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An important part of index pages is the ability to quickly navigate from one page to the next and dig through the archives. By default, WordPress does a terrible job at this. If you scroll down to the bottom of an Index page, like what I've done here, you'll see you have one or two links on the bottom saying older posts and newer posts. And you can jump back and forth in time by navigating with these two links. This is neither useful nor does it tell the visitor anything about how much content is available.
A better solution would be to have paging navigation, a numbered list of pages available that shows you where in the archive you are, and allows you to jump to any page you like. The great thing is, WordPress actually has a function built-in for this, it's just rarely used. So, we're going to use that function, and replace this very unuseful navigation with very useful paging navigation. First, we need to identify the function that creates the navigation for us. Since it's on an index page, I'm going to to index.php first, and scroll down.
And here you see directly after the loop where the loop ends with an end while we have a function called My simone paging nav. so I'm going to go control or command and click on the function. And here I'm taken again to templatetags.php and here we have the function. My_simone_paging_nav and when you look inside the function, you see this is pretty much exactly the same function we had for the individual post navigation. Here we see a nav previous and nav next that points to the previous and next index pages.
What I want to do is remove this entire function and replace it with one that shows proper paging navigation and step. And the great thing is, one of the default themes that ships with WordPress. Actually already has numbered paging navigation. You can find it inside the 2014 theme. So I'm going to open the 2014 theme and the index.bhp template here. Scroll down and find the same function. So here we have 2014 paging nav. And I'll follow that link to go to that function. And this function is a far more complex one that uses the Word Press function called Paginate Links which creates that link pagination that I want to use and displays it in all the index pages.
So here, I could simply go and copy out the entire function, paste it into my template tags, and then make some changes to it. And that's exactly what we're going to do, but to simplify things, I've already done it for you and placed it in my code snippets. So I'm going to close template tags and index dot PHP from 2014. And also navigate away from 2014, so I'm not confused. Make sure I'm inside my_simone_paging_nav and here I'm first going to remove the entire function. So all the function, all the way down to end if, but you need to leave the end if.
And you see why because we first have this pluggable function that checks whether or not my simone paging nav exists. Then, I'll go to my code-snippets, and find a new function, my simone paging nav. So, it has the same name of all kick in, and the same place as before. I'll copy out the entire function, and simply paste it in. And if you compare this to the function that was inside the 2014 theme, there are only a couple of major changes. I've changed the midsize number from one to two, and I'll show you what that is in a second. I've also set the type of content to list, because the function within 2014 displaced each item just as a roll of anchors.
But I want to display it as proper unordered lists so that I can style it easily. And I've also made some very subtle changes to the output down here. Now I'm going to save template tags. You'll remember that I'm using the same function name so anywhere where the old function was called in, this new function will be called in instead. That means when I go back to my site and reload the page you'll see proper paging navigation. Now of course this requires some styling. So here I'm going to go in and apply regular styling for an un ordered list.
So I'll just copy out CSS here. Go to style.css in Mismo, and find the navigation section. And here I'll scroll down until I find a menus, and I'll just paste in my new menu after social menus and all this other stuff here, right here. Go back and check my new styles. So now the menu appears as it should with the current page highlighted and all I need to do is wrap it in a white box. So I'll add a final set of code here, and here we have a custom style just for paging navigation.
That's going to go inside content side bar because this is a layout style. So I'll go to layouts, content side bar, and here I'll just place it all the way at the bottom, save again, and reload. And all this lifestyle does is add a white box around the navigation so that it clearly separates from the background. So now we have custom navigation from within the site and you can navigate anywhere you want either by clicking next or previous or by jumping directly to a specific numbered page.
And just to explain that number I was talking about, where it says mid size, the mid size is the number of numbers you display next to the currently active page. So if we had 17 pages here, you would see one two dot dot and then you would see two numbers before the current page two numbers after the current page and then dot dot and then the last pages. So now that you have the function you can go ahead and experiment with it, and if you want to learn more about this particular function you can go to the Codex page for Paginate links.
And here you can read up on exactly how you can use it, and how you can configure that function to display the links exactly the way you want.
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