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Adding custom styles to specific widgets

From: WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores

Video: Adding custom styles to specific widgets

Now that we've added general styling to our widgets, you'll notice that the widget And recent comments.

Adding custom styles to specific widgets

Now that we've added general styling to our widgets, you'll notice that the widget area is kind of bland, because all of the widgets are styled the same ways. Here you see we have lists, and lists of recent posts, and menus and everything. And, they are all styled exactly the same way. This is not very useful for the visitor, because apart from the title of each widget you don't actually know what you're looking at. So in my design, I wanted to add some extra visual elements to select widgets so that it's easy to identify them as what they are. In particular, I want to add icons to recent comments, so that you see it's a comment, recent posts, so that you see it's a post, and also archives.

And I always wanted to change the display of the custom menu, so that you clearly see that it's a menu, because right now the menus are just lists, just like the archives list and everything else. And it's not clear that these are menus and not just lists. Although all of these widgets are already in the monster widget, I'm going to go and add a new set of widgets to my sidebar, so I don't have to scroll up and down so much. So I'll go to the back end and go to widgets. And here I'll add in just the widgets I want to change the style of. So I'll add archives, and custom menu.

And recent comments. And recent posts. And then I'll pull them up above the monster widget. So the custom menu, I have to give a title. And I'll set it to testing menu. And then reason posts and reason comments should both have five in them so I have a series to display. So I'll put reason comments. And reason posts. And, then I'll put archives directly underneath. So now I have the elements I need to style. And the next step is to figuring out how to target them because, right now we have styling that applies to every single widget, and I need to identify just the recent post widget and then add the recent post icon to that, and then I have to find just the recent comment widget and add the recent comment icon to that.

To see how you can target a specific widget, let's take a look at the marker. If you remember back from when we defined the widgets, I mentioned that each widget is wrapped in an aside that has two classes. The first class is widget, so that applies to every single widget. And the second class identifies the particular widget. So, here you see the recent entries widget, has a class widget recent entries. And if we go down you'll see recent comments has widget recent comments. Archive has widget archive. And nav menu has widget nav menu and so on and so on.

So by targeting these classes, we can easily identify one specific widget and, then apply styles to just that one widget and that's exactly what we're going to do. But first, I need to find the icons that I want to use. So I went to Font Awesome. And here I found three icons. This one I'm going to use for the reason posts. It has the Unicode F036. I'm going to use this comments icon for the comments. And it has the Unicode F075. And finally, I'm going to use the archive icon for the archives.

And it has the Unicode F187. So if you remember back to when we added the icon fonts to our main menu here, what I need to do is, use CSS to inject a new icon before the content. Now if I do that right now, what will happen is the icon will appear. Out here on the left-hand side. And that will look weird so, in my styles I also need to shift these specific list items in, and because the list items might span more than one line, I also have to make sure that my icon stays at the top.

So, if you go and look at the code snippets, this is what I've done. I've created one rule that targets widget-reason entries, LI before. Widget reason comments LI before and widget archive li before. So these are the three widgets that will have icons. And I've made one rule set that defines all the common elements. So here at this place each before item as a block, floating to the left, with some padding, and it's shifted to the left. And it uses the font family, font awesome, and has the font size of 14 pixels.

So this only applies to the icon itself, then I go and target the list items. So here I say, widget, reason, entries, LI's that would be the actual item with the real text, and the recent comments LI and I shift each of these to the right. I had to do it separately with the widget archive because the appearance of this particular widget is a little bit different. Once the items are shifted to the right, we have space for these icons. And now we need to define the icons. Here we have the definition for each icon: widget, reason, entries; LI before is F036; within recent comments LI before is F075; and archive is F187.

So now I can simply comment out this set of rules. Go to style.css and find my Widgets area. Here I'm going to scroll down until I get to WidgetLiLi, and then I'll paste my new style set, and now when I go and reload the page,. You'll see, I get those icons applied. So here I have my recent post icons applied. The comments icon applied. And the archives icon applied. The next thing I want to do, is change the styling of my main menu. And here I want each of the menu items to span across the entire width of the widget, so it's easier to click on.

And I also want to add a little line in between them, so they appear like menus. In my code snippets I have the block of code for that. You see it here, but what I'm doing is taking each of the anchors or the links within the Nav menu, and making them into block elements so they span across the whole widget, and I'm just giving it some padding and a border on the bottom. And finally I'm taking away the padding for each list item so we don't have extra space between them. So now I can copy this out, and paste it in and reload the page again.

And now you'll see, the menu actually looks like a menu, and is easy to click on if you're using a touch device. The final thing I want to do, is I want to re-style the RSS widget. Now you'll see here I have an RSS widget that outputs content. And for each of the posts that are output, we have the title, the date, then the excerpt, and then finally, the name of the person who posted this item. Now what I'm going to do is formalize the styling of each of these elements so the date always appears below the title. Because right now you see the date only appears below if the title is very long.

So I want to make this look more like a list of posts. So I'm going to go and inspect the element here and look at a date specifically. And here I see that the date is wrapped in a spam class that's called RSS date. So now I can target that, and I can also target the site at the same time to make sure that the author is displayed below, and I can apply a simple style here. That just break the date and the site apart and display them smaller, and under on line. So, I copy that out, paste it in, go to reload my page a final time.

And now you see in my RSS widget, we have the title. The date, the excerpt, and then the author. So now I have custom styling and visual separation of the main and most popular widgets inside WordPress. And you can take this same technique and apply a custom styling to any other widget you want. And as you can see, it's really simple to do so. So here again, the only limit is your imagination.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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  1. 10m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. What to know before you start this course
      2m 40s
    3. How this course and the lesson files work
      3m 12s
    4. Introducing Simone: A preview of the final project
      3m 59s
  2. 21m 28s
    1. Installing and running WordPress on your computer
      3m 53s
    2. Getting and installing Underscores
      4m 11s
    3. Installing WordPress Theme Unit Test data
      4m 18s
    4. Installing the Developer plugin
      2m 58s
    5. Installing and setting up NetBeans or another IDE
      6m 8s
  3. 16m 15s
    1. Designing for mobile, content, and style
      4m 52s
    2. How do WordPress themes work?
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding the WordPress template hierarchy
      2m 19s
    4. Underscores: An overview
      4m 16s
  4. 37m 5s
    1. Setting up style.css
      4m 47s
    2. Configuring baseline settings and functions
      6m 6s
    3. Enabling custom fonts and font icons
      5m 44s
    4. Applying global styles
      5m 11s
    5. Styling basic layout components
      6m 19s
    6. Making the site layout responsive
      8m 58s
  5. 23m 18s
    1. Styling the default header
      6m 25s
    2. Hiding the site title and tagline
      5m 32s
    3. Adding an optional header image function
      5m 23s
    4. Placing the header image behind the site title
      5m 58s
  6. 40m 55s
    1. Setting up menus
      3m 12s
    2. Styling the menu
      7m 42s
    3. Using Superfish for accessible menus
      8m 0s
    4. Making the menu responsive
      7m 3s
    5. Creating a custom social media menu
      5m 51s
    6. Styling the menu with icons from Font Awesome
      9m 7s
  7. 18m 9s
    1. Adding the search form
      6m 27s
    2. Adding the search icon
      6m 55s
    3. Adding show/hide functionality to the search form with jQuery
      4m 47s
  8. 33m 20s
    1. Adding a widgetized area to the footer
      7m 10s
    2. Using the Monster widget plugin to test all widgets
      2m 11s
    3. Styling the footer
      3m 6s
    4. General widget styling
      5m 33s
    5. Adding custom styles to specific widgets
      7m 34s
    6. Using Masonry to make footer widgets responsive
      7m 46s
  9. 54m 49s
    1. Changing the Single Post Template content structure
      5m 54s
    2. Changing the output of meta elements
      7m 2s
    3. Styling the Single Post Template
      7m 57s
    4. Making post meta responsive
      6m 21s
    5. Styling blockquotes
      5m 39s
    6. Creating pull quotes and pull images
      5m 1s
    7. Working with image captions
      4m 27s
    8. Working with image galleries
      4m 57s
    9. Single-post navigation
      7m 31s
  10. 30m 23s
    1. Working with the comments template
      8m 42s
    2. Using Gravatars in comments
      2m 42s
    3. Styling comments
      7m 26s
    4. Highlighting post author comments
      3m 36s
    5. Styling the comment form and messages
      7m 57s
  11. 18m 43s
    1. How do featured images (post thumbnails) work?
      2m 57s
    2. Defining featured image sizes
      3m 30s
    3. Generating new featured images with a plugin
      1m 46s
    4. Adding featured images to a template
      5m 7s
    5. Styling the featured image
      5m 23s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. The index template hierarchy
      2m 21s
    2. Customizing and styling index templates
      10m 10s
    3. Displaying excerpts or full content on index pages
      3m 6s
    4. Adding a custom Read More link
      3m 48s
    5. Adding featured images
      4m 0s
    6. Creating custom pagination navigation
      6m 4s
    7. Highlighting Sticky Posts
      2m 55s
    8. Creating custom post format templates
      5m 30s
    9. Highlighting the most recent post in the index template
      7m 22s
    10. Embracing modular design
      2m 29s
    11. Working with archive.php
      5m 54s
    12. Customizing the search results and the 404 template
      8m 28s
  13. 9m 7s
    1. Styling pages
      3m 4s
    2. Creating custom page templates
      6m 3s
  14. 4m 30s
    1. Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
      4m 30s
  15. 2m 20s
    1. Further learning
      2m 20s

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