMyAdmin page opens in your browser, click the Privileges tab found after the Engines tab.
  4. Locate the line in the User table with "root - localhost - No..." (probably the last one).
  5. Click the Edit icon (the final item in the row).
  6. Scroll down to the Change Password section.
  7. Select Password and enter your password twice. (If you're following the exercises, enter root).
  8. Click Go in the lower-right corner.
Now follow the rest of the steps in "Setting up a MySQL password for Windows" video, starting at the 4:13 mark. This is where you use a text editor to make a change in the config.inc PHP file and restart all WampServer services when you're done.
Q:  I want to setup the practice files and site on my localhost, as described; however, I already have my current WordPress site (under development) running on my localhost. How do I run two WordPress sites on my localhost?
A:  You can easily do it by setting up another site in Dreamweaver. Just copy the WordPress files to that folder as described and establish a new database via phpMyAdmin. You can set up as many WordPress sites as you need to. The author has upwards of 80 on his system, all for different clients.
Q: This course was updated on 10/23/2012. What changed?
A: The course was thoroughly revised and uses the most current versions of both programs. We added chapters on responsive design and creating a custom administration panel in WordPress, new movies about concepts and taxonomies, and extended the Spry chapter to include jQuery, among other changes. New movies are indicated by the NEW tag next to the movie name.
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