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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
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Styling the home page, pt. 2


From:

WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

with Chris Coyier

Video: Styling the home page, pt. 2

There is just a little bit more of the main content area of our homepage that needs to be styled. It's this section here. So let's get to that. Let's take a look at the Photoshop file that we are trying to match, and it's this region here. So it's this Featured Widgets text and then our list of two widgets here with a title, description, their image, and this View Product button here. So that's what we are going to be styling. Let's take a look at the HTML that covers that area.
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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

Styling the home page, pt. 2

There is just a little bit more of the main content area of our homepage that needs to be styled. It's this section here. So let's get to that. Let's take a look at the Photoshop file that we are trying to match, and it's this region here. So it's this Featured Widgets text and then our list of two widgets here with a title, description, their image, and this View Product button here. So that's what we are going to be styling. Let's take a look at the HTML that covers that area.

It's in our index.html file here. I have our whole project opened in TextMate and it starts right here. It's just this h2 tag of Featured Widgets, and then each of those two widgets is wrapped in this list with an ID of featured-widgets. So let's style this h2 tag first. Now it doesn't have any special IDs associated with it, so let's actually put the styling for this h2 tag in our style .css file, so that we can re-use it on other pages if need be. So all h2 tags in the site are going to look like this.

It's going to have a color associated with it. It's that blue color. Let's grab that blue color from actually the first navigation item in our list. So if we look at that, it's this Buy Widgets and that's kind of cool to tie the color of Buy Widgets into what the featured widgets are. So that's working. Make the color of that color. It's all uppercasing-in, so we will say text-transform upper-case.

It has a bit of a shadow to it. We are going to go ahead and steal the shadow that we use for the h1 tag. It's not bold and h2 tags are by default bold. So we will say font-weight is down to normal. It's biggerish. We will set that size up a little bigger. We will push some things below it down with margin. We will see how we are doing in the browser. Looking pretty good! It's just tight to each other. So we forgot the letter spacing.

So let's say letter-spacing, literally the space between two letters there, and pull it out a little bit. So that's looking good. Now, we have the two widget areas here. Again, just as reminder, that's this ul tag, unordered list with an ID of featured-widgets. So because this is specific to the homepage, we'll put it in the home.css file. Say featured-widgets. The thing I am going to do first is list-style: none.

It's going to get rid of these bullet points that we don't need. We are going to set these each of those list items in this list, featured-widgets, list item, to position: relative, because we are going to be doing absolute positioning within it. So we are just setting that context again, and then give it some bottom margin, so that we can push that second one away from the first one, just a little bit there.

Now, we want to be styling this title. So that's an h3 tag within here. Probably not going to be like h3 tags on the rest of this site. So let's make the selector for it fairly specific. We'll give it that same background as the color of the h2 tag. So we'll steal that. That's that blue color as the background. We'll make the actual color white, not quite as big in the font size world. also not bold.

Let's put some padding around it. We are going to kick it in from the left. So before I do that, let's see what we are doing in the browser. It's looking good, but in our mock-up, we are actually going to get this image and put it up here, kind of breaking into this bar. So we are going to kick the actual text inside this bar over to the right. Take a look in Photoshop, so you can see what I mean. Kick that text over to the right, so there is room for this image. So let's kick it over 200 pixels.

You can see what that does in the browser. Just moves it over. Now, we need to move this text over as well and that's a paragraph tag in there. So we'll say featured-widgets li p, and to kick it over will just give it some padding on the left. So padding in the left. So top: none, right: none, bottom: none, left: 200 pixels but actually on the top it's kicked over 204 pixels because of the padding. So we will actually make this 204, so it's lined up perfectly.

I will make the color not quite black but a dark grayish just to give it some differentiation and space it out a little bit with that line height and we'll give it some top and bottom padding as well. We'll save and see how we are doing there. Great! It's lined up right and we have room now for this image. So let's get it up there. That's why we set that position relative on this list item, so we could use absolute positioning to push it up there. It's the image that we're targeting.

If we look at the HTML, it's this image that we are getting inside this list tag. Say position: absolute and it's actually going to break out at the top a little bit. Just like we did with the logo on the top, we are going to kind of mimic that look, giving it -10 pixels so it's higher than the top and we'll set the left to 0 and check out what happens there. Very cool! We moved that up right there just how we wanted to. One last step, this View Product button.

Let's take a look in Photoshop. This is the design that we are trying to match. Now this is a generic button style. We kind of just want to be able to apply a class of button to anything in the HTML and have it look like this. So we are going to go into our actual style.css file. I am going to paste in some code here just because it's a lot of lines. Then we are going to look at it. Right at the top it's this generic class that we can use with anything. So anything with the class of button here is going to have all the stuff applied to it.

Now, this is the CSS3 way of applying a gradient without having to use images. So in Mozilla, that's Firefox browsers from top to bottom is going to be this gradient. It's going to start here and fade to this color and this covers WebKit browsers like Safari and Chrome. It's going to start here and fade to this. Slightly different syntax there. Then browsers that don't support it will just kind of have a default color. It has some padding. We just do some resets. It has that border.

It has a shadow around it. Then when you hover over it, the shadow changes a little bit. The background color changes a little bit. So let's save and take a look at what that button looks like in the browser. Just how we want it to. It has that gradient, has that shadow, has that rollover that we want to. So the last step is just to position it where we want it here. We will do that with absolute positioning again in our home.css file. position: absolute.

And the top value, we'll push down maybe 150 pixels and to the left say 32 pixels. Take a look in the browser. It hasn't quite taken effect yet. Let's see. It's not li.button. That would be a list item with a class of button. We want to target child elements of the list item that have a class. Just missed a little space there. I am going to hit Save, Reload, and that's going to be then positioned just where we want it to be. So that completes the styling of the main content area of our Homepage.

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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