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Setting up content columns


Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts

with Joseph Lowery

Video: Setting up content columns

The next section of the WordPress page we're going to turn our attention to is the main content area. In this lesson, we'll address the general content wrapper that includes both the primary content div and the sidebar as well as style in the content area itself. Along the way, we'll make some minor adjustments to the WordPress PHP code. Just as WordPress uses a file stored in the theme folder called header.php to contain all the header elements, the code for the main content area, which you see here on the left under the heading Roux Academy Blog, is in another file, also stored in the theme folder with the name of index.php.
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  1. 4m 7s
    1. Welcome
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Dreamweaver WordPress
Joseph Lowery

Setting up content columns

The next section of the WordPress page we're going to turn our attention to is the main content area. In this lesson, we'll address the general content wrapper that includes both the primary content div and the sidebar as well as style in the content area itself. Along the way, we'll make some minor adjustments to the WordPress PHP code. Just as WordPress uses a file stored in the theme folder called header.php to contain all the header elements, the code for the main content area, which you see here on the left under the heading Roux Academy Blog, is in another file, also stored in the theme folder with the name of index.php.

Now, this is not to be confused with the main index.php stored in the WordPress root. To customize this, we'll need to copy the index.php file found in the custom theme folder, and paste it in the roux theme folder. So I'm going to go to my Files panel and expand it, so we can work a little bit easier. Scroll down a tab until we're in the wp-content area. And here, I have my themes already expanded, and there's custom and roux.

So let's open up custom a little bit. There is that index.php file that I mentioned. I've selected it. Now I'll press Command+C to copy. Select the roux folder and Command+V to paste it in. Okay. All of our preps done, let's tackle that content area. So, I'm going to go ahead collapse the Files panel, and then let's go and make sure we're pulling in right from the blog, it's kind of hard to see down here.

Right below the blog folder is my index.php. You want to make sure that you've got the right one you're working with. So, double-click that to open it. Let's discover the files and go right into Live view. So, for me, the guerilla on this page is pretty obvious. The sidebar in the comp that we see here is on the right. While in the current WordPress page, it's on the left. Let's see how that's done in the comp and make any necessary changes.

So I'm going to head on over to my blog comp, and I'm going to collapse the Files panel here just so I have a little bit more room we're going to be mostly working with CSS styles for a little bit. So, we're in Live view. Let's turn on Inspect mode, and I'm just going to go into the content area. I have my h1 tag there highlighted. I'm going to walk up the DOM tree by pressing the left-arrow key just to see what we get. So if I look over in the CSS Styles panel, I see that main area that we see there is article#mainContent, and that seems to be this main area on the left.

So, in this article with a id of mainContent, and I look at the properties. I see that there is a float: left property. Well, that's key. And this rule also has the widths and margins involved. So, let's go ahead and click once to turn off Inspect mode and then I can right-click on my Rule in the Rule pane here, and choose Go to Code. And that will take me right to article#mainCcontent, and I'm going to copy these properties here.

I know since working with this that we don't have exactly the same selectors in my index.php file. Instead of mainContent, our selector over there is called just content. So, I'm just going to copy the properties. Let's narrow down our files here. We'll go to the Custom Filter. The files we're going to be working with primarily are style.css, put in a semicolon, and also index.php. There are our two style sheets.

Let's go to the first one which as I hover over it, I can see is the one that's in my Roux Theme folder. I want to add in those properties that I had for the content area. I'm just going to scroll down past the header styles and the nav styles. Go all the way to the bottom here, and just so you know just to double-check and make sure I've got that div give right, I am going to just click right into this area here, the main content area that we see. And if I inspect that in a similar sort of way, I can see that I did remember it correctly, that there is a div called #content.

You want to make sure that even though you may think you remember something properly, there's a lot of selector names going around, so sometimes double-check that. So, I'm going to make this content, and then just put an open and closing curly brace. And if you recall, I copied just the properties, and I'll paste those in. Let's go ahead and refresh the page. It looks like that was successful. There, I've floated the content to the left, but that just is half the battle.

If I scroll down a little bit, you'll see that my sidebar area is now also on the left here, and we want to float that one as well. So let's head back to our comp, and see what we can find about how that is handled. I'm going to scroll over a little bit here. He's my good friend, Inspect, and again, I'm just going to hover over a little bit of the content in that area, and then walk up the DOM to find exactly what it is we're working with.

So there's the rule for the widgets. I'll press my left-arrow key again, and here we're getting a little bit closer into it. Here we see a That seems to be part of it. But if I look down at the tag selector along the bottom of the screen, I see that is actually within a within aside. So let's go up again, again pressing left-arrow key, and there's my aside, and I see that it does have a float: right with a particular width, 318 pixels. Perfect. So, I'll click once on the screen, turn off Inspect mode, right-click on aside rule to Go to Code, and there it is right there. So, let's copy these properties.

Again, we have a different selector named in my comp, and I'm going to scroll down and find, I believe it's called widget area, but I'm not absolutely positive of that. So, let's go into Inspect mode, into the sidebar text, and again creep up the DOM, and I'm right, there is a widget area. I don't have that defined in this style sheet, it's in my parent style sheet. So I need to add that in. So it's a class widget-area, and again, we'll open and close those rules, and I will just paste in those two rules. All right.

Let's hit Refresh here and see if that works its magic. And if I scroll up, indeed, so we're moving along pretty well. We have the sidebar in its proper place. Now, we can address the look of these columns, specifically the equal length of the columns. In the comp, this is accomplished, as I said, by using a image, and let me actually, sometimes I'll click on Edit Rule if I can't see everything. I can go in here and find it pretty quickly, and that will open up the CSS Rule Definition dialog box, and I can see that it's a image called blog_content_bg. it looks like PNG.

So, that's good. So we'll need to get that file, and bring it in. I'm going to go back to my Files panel, expand it so we can find our work easily. And this time, we're going up to the _images folder that's found in the site root. I'm looking for blog_content_bg.png, and there it is. So let's copy that. We want to paste it in, you guessed it, our child theme folder and the _images folder. So I'll just expand that, so we can see what images we already have, and verify that it gets pasted in.

I'll press Command+V, and there's that image. Okay. We can collapse the Files panel one more time. So, we've got the file moved, but now we have to get the rule. Let's go to this particular rule here, right-click on it, and go to code so we can get all of those properties, and head back over to our Roux style sheet. I'm looking for whatever the wrapper is that's around these two content areas, the main content area and the sidebar.

So, let's use our friendly Inspect mode again, and again highlight an area, and go up the DOM with first one press of the left-arrow, and we don't have our wrapper quite yet. Let's keep going this tree, up again, #contentWrap. All right. So we're looking for a property called #contentWrap. And I do not believe I might have something already defined in that area, #outerWrapper, no, but no #contentWrap. Okay. So that's fine. Let's go down.

And I'm going to put it actually above content wherever possible. I like just as a best practice it makes it easier for me to find things to kind of put things in a logical order. So, my #contentWrap is around the main content area and the widget-area, the sidebar. So I'm going to put that ahead of things. And again, put in my curly braces and paste in my properties. Now you'll recall that earlier we've had to adjust the path for any images that we bring in, in the background, and we'll do the same thing here.

We're going directly to that folder now in the child theme, so we don't need to go up a level as we did with the blog comp. So, let's get rid of that path. Now, I'm going to save the file, and click Refresh. Let's head to Design view, and there's our full column, design. Obviously, we are going to have some work to do over on the sidebar to bring that in. But things are now looking relatively good.

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 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 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 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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