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The initial lesson in this chapter demonstrated how you could customize the dashboard. In this lesson we'll extend the administrative customization by adding an additional sidebar widget area which will be used for inserting an advertisement, one that the client can manage without designer intervention. Customizations like these empower the client, while simultaneously freeing up the designer. Now because we are going to be modifying the sidebar code, we'll need to copy sidebar.php from the parent theme folder into the child theme folder.
So I am going to expand my Files panel and then scroll up just a little bit expand custom, select sidebar.php and copy it, close up custom, select roux, and paste that in. I'll Collapse my file. Now I am going to need to close down index.php and reopen it in order for it to recognize the new sidebar.php file. So I'll locate that in my blog site here, here is index.php, and let's discover the dynamic files, and then set it into Live view and use the Custom Filter to hone in on just the files we want work with, which in this case are style.css, sidebar.php, and functions.php, click OK.
And the next up is to transfer some assets from the exercise file into the images folder for our child theme. So I am going to finder, so I'm already pointing to folder 10_02 which is within the Chapter 10 exercise files, and I want to pick up ad_box.gif, which as you can see, is just kind of a placeholder and then also sharp_ad.png, which is an ad that we are actually going to use. So I'll select both of those and copy the files, and now let's head over to htdocs/roux_academy, and as we've done before drill down into blog/wp_content/themes/roux and then _images.
And once we're there, Command+V will paste in those images. Now we are ready to bring the code for the new sidebar widget into the sidebar.php file. To save time, I have stored both the HTML/PHP code as well as the associated CSS in the exercise files. So from Dreamweaver, let's go to File > Open and then navigate to our Desktop/Exercise Files folder, open up Chapter 10/10_02, and we want to get the advert_widget_code.php file.
So let's go into Code view, and this first group of code that you see up here starting with the div acts as a placeholder for our widget functionality. The initial div tag as an in-line style which sets the background to transparent and uses a specific image that ad_box.gif as a placeholder. Now within that div wrapper is a PHP if function that checks to see if the dynamic_sidebar function exists, and if there is also a dynamic_sidebar named home_ad_1; otherwise, it puts in another bit of code.
So let's grab that code block, and we'll head over to sidebar.php, let's go into Code view here, and I want to put my new sidebar_widget below the existing sidebar widget area, and I want to put my new sidebar widget below the existing one, so I'm going to put it right before the closing div here, and that should make the advertisement fall right below all of the other widgets, no matter how many are defined. Our advertisement is going to needs some styling, so let's go grab that bit of CSS that I have in the advert code widget, and as you can see, this just targets the class advert and sets up a specific width and height as well as some padding and margin.
So I am going to copy that and go over to our roux stylesheet, which is the first one listed here. We'll go down right in front of the phone declarations that we've been working on and paste that in. Okay, two of the constituent parts are in place. Time to bring in the real engine, the function code. Again, I've put the necessary code in an exercise file. So I'll go to File > Open, and we'll head on over to our Exercise Files/Chapter 10/10_02 and choose the widget_function_code.php file.
Now this is the code for registering a new sidebar, and it specifies the Home Ad Space 1, so let me go ahead and copy this and back to index.php, and we'll go to our roux functions file, and I am going to put it pretty much right at the top but within my PHP code block. So I'll make a little room and paste it right in. As you can see, working with functions is more than just adding a code snippet to the functions.php page. Now let's save all the related files by going to File > Save All Related Files and then we go into Design view, and I'll Refresh the page.
And once that's down, let me scroll down, and there below the last widget, which is Categories, you see a placeholder for an advertisement. Now if you squint really hard, you can see the word Advertisement written in very small type at the top there. Okay, time to move to the WordPress side of the workflow where we'll see our new widget area and put it to use. So now I am going to go to Appearance > Widgets, and where there was just Sidebar Widgets before-- and let me expand that so you see the ones that we have in place--there is now a new Home Ad Space 1 widget.
I could drag any of the existing widgets into my ad area, but none of them do exactly what I want, which is to insert an image. Luckily there's one that does, and it's very easy to set up and use. Let's go get it by going to Plugins > Add New and search for image widget. The one at the very top of the list is what we are looking for. So let's click Install Now, click OK to confirm, and after WordPress has installed it, activate the plug-in.
Now when we head back to Appearance Widgets, I have an image widget here, and I can go on drag it and drop it right into my Home Ad Space. The parameters will open up here, and we want to leave the Title blank, add a new image, and I am going to select the files from my computer, and we can get this from either place. I am going to ahead and just get it from my htdocs/_images folder where I copied in the sharp_ad.png file, click Open, and there it is.
Now we'll scroll down, leave everything else as is, and click Insert Into Widget. Now one little gotcha, this widget tends to add the file name as the default Title. You want to remove that because we don't need to have a Title for an advertisement. There is lots of other features here, we could put in a Caption, again probably not necessary. You could link to the advertiser, an excellent idea, and you probably want to open that into a new window when you do. You can see the specific Width and Height that's given and the Alignment should be at center.
Let's sharpen up the Alternate Text, no pun intended, just happens sometimes, so I'll make this Sharp Art Supplies. All right, now let's click Save, and let's see how that new ad is looking. So I'll go back and visit the site, click Refresh and scroll down, and there is our advertisement. Now that we have our single ad system in place which gives total control to the client, we are ready to take it to the next level and allow the client to interactively add multiple advertisements.
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