WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores
Illustration by John Hersey

WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Adding featured images to a template

In our design, each post has an optional featured image that appears before The way you can call in a featured You'll remember that's the name of the large To do that, I've created a small cold small snippet that you can
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch every course in the library with a lynda.com membership.
Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch With Underscores
6h 23m Advanced Jun 11, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Ready for your next WordPress challenge? Learn how to build more complex custom themes using the _s (aka Underscores) starter theme. Morten Rand-Hendriksen takes you from basic layout and customization to enabling advanced responsive design and accessibility features. He reinforces the basics lessons with DRY (don't repeat yourself) development practices and a structured approach that will help you build WordPress themes that meet modern standards. Plus, he'll explore core concepts like understanding the WordPress template hierarchy, creating functions, adding custom JavaScript, applying styles, and more.

Topics include:
  • Installing WordPress, Underscores, plugins, and NetBeans
  • Designing for mobile, content, and style
  • Setting up the basic theme
  • Building a custom header
  • Designing responsive, accessible menus
  • Adding a custom search form
  • Using and styling widgets
  • Adjusting the Single Post Template
  • Working with comments, featured images, index templates, and static pages
  • Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
WordPress underscores
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Adding featured images to a template

In our design, each post has an optional featured image that appears before the main content, like you see here, at the very top of each post. Now that we have the featured image sizes defined, it's time to call them into the single post template so they display just like they do in the design. Before I do that though, I need to have some featured images to work with. In the theme unit test data, there's two posts. One called template featured image vertical and one called template featured image horizontal that both already contain featured images.

I'm going to add an additional featured image to the first post in my site here, Template Sticky. So I'll go to the post, and then click on Edit Post. And here I'm going to scroll down to the bottom of the screen, click on the Set Featured Image button. And go to the Media Library and look through the images that came in with the theme unit test data. And find an image that's big enough to take up the whole space. So you'll remember the full width of the biggest image was 1060. So I need to find an image that's bigger. Then 10 60, so if I select this one, It's 800, this one is 1,600 so we're going to use this one.

It's bigger than the size I'm going to use. So, I'll set this as a it appears down here which means it is set. And now I can update my pulse. Now of course, when I go and view my post, the image does not appear. That's because we are yet to see our post through our template. So now I need to go back to my templates and find where the featured admission should be inserted, is within the loop. Now, we're working on the single post here, and you'll remember that the get_template_part single function is within the loop.

And this is important because each featured image is associated with the post through the post ID. So to display the featured image within a template, I have to put the featured image call within the loop. So here we have the loop. And the loop points to content single, so it's content single I need to put the featured image call into. I'll close single.php and open content single instead. And here I have to decide exactly where I want to place my featured image. Now i mentioned that in the design I have the featured image appear before the content, but it should still appear within the article.

So naturally I need to make some space here above the header, and then place the featured image right at the top. The way you can call in a featured image is by using the function the post thumbnail. So here I'll put in a PHP delimiter. And then just say echo the post thumbnail, and here I can also add a variable to specify exactly which size I want. Here I want the large thumb. You'll remember that's the name of the large image that we created in the previous movie. I'll end my function and end my PHP delimiter, and then I can save content single and reload my browser.

And now my featured image appears here at the top and it's nice and big. Now of course, this is a huge image. So, it will expand the entire screen that I have now, because my screen is relatively small. But if I go and re-load the featured image posts, you'll see that we have a little more work to do here because. When the image doesn't span the full width of the screen, it currently aligns to the left-hand side of the screen. Same thing happens with this post, and it looks kind of weird. So what I need to do is add some styles, so that I can center this image above the content.

And to do that I need to wrap a div with a class around the featured image function. And here, we run into a bit of a problem. If I go inspect the code here, you'll see that when I call the post thumbnail, all WordPress does is output the actual image code. And of course, that means if I call the post thumbnail on a post that doesn't have a thumbnail, then WordPress outputs nothing. But if I add an extra markup around the post thumbnail, say, a div. With a class in it and then apply styles to that class.

Then, when I call in a pulse that doesn't have a thumbnail, the div will still appear within my markups. I'll have an empty div and I might potentially add extra clutter into my site. So, to add in a div, I also have to wrap it in a conditional statement that tests whether or not the image is present and then only places the div in place if we have a featured image. To do that, I've created a small cold small snippet that you can copy out and I'll replace the code I put in with the snippet here. And here you see we have the same call, the post thumbnail large thumb.

I've wrapped in a div with a class single post thumbnail that also has a clear post so that it clears properly. And I also end that div. And then I wrapped this entire stack of code inside a function called has post thumbnail. And obviously, this function just tells WordPress whether or not there is currently a post thumbnail available. So now I have a conditional statement that only outputs this code if the post thumbnail is available. And that means have a class that I can target with my styles. That's next.

There are currently no FAQs about WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.