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Style basic layout components Build Wordpress Themes

The main components of a site are the header, footer, sidebar, and content, all of which comprise th… Show More

WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Style basic layout components Build Wordpress Themes

The main components of a site are the header, footer, sidebar, and content, all of which comprise the basic layout for your site. In this tutorial, you will learn about styling basic layout components in WordPress and separating the overall site layout style from the global styles. Also, you will see how to tell WordPress to include your layout style when serving your content.
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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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Styling basic layout components
Video Duration: 6m 19s 6h 23m Advanced


The main components of a site are the header, footer, sidebar, and content, all of which comprise the basic layout for your site. In this tutorial, you will learn about styling basic layout components in WordPress and separating the overall site layout style from the global styles. Also, you will see how to tell WordPress to include your layout style when serving your content.

View Course Description

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

Styling basic layout components

Now it's time to set up the overall layout of our site. Meaning how the main components, header, content, sidebar and footer, relate to each other. Because, right now when you look at the site, you see all the content is stacked vertically. We have the header, then all the content. That if we scroll really far down, you'll see here's the sidebar and the footer, all the way on the bottom. What I want, what's in the design, is a sidebar that's to the right, and it's always the same width, and what will happen is as the window resizes, the sidebar will stay the same width until there's no room for it, and then it will move to the bottom of the page.

To make this happen, we need to apply some styles. And the natural place you would want to place those styles would be in style.css. But, we're actually going to separate the layout styles into a separate style sheet so that we can apply different layouts to different pages if we'd like. Because later in the course, we'll create a custom page template that doesn't have the sidebars, we need separate layouts for that. You'll remember that inside the underscores theme, we already have a folder called layouts and in that folder there are two style sheets.

One called Contents Sidebar, which displays the content on the left and the sidebar on the right., and one called Sidebar Content which does the opposite. We're going to use Contents Sidebar. So I'm going to delete Sidebar Content so it's not in the way and then we can take a quick look at Content Sidebar as it is. And here you see, we have a very, very basic responsive layout. What happens here is the content area, which is the container that contains both the main content and the sidebar is shifted 25% to the right.

Then, the site-main, which is the main content is shifted 25% to the left. And finally, the width of the widget area, which is the sidebar, is set to 25%. So you get this weird shifting thing happening where all the content is shifted to the right. And then, the main content is shifted back to the left to give room for the sidebar and the sidebar width is the same. But because we want the sidebar to be a fixed width, we need to change some of these values to make that work.

But before we can do that, we have to get this style sheet to actually apply to our content and that's done by enqueuing it into functions.php. So I'll go into functions.php here, scroll down to my enqueue section which is right here and from here I'm going to enqueue the layout style sheet directly after my regular style sheet which is here at the top. So I'll go and call WP enqueue style again. I'll give it the handle My Simone Content Sidebar.

And then, I need to call the style sheet. Now, because I don't know where this theme is going to end up, I can't put in a full hard-coded URL because, then it won't work everywhere. So, instead, I'm going to use this function that's down here, getTemplateDirectoryURI to point to the theme folder and then I'll just specify what file I want. So I'll copy that function and paste it in here, and then after the dot, I'm going to put in the specific folder and file name. So here, I'll put into text/layouts/content Sidebar.css and end it with a semicolon.

So, now when I reload the page, my new layout style sheet will kick in and my sidebar is on the right. And if you look, you'll see that if I resize this window, both the content and the side bar will dynamically change sizes and this is precisely what I don't want. I don't want the side bar to shrink when I resize this window. So here I need to change the styles and content side bar. And you'll find those styles in the code-snippets. So here I'll just copy them over one after the other and explain what's going on.

So we'll start with the Widget area. So here I'm going to set the widget area with two 380 pixels and I'm also going to change some of the other elements. So I'll put it in here, so now we have 380 pixels wide. It flows to the right and it also has padding of 4 rems so that there's some space, and the background is hard white. Then, I'm going to add a color to the site main so that we can see where the border is between the main content and the side bar. So I'm going to take out the margin here, and just paste in a background color instead, so that will make the background of site main gray for now.

And then I'm going to change the content area so that it accommodates this 380 pixel wide side bar. So here I'll copy out some more code from my code snippets and paste it in and here I left the width at 100%. I'm still floating the content to the left and I'm doing that same thing where I'm shifting all the content 380 pixels out of the frame to the left and then I'm adding padding to shift it back to 380 pixels to the right. When I save this now and reload my page, you'll see that my main content has a gray background, so it's easy to see where it is.

My header is at the top still and when I resize this, my sidebar stays the same size, it doesn't change size. This is exactly what I want, and you'll see the content within the post conforms to the sidebar. That means the style works the way I wanted to. So now I'm just going to add one more rule set so that my main content appears like it does here, in the middle with lots of white space on either side. So I go back to my code snippets, and copy out the last style and just paste it in.

And this style applies to a bunch of different content. And I'll explain why this happens later on in the course. So when I save this one last time and reload my page again, you'll see now my main content is floating in the middle and as I resize the window, it has plenty of wide space on the left and right side so it looks the way it's supposed to. So now we have the overall site layout. The next step is to make that site layout responsive so that it fits on very small screens.

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