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Creating custom header, footer, and sidebar templates

From: WordPress 3: Building Child Themes

Video: Creating custom header, footer, and sidebar templates

In a previous movie, I showed you the custom front page template and how it has separate wigitized areas, or sidebars, than the regular page templates. In the widgets area you can actually see it in the back end. You have the Main Sidebar, which is what appears on posts and regular pages, and then you have this First Front Page Widget Area and Second Front Page Widget Area, that only appear under the custom page template when that template is being used. Thanks to the WordPress template hierarchy, we can make custom templates to suit pretty much any need. This includes making custom header, sidebar, and footer templates that appear only when we want them to.

Creating custom header, footer, and sidebar templates

In a previous movie, I showed you the custom front page template and how it has separate wigitized areas, or sidebars, than the regular page templates. In the widgets area you can actually see it in the back end. You have the Main Sidebar, which is what appears on posts and regular pages, and then you have this First Front Page Widget Area and Second Front Page Widget Area, that only appear under the custom page template when that template is being used. Thanks to the WordPress template hierarchy, we can make custom templates to suit pretty much any need. This includes making custom header, sidebar, and footer templates that appear only when we want them to.

In the Twenty Twelve theme, we already see one such custom template, which is one that kicks in this, First Front Page Widget Area and Second Front Page Widget Area. Let's take a look at that template. If you look at the twentytwelve theme and we will scroll down to the bottom here, you see we have two templates; we have sidebar and sidebar-fronts. If you look at sidebar, you see all it does is call the sidebar-1, which is the main sidebar.

If you look at sidebar-fronts you'll see the same thing happens except here we are calling sidebar-2 and sidebar-3. These correspond with these First Front Page Widget Area and Second Front Page Widget Areas. But where do they come from? Well if you look at the page template, when we scroll all the way to the bottom, you see here it says get_sidebar; this is a general call, if I called the sidebar.php page. It's the same type of call you used to call the footer.phpfile, get_footer, and also the header.php file, get_header.

But if you go back to twentytwelve and go into page templates, the folder, and open the front page custom page template, you see that instead of just calling get_sidebar, we're adding a variable, front. This tells WordPress that instead of calling sidebar.php it should be calling sidebar-front.php. So that's how the custom sidebar kicks in, in a custom page template. Now you have a clear idea of the naming structure and how this works, and it's actually really simple.

If you want to create a custom header, footer, or sidebar at any point in your site, all you do is as you create a custom file called header- and then give it the name that you want to use, and then to call it, you simply go get_header then define that same name. The same goes for sidebar and footer as well. This is what actually happens. If we use the regular page.php template, we have the function call get_header that calls the header.php template.

However, if we decided to create custom header file that we only wanted to appear in our no-title-page template, we would add get_header parentheses custom in our function, and that would call the header-custom.php file instead. The same exact technique applies to sidebar.php and footer.php as well. By utilizing the built-in functionality of the template hierarchy, you can create custom layouts and content displays on pretty much any page on your site.

This allows you to add and subtract content in areas like the header, sidebar, footer, depending on what page, post, or index the visitor lands on, and that can in turn be used to give the visitor a more meaningful and informational experience when visiting your site.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress 3: Building Child Themes
WordPress 3: Building Child Themes

45 video lessons · 35048 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
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  1. 6m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
    3. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 29s
    4. Getting the right tools for theme creation
      2m 50s
  2. 17m 2s
    1. What is a WordPress child theme and when should you use it?
      2m 38s
    2. Picking a parent theme
      3m 55s
    3. Making sure you have the Twenty Twelve parent theme
      1m 50s
    4. Creating and activating a basic child theme
      4m 20s
    5. Importing parent theme styles
      4m 19s
  3. 16m 2s
    1. Using the developer tools
      3m 53s
    2. Modifying existing styles
      4m 24s
    3. Adding space between paragraphs
      4m 7s
    4. Changing font family styles
      3m 38s
  4. 31m 47s
    1. Understanding the WordPress template hierarchy
      3m 12s
    2. Modifying existing templates
      2m 33s
    3. Moving the header image
      4m 29s
    4. Adding Related Posts feature to posts
      6m 26s
    5. Creating custom page templates
      5m 43s
    6. Using conditional statements for customized effects
      5m 41s
    7. Creating custom header, footer, and sidebar templates
      3m 43s
  5. 17m 5s
    1. Understanding the different index pages and what they do
      4m 6s
    2. Adding author, date, and time information to the index loop
      7m 15s
    3. Changing the appearance of category index pages
      5m 44s
  6. 43m 5s
    1. Introducing functions.php
      3m 24s
    2. Overriding existing functions
      3m 23s
    3. Adding pagination to index pages
      5m 49s
    4. Adding to existing functions
      3m 21s
    5. Adding a new footer menu to Twenty Twelve
      6m 24s
    6. Adding a new widgetized area to pages
      4m 9s
    7. Adding static content to the sidebar
      7m 44s
    8. Replacing existing functions
      2m 36s
    9. Adding a Google font through a function
      6m 15s
  7. 10m 24s
    1. Adding new featured image sizes
      5m 41s
    2. Adding featured images to posts and pages
      4m 43s
  8. 31m 1s
    1. Adding a welcome message to the front page
      1m 22s
    2. Displaying page content in an index page
      7m 42s
    3. Hooking in a featured image
      4m 34s
    4. Making the welcome message responsive
      6m 27s
    5. Restricting content to the first page of the blog
      4m 22s
    6. Adding a jQuery function to show or hide the welcome message
      6m 34s
  9. 10m 23s
    1. Adding a custom favicon
      3m 58s
    2. Adding a custom screenshot
      2m 29s
    3. Adding footer information
      3m 56s
  10. 7m 14s
    1. What to do when a child theme crashes your website
      4m 38s
    2. Updating parent and child themes
      2m 36s

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