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WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

What is jQuery Masonry?


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WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: What is jQuery Masonry?

If you've spent any amount of time on the Internet in the past few years, you've likely come across something very cool, called Masonry, though you probably had no idea that's what it was. Masonry is a jQuery plug-in that let's you create dynamically reorganized content on your site in a very nifty way. The best way to understand what Masonry does is to look at these two examples on the Masonry web site. It shows the content before and after applying Masonry. What's happening here is we have a page that has a bunch of items, so a regular index page, but we don't want to list them vertically like you would normally do; we want to list them horizontally.
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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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WordPress: Building Responsive Themes
2h 55m Intermediate Aug 17, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The many ways visitors access web sites, via mobile devices, tablets, and desktops, now requires sites to incorporate responsive design elements that adapt to different screen sizes and browsers. In this course, Morten Rand-Hendriksen demonstrates design strategies, best practices, and actual code examples for creating a responsive web site. The course covers layout, navigation, responsive video embedding, and content sliders. The final chapter shows how to create an index page with jQuery Masonry, a jQuery plugin that helps you create dynamic grid layouts.

Topics include:
  • What is responsive design?
  • Installing the Anaximander example theme
  • Deciding what screen sizes to target
  • Designing menus
  • Adding responsive images and video
  • Using CSS media queries to apply different styles
  • Handling sidebars on mobile displays
  • Dealing with footer widgets
  • Installing jQuery Masonry
Subjects:
Web CMS User Experience Blogs Responsive Design
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

What is jQuery Masonry?

If you've spent any amount of time on the Internet in the past few years, you've likely come across something very cool, called Masonry, though you probably had no idea that's what it was. Masonry is a jQuery plug-in that let's you create dynamically reorganized content on your site in a very nifty way. The best way to understand what Masonry does is to look at these two examples on the Masonry web site. It shows the content before and after applying Masonry. What's happening here is we have a page that has a bunch of items, so a regular index page, but we don't want to list them vertically like you would normally do; we want to list them horizontally.

The problem is some of the items are bigger than the others and as a result, they take up more space. If we use CSS to float these items left to right, what happens is the tallest item in each row defines the vertical height of that row and nothing can flow in to fill up that space. So what we end up with is a layout with a lot of dead space in between content. What Masonry does is it figures out where this content is and then finds elements that can fit into those places.

As a result, we get a more condensed layout, and it's also easier to cram more information in to a tighter space. The reason why you want to use Masonry is exactly that; you get to fit more content into a small space, and you also get to use more of the space on the page. As an added benefit, Masonry is responsive. So if we change the size of this window, you'll see that the content dynamically reorganizes to fit the new sized window.

This means simply by including Masonry in our index page, we automatically get a responsive index page that showcases as much content as possible in the currently available space. Masonry is being used both on responsive pages and on static pages, because of the way it handles layouts. What you see on the Masonry page is a fairly standard approach, but people use it for a lot of cool stuff. This is an example. It's an artist that uses Masonry of the front page to create this artistic representation of his own art.

As you can see, the items are still reorganizing in the same way, but because of what the items look like, it looks really neat. What we're going to do is take this regular static index page where each item is listed one below the other, and change it into dynamic Masonry page, like the one I've here on DESIGN IS PHILOSOPHY. All we're going to do is add the Masonry plug-in and hook it into our index page and then also activate some featured images on the index page.

When we do that, we get a response of layout that fits with the different screens, and because I made some very careful measurements, we will end up in a situation where the smallest screen--so the mobile phone--will have a beautifully laid out vertical stack of stories, just like what you see here. As a bonus, the front page will also have some front page widgets. So for example, this lynda ad that you see here at the top is actually a widget, and there's also two widgetized areas inside this layout that will activate as we move forward.

jQuery Masonry provides a whole new way of organizing index pages and allows us to put more content on index pages without sacrificing real estate in the process.

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