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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes
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Creating custom page templates


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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Creating custom page templates

WordPress has two main types of published content, posts and pages, and though most of the time you want a uniform appearance for each content type, there are times when you want certain pages to look a bit different. In Twenty Twelve you already two custom page templates that change to presentation of the pages they are enabled on. You can see them when you go into a page to edit it. Here on the side under Page Attributes you have a section called Template, and under here you have the Default Template and if you drop it down you'll also have a Front Page Template and a Full-width Page Template with No Sidebar.
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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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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes
3h 11m Intermediate Jun 23, 2011 Updated Nov 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Create a child theme based on an existing parent theme in WordPress and change the functionality, presentation, or styling of your website. In this course, author Morten Rand-Hendriksen shows how to use the default WordPress theme, Twenty Twelve, as a basis for a new child theme and add custom menus; new headers, sidebars, and footers; and index pages with widgets and pagination to your site. The course also demonstrates how to add a responsive welcome message to your front page using PHP and jQuery, and how to edit the many templates found in a WordPress theme. Morten explains how to perform these changes using any code editor, the developer tools in the Chrome browser, and WordPress.

Topics include:
  • Picking a parent theme
  • Creating and activating a basic WordPress child theme
  • Using the developer tools
  • Changing the header image size
  • Using conditional statements for customized effects
  • Adding custom menus to the child theme and/or a template
  • Changing the default footer content
  • Adding featured images to posts
  • Changing the display of meta content (such as date, author, category, etc.)
  • Excluding categories from the front page with custom queries
  • Including functions from external files
  • Identifying and fixing common mistakes
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Creating custom page templates

WordPress has two main types of published content, posts and pages, and though most of the time you want a uniform appearance for each content type, there are times when you want certain pages to look a bit different. In Twenty Twelve you already two custom page templates that change to presentation of the pages they are enabled on. You can see them when you go into a page to edit it. Here on the side under Page Attributes you have a section called Template, and under here you have the Default Template and if you drop it down you'll also have a Front Page Template and a Full-width Page Template with No Sidebar.

If you activate one of these, say the Front Page Template, and updates the page and then view the page, you see that the page template looks quite different. It's Full-width and if we go to Appearance > Widgets, and add widgets to the First Front Page Widget Area, lets add Recent Comments, Recent Posts, and maybe Categories, and reload this page with the Custom Front Page Template activated, you see we now get these widgets here at the bottom.

The Custom Front Page Template is meant to be used on the front page. We can also activate the full-width template. I'll go back and edit the page, change the template to Full-width Page, with No Sidebar and then View Page. And you see we know how full width but we don't have those extra sidebar elements. Instead we have comments at the bottom, or I can switch back to the default and again view page, and now we have the standard look with the content on the left and sidebar on the right.

You can create your own page templates to produce specific results on specific pages. I use this technique quite often, because not all pages should be displayed the same way. Sometimes I want to add extra meta information or some other information, or maybe I want to remove something like removing the page title. The reasons for creating custom page templates are endless, unfortunately they're very easy to make. If we look at the theme folder for Twenty Twelve, you'll notice that there's a folder under the theme folder called page-templates, and it is inside this page-templates folder you find the page templates front page and full width.

You don't have to put your page templates in a sub folder, and if you do, you have to tell your theme that that's what you did. The reason why they did it for Twenty Twelve was to create a more structured and organized theme. If we want to create a custom page template for ourselves, we can do it in a very simple way. I'll open my twentytwelve theme here, on the left, and my child theme here on the right. And then I'll go and find my page template, it's here, and copy it over into my child theme.

And then I am going to change the title of my page template. So I will just give it a different name, I'll say no-title-page. Now I am going to open it in my code editor. Now I have to tell WordPress that this is a custom page template. The way I do that is I add a comment at the top. So I am going to remove the comment that's already here, and I am going to add a comment, and in here I am simply going to type Template Name and then give it a new name, and the name should be very descriptive so it'll be No title page template.

All I now have to do is save this new page template with this comment at the top, and I can go back to WordPress, edit the page, go to Template and you see we now have No title page template as an option. I'll update my page, view the page, and you see nothing changed. That's because I haven't actually changed my page template yet. Now I want to make changes to content in my page template, but when I go back to my code editor and I look at the page template, I notice that the contents of the page isn't actually in the page template. You see instead, we have this function called get_template_part, that calls a file called content-page.

So what I need to do is get the content from content-page and put it in first. I'll go back to my parent theme and this time I am simply going to find that content-page-template open it, copy out all the content, and then replace the call here, get_template_part with that content I copied out. Now all I have to do is find where the title is, it's right here,

and then entry-title, and I'll delete it, save my custom page template, reload my page and now I have a page with no title.

The custom page template is an often overlooked tool in the WordPress theme arsenal that allows you to create customized experiences for your visitors in a very simple way. The best way to get the most out of a custom page template is to simply start experimenting. And remember, there are no limits here. If the information exists, you can display it.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about WordPress 3: Building Child Themes.


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Q: The 2010 version of this course no longer covers installing BitNami. Can you provide directions?
A: Instructions on how to install WordPress using BitNami can be found at
 http://bitnami.org/stack/wordpress. Use the "Installer" option. 
It is pretty straight forward and almost impossible to mess up.

lynda.com also has a dedicated course on WAMP and MAMP (Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP) that is relevant and you might find helpful.
Q:When looking to download PHP development tool at www.eclipse.org/pdt/, as advised by Morten, but when accessing the site via this link, the screenshot in the movie is very different from what it takes you to on the website.
A: Eclipse has a very active developer cycle and updates quite frequently. The interface changes all the time. I recommend using Notepad++ (Windows) or TextWrangler (Mac) instead. They perform the same function but are far less cumbersome to deal with.
Q: This course was updated on 11/27/2012. What changed?
A: This course was heavily revised to reflect changes to the default WordPress parent theme, Twenty Twelve, and updates to WordPress's functionality. The entire course was re-recorded to reflect changes to the interface. Then we added new movies on text styling, the Related Posts feature, and the welcome message features. There are also two brand new chapters, "Modifying and Adding Functions" and "Working with Featured Images." We recommend that members who have seen the whole course start again from the beginning to get the most benefit from this update.
 
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