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

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Video: Adding the search form

Our header is now almost complete. We have our site title and tagline, an option for a custom header image, a nicely styled menu that is accessible and responsive, and an optional social media menu. The only thing that's missing is a search form. Giving the visitor the ability to quickly search the content on your site no matter where she enters the site and what she's looking at is important. Unfortunately, search is often relegated to the side bar like you see here, and that's problematic when you have smaller screens because the side bar gets pushed to the bottom.
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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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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
Subject:
Web
Software:
WordPress underscores
Author:
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Adding the search form

Our header is now almost complete. We have our site title and tagline, an option for a custom header image, a nicely styled menu that is accessible and responsive, and an optional social media menu. The only thing that's missing is a search form. Giving the visitor the ability to quickly search the content on your site no matter where she enters the site and what she's looking at is important. Unfortunately, search is often relegated to the side bar like you see here, and that's problematic when you have smaller screens because the side bar gets pushed to the bottom.

And now, my search is really far down on my page and hard to get to. To make search immediately accessible to the visitor, I always place a search form right in the header. The problem, of course, is that search forms are huge, and they take up a lot of space. So the trick here is to figure out a way of adding a search form in the header that doesn't take up space if it's not needed. And, there's a solution to this, and you can see an example of it in the 2014 Theme. If you ever used 2014, you know that in the far right hand corner, of the main menu, there's a search loop.

And if you click on it, it opens the search form. So here you have a search form that's not obstructive and doesn't displace other content, and it's also nice and responsive. So this is what we're going to do. We're going to add a little search loop in the main menu, and when you click it, it opens a search form. And we'll do this in steps, so we'll start by adding the search form itself. The search form, of course, goes in the head.php template. So I'll open header.php, and here I want the search form to appear on a separate line after the main navigation.

So I'm going to place it under nav. First I'm just going to put in the search form because WordPress generates search forms automatically if you ask for them. So I'll put in a PHP deliminator, and just say get search form. And if I just save header.php now, jump back to my browser, and reload the page, you will see the search from up here is right here. Of course, it's shifted to the left, and that is a gigantic button I don't need, but the search forum appears, and it will now work perfectly on my site. So what I need to do now is wrap the search forum in some containers, so I can position it where I want, and I also want to apply some styling to it that, among other things, make it bigger, change the font, and get rid of this pesky search button that I don't need.

So if you go to the code snippets for this movie, you'll see at the beginning I have this extra code that's wrapped around the header search form. If you copy out that code, go to header.php, and paste it in, in place of just this get_search_form, you'll see that this is the same function get_search_form and I've just wrapped it in two containers. So here we have an outer most container with a class search-box-wrapper and the ID, search-container. And I also have an inner container, which just has the class, search-box.

The reason why I have two containers here is because I want to use one to make space, and then I want to use another to shift the search bar to the side. For now, I'll save the header.php, go back to my browser, reload the page, and nothing happens because now I need to start applying styles to my search form. Now the search form is going to appear where the header is, so I'm going to add it to the header section of my style sheet. So I'll go back to nut beans and openstyle.css, and here you'll remember I added a header section, and I gave it the name xx for now.

So I'm just going to search for xx, and here's the header, and then I'll scroll to the bottom of the header section, and this is where I'm going to add search. Now I'll go back to my cold snippets, and here I prepared some stalls for the search. So first of all, we'll grab this first style here. This one says input type equals search. I'll copy that out and paste it in, and save it, and I'll show you exactly what I'm doing here. So the interesting thing about the search form is that it repeats all over the place within WordPress.

So if you are not specific about what you are targeting and you apply styles to the search form itself, those styles will apply to every single search form on your site. So right now what you're looking at is two identical search forms, one that we just inserted and one that's in the sidebar. And you notice that both search forms are not full width, and that's kind of weird. Well, now that I apply that style and I reload, you'll see that I've set the search forums to be 100% wide, and I've also sent the box setting to be border box.

That means if we add padding to the search form, the padding will increase the size of the search form itself. So, now we can position the search form exactly the way that we wanted to. Next I'm going to apply these two first styles here, search box wrapper, which positions the search form above all other content so nothing can cover it, and also search box, which adds some padding around it and also adds a nice gray background. So I'll copy this out and just paste it into my style sheet. Save again, reload the page, and now you see my search form has a nice gray backing.

Of course, right now, it's very, very large, and it spans across the entire screen, and the search button is still there, and I need to get rid of that one, too. So, we'll do that next. If you scroll down, you'll see we have just two more rule sets here. The first one, which sets the width of the search form, floats it to the right, gives the actual form some padding, sets the font size, and sets the background color for the form. And the second rule set targets the search submit, which is the search button, and what it does is basically hides the button on all pages it appears on by default.

So it appears by default on the error page and on the search page and also in our search box, and I want to just hide the button everywhere on the site. So I'll copy out these two last rules and paste them in. Save the style sheet one last time, and go reload the front page. And now you'll see we have the search form here on the right-hand side. It's the same width as the side bar. There's nice padding inside it, so when you type content inside the search form, it looks okay and it has this nice background.

So next, we now need to add a button to our main menu that will toggle the search form on and off, and then we can hide it by default, so it doesn't take up all this extra space.

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