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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
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Creating the blog home page


From:

WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

with Chris Coyier

Video: Creating the blog home page

Time for us to start working on the blog section of our site. So what we are looking at here is the static HTML and CSS template version of our blog home page and this is our actual WordPress site and what we have for the blog homepage right now. Clearly not quite what we are looking for it yet. So to do this we are going to create a new template in our theme that's sole job is for the blog homepage. So let me open up our project here in TextMate. We have our static HTML in the left and our WordPress theme on our right.
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  1. 6m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      5m 25s
  2. 40m 42s
    1. Reviewing the client spec and deciding on WordPress
      6m 50s
    2. Reviewing assets and resources and creating a mood board
      8m 41s
    3. Building a home page mockup
      11m 26s
    4. Finishing the home page
      12m 27s
    5. Planning the rest of the site
      1m 18s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Starting with a base project
      3m 6s
    2. Writing HTML code for the home page
      12m 7s
    3. Starting the CSS: Creating the header and basic style structure
      11m 28s
    4. Styling the Navigation panel
      10m 59s
    5. Styling the sidebar
      7m 55s
    6. Styling the home page, pt. 1
      8m 20s
    7. Styling the home page, pt. 2
      8m 17s
    8. Finishing the CSS
      3m 14s
    9. Moving on: One page is enough
      2m 43s
  4. 1h 56m
    1. Setting up WordPress and MAMP on a Mac
      6m 7s
    2. Setting up WordPress and WAMP on a Windows computer
      5m 38s
    3. Modifying important settings
      6m 26s
    4. Starting with a blank theme template
      4m 35s
    5. Introducing template file structure
      4m 55s
    6. Breaking up the HTML
      9m 53s
    7. Building the sidebar
      3m 54s
    8. Building the navigation
      7m 20s
    9. Showing one recent post
      4m 1s
    10. Fetching external content
      8m 23s
    11. Creating a custom home page
      3m 30s
    12. Introducing custom fields
      5m 23s
    13. Creating custom product pages
      9m 52s
    14. Creating custom category pages
      15m 39s
    15. Creating the blog home page
      5m 39s
    16. Creating a single blog entry page
      4m 15s
    17. Implementing comments
      5m 57s
    18. Finishing the home page
      4m 45s
  5. 34m 17s
    1. Will this work with WordPress?
      3m 10s
    2. Using JavaScript in themes the right way
      8m 35s
    3. Implementing something fun with JavaScript
      7m 53s
    4. Introducing plug-ins
      6m 31s
    5. Setting up security
      8m 8s
  6. 2m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 7s

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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
4h 28m Intermediate Nov 03, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes, author Chris Coyier shows how to build a custom WordPress theme from scratch and satisfy common client requests. The course covers steps necessary to build a theme using a complete workflow with Photoshop, HTML, CSS, and WordPress 3.0. Also included are tutorials on enhancing a WordPress site with JavaScript, using plugins, and ensuring site security. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Building a design in Photoshop
  • Converting Photoshop design to HTML and CSS
  • Setting up MAMP on Mac and WAMP on Windows
  • Moving HTML and CSS into a WordPress theme
  • Building navigation
  • Using custom fields
  • Creating a commenting system
  • Using JavaScript and plugins
Subjects:
Developer Web CMS
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Chris Coyier

Creating the blog home page

Time for us to start working on the blog section of our site. So what we are looking at here is the static HTML and CSS template version of our blog home page and this is our actual WordPress site and what we have for the blog homepage right now. Clearly not quite what we are looking for it yet. So to do this we are going to create a new template in our theme that's sole job is for the blog homepage. So let me open up our project here in TextMate. We have our static HTML in the left and our WordPress theme on our right.

We are going to be making a new type of page just for this blog home. So let me go ahead and do that and make a new file. Let me call it page-bloghome.php and much like we have been doing with other pages, give it this first few lines which tells WordPress that it is indeed a special type of page template. I am going to call it Blog Homepage and save it. Now the HTML that we are going to be kind of copying from is over here in our static HTML and CSS template, the bloghome.html file.

So we are going to be kind of copying some of that structure over here. Remember in the very beginning of this, the index.php file used to be in charge of our homepage and just show the most recent post. So that's a good starting point for us over here in our WordPress theme. Now open that index.php file, basically steal the whole thing, and drop it over here in our page. Now at the top of it, it opens up a very traditional looking WordPress loop. We are going in to adjust that a little bit, because this is the page.

So we are going to do a query post up here. You can tell if that is a popular WordPress function and it has a lot of power and we end up using it a lot in custom theme building. I am going to say post_per_page, say 5. That's going to just adjust and give us the five most recent posts that we want back. I will save that. Let's jump back now to the web into our dashboard. So we can get there by going to wp-admin.

Take a look at our pages. If we open the Blog page, it's just what we published earlier. Remember we published this one when we are building our menu. We just made a page called Blog and just published it with no content, no parents, no template really, but now that we have the Blog Homepage template. That's going to show up in his drop-down menu of templates available. So we can select that and hit Update and now it's going to be using this template that we just have created. So let's save it and see what we got going on the web for our new Blog Homepage.

I am going to open it up in a new tab and see that we have our one most recent blog post showing here, which is basically what we want. We don't want to be looking at anything that says blog anywhere. This is just kind of a placeholder for that template that really displays this. We said we wanted to see the five most recent, well, we only have one blog post published. So if we were publish another one, we would see it here. So let's do that real quick. So a new post, that's what a blog post is, and we will call it Widget Corp Turns Five! Content here and we hit Publish.

Now that should turn up on top through our blog that's the most recent blog entry. So that's what we have going on. It still doesn't look quite like this, though. That's what we are going for. That's why we have both projects in TextMate open and we are going to match what's going on over here to what's going over here. The biggest most obvious difference is that there is this gigantic THE GRIND, which is the name of our Widget Corp's blog. So that we will copy over here. It is this h1 tag with the class of giant, which indeed it is. We will post that over here.

Let's look line by line a little bit. Posts open up with div of class post over here and that's what's going on here with some extra WordPress stuff going on. But that should be fine. Our post titles are h4 tags here. We will make these h4 tags to match. Then it goes into our meta information and you can see in this theme right now that comes from that blank template that we used, it's including this meta information so that we can reuse it as a modular chunk. Let's open up that meta to make sure that it's very similar.

Posted on, it's dynamically displaying the date, the author, how many comments. So that's pretty close to what is going on here and even has a div of class meta, just how we want it to look. In ours over here we don't list comments. So we can take that out. We will hit Save, come back to our homepage here. Then our content gets spit out here within a div class of entry. That's just what's going on over here. So that's cool. Then it displays this metadata here. We are not going to need that, because we've already displayed our metadata for the most part.

So we will get rid of that. Then at the end of that this includes this navigation, which should be a links to show reading older posts and newer posts that people go back and forth and we didn't mock that up, but that's fine for over here. So I will hit Save and come back to the web and see we are doing on the blog homepage. This is our live version and we are doing much better. It doesn't look exactly like this, because we have these specific posts here with more content, but the styling is exactly the same and that's what we are going for here.

We don't see any navigation, because we don't have more than five posts, which is what we asked for. But if we had six posts, we would see some links down here for pagination. So that's our blog homepage, mocked up just how we have it in our HTML and CSS. Now we need to look at stalling an individual blog post.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes.


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Q: What prerequisite skill do I need to be successful in this course?
A: This course is set at the intermediate/advanced level. You’ll do best if you have a good knowledge of Photoshop, plus a good grasp of PHPHTML, and CSS.

Q: The index.php file that the author is working with in Chapter 3 doesn't match mine after the "Building a sidebar" movie. It appears to change between the "Building a sidebar" and "Building the navigation" movies. What code am I missing?
A: The author makes some changes off screen between several movies in this title, simply because there is so much material to cover. These changes are provided in the exercise files.

However, if you are following along without the exercise files, you catch up to him by adding the following code to your index.php file, directly after the <?php get_header(); ?> line:

<div id="main-content">

Near the end of the file, just before  <?php get_sidebar(); ?>, add a closing div tag, </div>, to complete the div wrapper.

The resulting code will look like so. You may also copy and paste this into a new file and save it as index.php.

<?php get_header(); ?>

<div id='main-content'>

    <?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

        <div <?php post_class() ?> id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>">

            <h2><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

            <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/inc/meta.php' ); ?>

            <div class="entry">
                <?php the_content(); ?>
            </div>

            <div class="postmetadata">
                <?php the_tags('Tags: ', ', ', '<br />'); ?>
                Posted in <?php the_category(', ') ?> |
                <?php comments_popup_link('No Comments »', '1 Comment »', '% Comments »'); ?>
            </div>

        </div>

    <?php endwhile; ?>

    <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/inc/nav.php' ); ?>

    <?php else : ?>

        <h2>Not Found</h2>

    <?php endif; ?>
   
</div>

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

<?php get_footer(); ?>

Q: How do I load my custom theme once I have finished?
A: Copy the Custom theme folder to your new WordPress installation and put it in wp-content > themes. Then you can activate the new theme and work with it from there.
 
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