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Learn how to build an advanced portfolio site that showcases various types of content using the free open-source application WordPress. Author Morten Rand-Hendriksen demonstrates creating custom post types, differentiating and classifying content with custom taxonomies, and working with custom post templates. The course also shows how to embed YouTube videos, build index pages, display the latest posts from different custom post types, and hook custom post types into separate themes. Exercise files accompany with the course.
The purpose of a portfolio site is to showcase different kinds of work in an easily accessible way, both for the person who owns the site and for those who visit it. Because of this the portfolio site we will be dealing with different types of content in different places. To make sense of it all, creating a site architecture enables a designer or developer to think through all the different elements in advance and figure out what needs to be built and where these different components should be housed. But before we can build the site architecture, let's look at how WordPress handles contents by default.
When installed, WordPress has two main content types: posts, which is the regular blog posts, and pages. The posts are organized by category, and further organized by tag, and they are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, so the newest post first and then all the older ones underneath it. You can also add custom fields to posts and they sometimes come with the featured image functionality, and most of them have comments. In contrast, pages are independent elements that don't really relate to each other, except for parent-child relationships.
So you can make one page and then underneath it you can have a child of that page. Pages also default to the main menu, unless you tell the site otherwise, and with pages you can have custom page templates so you can display different pages in different ways. Pages also have some common features with posts, including the featured image functionality and comments, but pages do not have custom fields. Taking into consideration the WordPress only has these two content types, posts and pages, we can apply them to this standard online portfolio item structure.
You see we have a Home page, a Bio/About page, a Portfolio with some sub items, including Photos, Videos, Articles, and then a Contact page and a Blog. If we take the standard structure, you'll see that the Home page and Bio/About Page are standard pages, and so is the Contact page, and then the Blog is the regular blog post. But what happens to this content in the middle, the Portfolio, where you have the Photos, Videos, and Articles? That's the general question that we're going to answer in this course and I will teach you how to handle it.
The obvious and simple solution to this issue is to create a new category underneath the Blog called Portfolio, and then give that Portfolio category subcategories for each of your items. But this is really clunky, because now you have all of your items, regardless of what kind of content it is, listed under the Blog. So if you want to display the blog without these items, you have to write a huge pile of code just to exclude these items and then you have to create a new template to include only those items.
A better solution is to create new custom post types for each of these different types of content. That way the blog lives on its own with its own categories and you'll have a new custom post type for each of the new types of items. So you'll have a custom post type for videos, one for photos, and one for articles. What's really cool about this is once you have custom post types, you can assign specific types of categories or taxonomies to each of the post types so that they're all different. That means you can create organizational tools that only relate to each of the individual post types and you can organize each post type item in relation to the other items on their own.
So using custom post pipes and custom paxonomies, you can create a site that's much easier to navigate and has very clear firewalls between different types of content. Now let's look at a concrete example of how this would work. Throughout this course we'll be building a site for an imaginary chef. The site is called Culinary Artistry. This chef has four types of content he wants to display. He has his regular blog, but he also has recipes, photos, and videos. And under Recipes, Photos, and Videos, he has different kinds of ways of organizing the content.
For Recipes, he has Meal Type, Ingredients, Difficulty, Time, and Portions. Whereas in Photos he has Meal Type, Ingredients, and Technique for the photography, and in Videos he has Meal Type, Ingredients, and Video Type. You'll notice that some of these categories, or custom taxonomies as they are called, are the same across all three post types, while others are individual for each post type. This really harnesses the true power of using custom post iypes. You can hook them together and relate them to each other using some taxonomies and then you can still keep them separate for others.
So what we're seeing here is the general site architecture for the site we're going to be creating. We'll build three new post types, Recipes, Photos, and Videos, and under them create a set of new custom taxonomies, so we can organize the content in a logical way. With a basic site architecture drawn up before the real work begins, you have a clear plan of what needs to be done and how that information is going to be organized. This makes the actual process of building the course site much easier.
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