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Dealing with footer widgets

From: WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

Video: Dealing with footer widgets

The footer of a web site is often left as unused real state. I find the footer to be quite useful for adding further information about the site and links to relevant content. To make it easy to configure the footer area, I usually add a set of optional widgets in the footer. You can see them down here at the bottom. I added four different widgets here--Archives, Categories, Recent Comments, and Recent Posts-- but now that I've added the footer widgets, I need to make them responsive. If we look at this theme and resize the window, you'll see that as we resize it, the footer widgets automatically resize with it.

Dealing with footer widgets

The footer of a web site is often left as unused real state. I find the footer to be quite useful for adding further information about the site and links to relevant content. To make it easy to configure the footer area, I usually add a set of optional widgets in the footer. You can see them down here at the bottom. I added four different widgets here--Archives, Categories, Recent Comments, and Recent Posts-- but now that I've added the footer widgets, I need to make them responsive. If we look at this theme and resize the window, you'll see that as we resize it, the footer widgets automatically resize with it.

The problem of course is that at some point the footer widgets become almost unreadable because they're squished so tight together. What we need to do is apply media queries to handle the footer widgets once the screen gets too narrow. And what I want to do here is simply box each widget in its on 100% width box and then stack them one after the other. If we look at the footer widgets for the Developer Tools, you'll see why they do what they do.

Each of the widgets is contained inside a list item, and that list item has a percentage width, is floating to the left, and has a percentage margin to the right. As a result it'll rescale to a percentage of the total width of the screen. This also tells us the solution to our problem. To make the footer widgets stack one on top of the other, all we have to do is reset these three values. So I'll copy out the style, go into my style sheet, and down to my media queries at the bottom. I'll find the media query that affects all the content on the small screens, so this one at 719, and I'll go all the way to the bottom of that media query and paste in the style I just copied out from Chrome.

Now all I have to do is reset the width. So I will set the width to 100%, because I want it to spend across the whole page. I'll set float to none, because I don't want to content to float, and I'll also set margin-right to 0. Save this, reload the page, scale it down, and you'll see right at the breakpoint the footer widgets will now stack one on top of the other. But I need to add one more piece of style, because as you can see, the footer widgets don't have any space between them, so it's hard to see where one ends and the next begins.

So I'll go back in to my styles and margin bottom 2em, save it, reload it, and now there's a nice little space between each of the widgets. Of course, you can choose to change that value if you want to, but I think that the 2em value works fine. But there's one other piece of footer content in the site that you haven't seen yet. In addition to the footer widgets, there's some content that only kicks in at certain times.

In this post, you'll see it. It's right here at the bottom. We see three related posts. This is a custom function that's built into the theme that looks for three related posts to the current article based on when they were posted and based on the categories that are in this article. If there are not enough related posts then you'd simply don't see this box. And just like with the footer widgets, these boxes are responsive, so they resize with the window, but we've to give them a breakpoint too where we want to stack them one on top of the other.

That means we first need to find out how they work, so we use the Developer Tools to look at them, and we'll see, just like the footer widgets, each of these boxes is contained within a list item in an unordered list, and each has a percentage width floating to the left and a percentage margin to the right. So again, we copy out the style, paste it in, clean it up, and then we set the width to 100%, float to none, and the margin-right to 0, and finally, we should give it a margin on the bottom too.

So if I set the margin-bottom to 2em. Reload the page and now each of items stacks one on top of the other. Now if you want to be really clever, you'll notice that these two styles had the exact same style code, which means we don't have to repeat them like this. We can simply take the name, insert a comma in front of the first one, paste in the second one, and then we can delete the style, and now the footer sidebar list items and the related list items are handled by the same style.

Shorter code does the exact same thing. Making repeated side-by-side list items responsive is no more complicated than any other component on the site. You just have to consider how they're put together, so you can make the appropriate changes at the appropriate breakpoints throughout the site.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Building Responsive Themes
WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

39 video lessons · 16899 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
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  1. 4m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 27s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 34s
  2. 8m 36s
    1. What is responsive design?
      4m 16s
    2. The different faces of WordPress on mobile
      1m 55s
    3. Exploring the finished Anaximander theme
      2m 25s
  3. 9m 38s
    1. Getting and installing the Anaximander theme
      1m 53s
    2. Configuring basic theme options
      7m 45s
  4. 23m 51s
    1. Deciding what screen sizes to design for
      4m 11s
    2. Thinking responsively: Designing for many different screen sizes
      6m 23s
    3. Visualizing content realignment for better markup
      4m 35s
    4. Designing menus
      4m 52s
    5. Adding responsive images and videos
      3m 50s
  5. 26m 8s
    1. What are media queries and how do they work?
      4m 18s
    2. Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation
      3m 27s
    3. Understanding best practices for media queries
      3m 57s
    4. Creating a responsive frame
      5m 12s
    5. Customizing media queries with the Chrome Developer Tools
      5m 28s
    6. Taking device width into account
      3m 46s
  6. 11m 1s
    1. Resizing the site title and the description
      8m 22s
    2. Adding media queries to the header
      2m 39s
  7. 11m 22s
    1. Making the menu responsive
      3m 35s
    2. Creating a different menu design for small screens
      7m 47s
  8. 19m 22s
    1. Making a responsive single-post layout
      6m 11s
    2. Making images responsive
      4m 37s
    3. Making videos responsive by including FitVids
      8m 34s
  9. 7m 45s
    1. Making the sidebar responsive
      5m 10s
    2. Hiding sidebars on mobile
      2m 35s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Dealing with footer widgets
      5m 11s
    2. Adding navigation links that return to the top of the page
      2m 17s
  11. 12m 54s
    1. Using FlexSlider to create a responsive slider
      6m 2s
    2. Creating a loop to show sticky posts in a featured slider
      6m 52s
  12. 24m 37s
    1. What is jQuery Masonry?
      3m 41s
    2. Installing jQuery Masonry
      4m 45s
    3. Configuring the index page with Masonry
      7m 0s
    4. Using CSS to finalize the Masonry layout
      6m 17s
    5. Adding media queries to the Masonry index
      2m 54s
  13. 9m 11s
    1. Exploring hidden features of the Anaximander theme
      5m 51s
    2. Where to go from here
      3m 20s

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