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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
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Creating a custom home page


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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

with Chris Coyier

Video: Creating a custom home page

So the structure of our website is looking good, our sidebar is looking good, but one thing you will notice that is drastically different from what we're looking at right here from what we ended up with, our Photoshop design and our HTML and CSS template, is this main content area doesn't look anything like our final design. We just haven't got in there yet, but this is what we are going to be doing, creating a custom homepage with our WordPress Theme. Now WordPress actually makes it pretty easy to do. So, I am going to show you on the right here we have open our TextMate project with all the files from a WordPress theme, and on the left we have this TextMate project.
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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 a custom home page

So the structure of our website is looking good, our sidebar is looking good, but one thing you will notice that is drastically different from what we're looking at right here from what we ended up with, our Photoshop design and our HTML and CSS template, is this main content area doesn't look anything like our final design. We just haven't got in there yet, but this is what we are going to be doing, creating a custom homepage with our WordPress Theme. Now WordPress actually makes it pretty easy to do. So, I am going to show you on the right here we have open our TextMate project with all the files from a WordPress theme, and on the left we have this TextMate project.

That's where we left off with our static HTML and CSS templates. So, what I can do to make a custom homepage-- You don't have to do anything fancy. It's really easy. I am going to make a new file by clicking on the folder at the top of the sidebar and say New File. We're going to create a new file for our theme. I'm going to call it home.php. Now it comes in as a blank file and if I just type like "hey guys" in here and saved it and went back out to the web. Looked at our site, we are at the homepage right now. It's just going to say "hey guys." zit's going to know the currently active theme has this home.php file in it, and the homepage just going to render that page by default.

So whatever I put in here it's going to show up on our homepage. Now our index.php file is a good starting point anyway. So let me just copy that entire block of code and past it over here and hit Save in our home.php file. Reload the page and we are going be back right where we started exactly. Now, everything is right about this except for this block here, this main content block. So if I were to just go ahead and grab everything from the main content block and delete it, it's going to do probably what you think it's going to do.

There is just going to be nothing inside there instead. So what we're going to do is replace that with what we have already designed for our homepage and then grab everything from the main content div over here and just drop it in over here. Now one thing that's not going to be ready is these images of our products. We have to make sure that those exist on our kind of live local environment so that they don't come up as broken images. So let me just minimize our projects. Minimize the web so we can look at what's going on out here in the Finder.

This htdocs folder is the root of our website and that's where I want to make those product images available from. So here they are in our static HTML and CSS template. I am going to drag those over to the root of our htdocs over here. Now I didn't drop them in the theme, because I kind of have this theory that these are going to be their product images despite what theme is active. So let's not put them in the specific theme. Let's just put them at the root. That's appropriate. And then we'll go in and make sure that those file paths are correct here, so we are going to be in product-images and /product-images and I'll hit Save.

We'll come back out to the web and reload and our custom homepage will be present there, and everything is looking good. So that's how easy it is to make a custom homepage for the site that's completely unique to the homepage, totally different template than any other template on the site. It's just as easy as making your home.php file on your theme and putting in the stuff in it that you would want to be there. Now it's maybe not as dynamic as we hope it to be later. We are going to make these products later pull dynamically from the store, once we've created those, but we will revisit that later.

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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