Working with existing WordPress content
Video: Working with existing WordPress contentWeb designers wear many hats, and from time to time they are called on to take over and expand upon an existing site. If you're working with a plain HTML site, the handover can be as simple as copying a set of files. However, if you're working with a WordPress site, life just got a bit more complicated. In this movie, I am going to show you the steps you need to take when expanding an existing WordPress site that's not your design, and along the way, show viewers who would like to use this course's exercise files how to set up your local site.
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In this course, author Joseph Lowery shows how to create a robust WordPress-based site using Dreamweaver. The course lays out the essentials of planning a site, explains how to implement custom sidebars, and demonstrates building page templates. The course also explains how to integrate PHP functionality and extend the WordPress database.
- Understanding development environment requirements
- Working with existing WordPress content
- Handling standard pages
- Managing full posts
- Coding a basic template
- Adding a custom sidebar
- Working with WordPress functions
- Inserting PHP code in posts
- Including a recordset
- Outputting data
- Linking to dynamic pages
Working with existing WordPress content
Web designers wear many hats, and from time to time they are called on to take over and expand upon an existing site. If you're working with a plain HTML site, the handover can be as simple as copying a set of files. However, if you're working with a WordPress site, life just got a bit more complicated. In this movie, I am going to show you the steps you need to take when expanding an existing WordPress site that's not your design, and along the way, show viewers who would like to use this course's exercise files how to set up your local site.
This course assumes that you already have a local PHP MySQL development environment established, as discussed in the previous video. Our first step is to create a new database. I am working with WAMP server, so I'm going to go on over to WAMPSERVER, choose that, and then open up my database manager phpMyAdmin. So as I said, I want to create a new database, so let me click on Databases, and I'll enter in the name of my new database, and that will be tpa, short for the site's company, Trans Planet Airlines.
Press Tab and click Create. Our database has been created. Great! Now because this is a WordPress- centric site, I am going to copy a recently downloaded copy of WordPress into my local site root. So, let me go over to Windows Explorer. Go to my Downloads. There is my downloaded expanded copy of WordPress. I'll copy that, and now I am going to go to my site root, which is C:/wamp/www.
I don't have any other sites set up yet, so this will be the first one. I'll just paste that in. I'll rename WordPress to the site name, and for this course it's DW_WP_Sites. Okay, we're ready to bring up our browser to handle the WordPress installation. I'll open up a new tab and go to localhost/dw_wp_sites. This is not case sensitive, and then I'll hit Return and WordPress detects that it doesn't have a wp-config.php file.
That's exactly right. That's the default condition. So, let's click on Create a Configuration File. A little informational screen comes up, telling us what it is we'll need to know to proceed. I know all those things, so let's go! All right! Database Name, we just entered that, that was tpa. User Name is root. I don't have a password set on this installation. Since it's a local development system that only I have access to, I think that's okay. And here my Database Host is localhost.
That's frequently who your host is, but not always, so make sure you know the web server's database host name. All right, we'll leave the Table Prefix at wp_ and click Submit, run the install, and we are close to finished here. So I am going to put in the Site Title, and we'll use Trans Planet Airlines, my admin username, and I am going to put in a password and then confirm the password, enter my email.
Now, because I'm just using this as a development site, I'm going to clear the check box that will allow my site to appear in search engines like Google and Technorati. When you install it on your remote server, obviously you want to leave that checked. Okay, let's click Install WordPress, and we're successful. Excellent. Let's Log In. I'll go to admin, enter in my password, click Log In, and here's our Dashboard. Now let me dismiss the introductory screens. Okay here is our standard WordPress installation.
Now let's switch to Dreamweaver to set up our site. I'll go to Site > New Site and I am going to name this site DW WP Sites, and then locate that folder, which you'll recall is in my site root in C:/wamp/www, Your location may vary. And then double-click on the file name to make sure that I have DW_WP_Sites shown.
Click Select and now let's set up a testing server. I'll click on Servers in the left column and then choose the Plus sign, which is Add New Server. We'll call this server Testing and then connect using the Local/Network option. For that we only need to enter in a server folder, which I'll do by clicking on the Folder icon, and it will default to the previously selected site, so that's perfect. Click Select and then enter in my web URL.
Because this is a local server, I'll put in localhost/ and then dw_wp_sites, just the folder name. Now if I press Tab, Dreamweaver will put in the slash for you, or you can put it in yourself. One last task on this panel: click Advanced and then from the Server model list, choose PHP MySQL. Click Save and you want to be sure to deselect Remote and select Testing under the check boxes.
Okay, let's save our site setup. There are our files, so all of our WordPress files installed. Excellent. Now I have a custom theme that I am going to incorporate, so I'm going to bring those into my themes folder. Let's head back to Windows Explorer, and I'll go to my Desktop to where my exercise files are, open that up, and then open up the Introduction folder. And there is only one movie folder within that, and that's the current one, 00_04.
Open that up and here you see some files that we'll be accessing. The first one will be the theme, called tpa, so I am going to right-click and copy that, and now I am going to head back to my wamp installation here and select that. Themes are always stored in the wp-content folder, so if you open that up, you'll see a themes folder. Open that up and there are the two default themes, twentyeleven and twentyten. Let me go ahead and paste in my custom theme, tpa. All right! That's looking good. We've got a couple of other files to transfer.
I am going to go back to Desktop/ Exercise Files/Introduction/00_04, and now let's bring in the uploads. These are some images that were used in the posts of the existing site. WordPress stores those in the wp-content/uploads folder, in a date- oriented folder structure. Let me open up uploads so you can see what I mean. Where there is a folder for every year and if I open up the year, there is a folder for every month and within that is an image and its thumbnail.
So I want to copy this entire uploads folder here, and then I am going to bring it in to my site, into the wp-content folder. WordPress does not create an uploads folder until you upload the first image or file, so you won't see that there, so I'll go ahead and paste in uploads. Okay, we are finished on the Dreamweaver and file-manipulation side. Let's go back to WordPress Dashboard and activate our custom theme.
You'll find the themes under Appearance > Themes, and here you see the current theme up top and two available themes down below. The one on the left is the one we want, TPA Theme, so I'll go ahead and Activate that, and let's take a look by going up to Visit Site. And yes, there is my new theme, complete with the new logo for Trans Planet Airlines. Great! All right, back to the Dashboard. There is one final task to tackle, and that's importing the data from the previous site.
We've brought in the files but not the data from the posts and pages. So let's bring that in using a WordPress tool, found here under tools, called Import. And under Import, there is numerous things that you can import. We are going to import a WordPress file, so I'll click on WordPress. Now the first time you do this, it's very likely that you will need to install it. This is in a constantly evolving state, and even though it says it's not been tested with your current version, it seems to be working pretty well.
So click on Install Now and then Activate Plugin & Run importer. Okay we have a XML file that we are going to bring in and if you click on Browse and then go to the Exercise Files, which are located for me on my desktop, in the Exercise Files folder, in the Introduction folder, 00_04, the XML file you are looking for is called tpa_start. All right, you can see that's an XML document, and let's click Open and then Upload file and import.
Now it will give you some options regarding assigning authors and importing attachments. You can leave them at your default settings here and just click Submit. It looks like it was successful, except you'll notice that it did not bring in the media. We've already transferred that over with some files, and the fact that it failed to create a new user for admin is exactly right. Okay, so let's go to Posts. Now let's do one final test in Dreamweaver to make sure our testing server is up and firing on all cylinders. So I am going to open up the index.php file, go into Design view and then Live view, and it looks like we've got our theme working perfectly.
The techniques covered in this movie are not only useful for taking over a legacy WordPress site; they can also be applied when moving a site from one web host to another.
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