Lots of stuff learned over the last few days. I have to make an effort to write EVERY DAY so I don’t forget stuff.

The big one happened today when I realized/learned that Pages in WordPress are ONLY meant for static content. It seems that pretty well every newbie (including myself) is stuck in the world of semantics where we believe in order to separate content we need to create a Page. WordPress doesn’t easily allow for users to view Posts on Pages because that content is meant to be static—stuff you maybe use Custom Fields for or just the general text input area of the Dashboard. Note the use of a capital “P” for Pages. Therefore, if, as in the case with the Los Primos site, the developer wants the user’s Posts of the same Category to be displayed together on a Page—it’s not easy to do. Instead, you make use of a Category page and then customize the display using a category template. Say, you have a Category called “About” because there is a bunch of content that needs to live on that “about page”. Instead of creating an About page you create an About Category and a category-about.php file to house the loop. It automatically shows only the content you decide belongs in the About Category. No elaborate filters needed on the loop.

Plugins are much more useful than I originally thought. It seems as though most functions can be accomplished by finding the correct plugin. Some I’ve used to date are:

Column Post Allows you to put content into one, two or three columns. Super useful but a little odd. It creates some irritating headers you then have to hide.
Post Types Order This took a while to find and I’m not completely sure I’ve got the correct one yet. But, it allows the admin to reorganize posts through a drag and drop interface. Very useful when you’re trying to lay stuff out.
Facebook Social Plugin Widgets Allows for Facebook integration. A little odd just yet. I think I can find another better one when more time allows. This one “works.”
Quick Event Manager Lots of CSS tweaking to do with this one but essentially it allows for the easy creation of a new post type called an Event. Displays a calender as well.
NextGEN Gallery Probably the most popular gallery plugin for WordPress. I’m just using it for the circle slideshow so far.

A few other things discovered recently:

  • You can link from a menu item to an anchor using the post name. eg. #about
  • CSS is way easier than PHP. But, PHP is sort of getting easier.
  • You can use height: 100vh instead of height: 100% if you want an element to extend to the full height of its container. This is useful as hell!
  • I figured out how to use a conditional statement to check if you’re on the front-page or not. It then loads the slideshow widget:
    <!– THIS CHECKS FOR WHETHER YOU’RE USING A FRONT-PAGE THEN LOADS THE CIRCLE GALLERY –><?php if(is_front_page()) {
    if (function_exists(‘dynamic_sidebar’) && dynamic_sidebar(2)) : else : ?><?php endif; } ?>
    The circle gallery has an ID of “2” I think because it’s the second one I made.
  • This tests for what posts to show on the front-page.php:
    <?php query_posts($query_string . ‘&cat=>4,5’); ?>I only wanted to show an excerpt from the About page and Announcements hence the category 4 and 5.
  • Creating a bunch of Pages first was a mistake. I now have to delete them all in favour of Posts. If I don’t delete them I get confused which is which. Today I spent about an hour trying to figure out why images weren’t showing up for posts on a category page—I hadn’t actually used images in the post; only on the old page. Dammit!

About

Rob is a graphic design instructor and practicing designer/illustrator. He likes monsters.

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