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WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

Will this work with WordPress?


From:

WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

with Chris Coyier

Video: Will this work with WordPress?

One of the questions that I get from people very commonly is, will this work with WordPress, where "this" in that sentence is usually some nifty looking effect they found on the web? The answer almost always is yes. So there's three really important things that you should know here, in that WordPress doesn't care what HTML you use in your theme. WordPress doesn't care what CSS you use in your theme. WordPress doesn't care about JavaScript either. It doesn't care what you do with any of these technologies in your theme.
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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

Will this work with WordPress?

One of the questions that I get from people very commonly is, will this work with WordPress, where "this" in that sentence is usually some nifty looking effect they found on the web? The answer almost always is yes. So there's three really important things that you should know here, in that WordPress doesn't care what HTML you use in your theme. WordPress doesn't care what CSS you use in your theme. WordPress doesn't care about JavaScript either. It doesn't care what you do with any of these technologies in your theme.

It just doesn't matter. It's just there to help you serve up content. So let's take a look at an example. On the web here, on one of my web sites, there is this article called Creating a Slick Auto-Playing Featured Content Slider. So let's go down, I'm going to scroll down and click the View Demo button and take a look at the demo for this article. You can click these little thumbnails here and it will slide around and show you different content panels. So this is what one of those emails might have been about. It might have been, will this work with WordPress? And it's absolutely, yes, it will.

So let's take a look. I am going to go back to the article and click the Download Files button and download this example. I'm going to drag this folder onto the TextMate icon and open it up as a project. I'm going to open up the index.html file that came with this. And look at what's going on here. There are some JavaScript files being loaded. There's a CSS file being loaded. So if you want to use this, of course you're going to need to load those scripts and that CSS as well. Down here we have the HTML that's making this thing happen.

Looks like there is a wrapper, and another wrapper, and then each one of those panels that we're looking at looks like it's got one of these div with a class of panels. So we just talked about the WordPress loop in the last chapter. This looks like a good opportunity to have a loop that would output each one of these panels, doesn't it? So if we open up our theme, we're going to need to probably open up the header.php file, load our scripts, and our CSS up there.

Then maybe we'll make a custom template like we did for our product, only it will be for the special page that you want to use the slider on, and that page maybe will conditionally load those scripts and that CSS. Then we'll have a loop and that loop will output those panels. So that's how you would approach using something like that you found on the web with WordPress. And we're going to be covering how to use JavaScript in more detail in future movies. But let's take a look on the web, at another website. This is a WordPress powered website, and it's using this exact example that we just looked at on their homepage.

This is the Slick Auto-Playing Featured Content slider, this is a WordPress powered site, and this is their implementation of it. So if you find some nifty looking effect on the web that's powered by JavaScript, HTML, CSS, the answer is yes, absolutely, it will work with WordPress.

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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