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How Wordpress Themes Work

Discussion in 'Wordpress' started by admin, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Jun 2004
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    For anyone trying to get their head around Wordpress Themes, this infographic is a must read:


    For reference, here is the copy in the infographic:

    Anatomy of a WordPress theme

    WordPress themes are made up of a folder of template files, each of which controls a specific piece of your theme. Parts of your site that remain static no matter what page you're on are controlled by header, sidebar and footer files. You can hack these files so they detect what page you are on and serve different content accordingly, such as display different navigation on posts than on pages; however it is most common for these sections to look the same throughout the site.

    Global file that displays headers and navigation. Also contains HTML code.

    The Loop
    The display of contents of the main area of your site are controlled by individual WordPress theme template files using what's called "the loop".

    Sidebar display is controlled in this file. Multiple sidebars can be set up in
    functions.php, and contents of sidebar widgets are set up from the WordPress wp-admin panel.

    Contains instructions for global footer and closes HTML tags.

    index.php - home
    The index file controls what the homepage of your WordPress theme looks like. By default it is a loop that queries and then displays the most recent blog posts, with a link in the bottom to view previous posts.

    Alternately, you can specify in wp-admin -> settings -> reading to have the home page be a page you created yourself in WordPress. In that case, you specify a different page/URL for the regular blog posts to appear on, and that page is generated by index.php.

    single.php - individual posts
    The display of individual posts in your WordPress theme is controlled by a little file called single.php. It contains a loop that queries just one post and displays it.

    You can specify if you want sidebars (and which you want), if you want it to look different than the other pages on the site.

    page.php - individual pages

    Page.php controls what pages look like. You can choose to eliminate sidebars or other elements, add other unique elements for pages alone.
    WordPress also allows you to create different page templates within your WordPress theme for different types of pages. To create a page template, simply copy page.php, rename it to whatever you want, then add this code to the top:
    Template Name: YourPageNameHere
    archive.php, category.php, tag.php - archives

    You can control the look and feel of different archives using template files also. If there is no archive file, the archives will look like index.php; however you can create an archive.php to override that. If you create a file called category.php, it will override archive.php for categories only. If you create a tag.php, you can override it for tag archives only.

    The Loop

    The loop is perhaps the most powerful part of your WordPress theme. It starts with a query (which determines which posts or pages to grab), and ends with a PHP "endwhile" statement. Everything in between is up to you. You can specify the output of titles, post content, metadata, custom fields and commenting all within the loop and each element is output for each post or page until the query is done. You can set up multiple loops and queries on a single page; for example: on a single.php you could have the loop showing the entire content of a single post, with a loop outputting just titles and thumbnails for related posts below it.
    Query post or page
    Start Loop
    the_title (outputs the title of the post)
    the_excerpt (outputs the post excerpt)
    the_content (outputs the full post content)
    the_category (outputs the post categories)
    the_author (outputs the post author)
    the_date (outputs the post date)
    other tags (there is a variety of other tags you can use in the loop)
    Exit the loop

    Read the full article here:
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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