Anatomy of A WordPress Themes

WordPress themes

A while ago, we introduced to you the concept of creating a WordPress theme from HTML. We split the tutorial into two parts, and you can check out the first installation here and the second here. Today we are all about fleshing out the two tutorials, so feel free to regard this post as the third serving in the post series. My objective is to take apart the WordPress theme to give you a clear picture of how it (the theme) works.

This post assumes you have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS. I will go ahead and declare that having HTML and CSS skills is a prerequisite in designing WordPress themes. One more thing, this post will stay clear of big words and difficult concepts – it will be easy to comprehend, so be ready to have fun and learn.

A Little HTML Priming

Every HTML web page is split into different parts using the <div> tag. For instance, you can break the body (<body>) of your website into several sections such as navigation, header, main content, sidebar and footer amongst others.

Once you have your web page in sections, you can order (or arrange) the sections as you wish using CSS. This process is known as styling, and it involves adding other style elements such as color, size, borders, special effects etc. Such is the power of CSS, which – by the way – is short for Cascading Style Sheets. When you put your HTMl and CSS files together and throw in a couple of images, you end up with a complete website.

Things are not very different with WordPress themes. As we saw in part 1 of How To Create A WordPress Theme from HTML, WordPress themes are split into different files. If you cannot spot some similarity at this point, allow me to explain.

Static HTML web pages are split into divisions (what we called sections earlier on) using <div> tags (or tables if you’re really old school). On the other hand, WordPress themes are split into different php files, which are then put back together using template tags.

Therefore, instead of having all body elements (header, main content, sidebar, footer etc) living in a single file (as is the case with static HTML), each of the body elements (in WordPress themes) lives in a separate files.

So, the header will live in header.php, the sidebar will find home in sidebar.php, the main content will live in index.php, or single.php (if it’s a post) or page.php (if it’s a page). The footer section will live in footer.php and so on.

Are you following? Check out the illustration below:

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THEMATIC (CHILD) THEMES

Thematic uses Child Themes, these are essentially stripped down versions of a full WP theme, that needs the Thematic Framework for functionality. Upon download, Thematic comes packaged with a basic child theme, but you can download many more from the Thematic homepage. Download Thematic Child Themes.

Below, you will find a small selection of themes available for Thematic.

Acamas Child Theme

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Migrating A Website To WordPress

Now powering over 17% of the Web, WordPress is increasingly becoming the content management system (CMS) of choice for the average user. But what about websites built with an outdated CMS or without a CMS at all? Does moving to WordPress mean starting over and losing all the time, energy and money put into the current website? Nope!

Migrating a website (including the design) over to WordPress is actually easier than you might think. In this guide, we’ll outline the migration process and work through the steps with a sample project. We’ll also cover some of the challenges you might encounter and review the solutions.

WordPress Themes

About This Guide

Before we get to work, let’s establish some context. First, this guide was written primarily with beginners in mind and will be most helpful for basic websites. Some of you will likely encounter advanced aspects of WordPress migration, but they are beyond the scope of this guide. If you’re tackling an advanced migration and get stuck, feel free to share your difficulty in the comments below.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of this guide is to help you with the following:

  • Plan an effective migration to WordPress.
  • Walk through the technical steps involved in migrating.
  • Get ideas and resources to solve common migration challenges.
  • WordPress Themes

ASSUMPTIONS

I assume you have basic familiarity with WordPress. Previous development experience with WordPress would be helpful, but not necessary. I also assume you have an existing website and design that you want to migrate to WordPress.

Starting With A Plan

BASIC STEPS

Here are the basic steps that I recommend you follow for a typical WordPress migration:

  1. Evaluate website.
    Work carefully through the pages on your existing website, identifying all of the types of content (standard pages, photo galleries, resource pages, etc.) and noting any areas that need special attention.
  2. Set up environment.
    Set up WordPress and get ready to import.
  3. Import content.
    Bring over and organize your content, whether via an importing tool, manual entry (for a small amount, when no tool is available) or a custom importing process.
  4. Migrate design.
    Incorporate your existing design into a custom WordPress theme.
  5. Review website, go live.
    Carefully review the import, making adjustments where needed, set up any URL redirects, and then go live.
  6. WordPress Themes

With this outline in mind, let’s work through each step in detail.

Start With A Plan

The key to a successful migration is to carefully evaluate your current website. You need to figure out how to import and structure the content in WordPress before carrying over the design.

While the principles are the same across migration projects, the details often vary. So, below are two lists of questions to ask as you work out a plan.

IMPORTED CONTENT

  • How much content needs to be imported (number of pages, number of images, etc.)?
  • Is the volume low enough to be imported manually, or do you need a tool?
  • If you need a tool, does one already exist?
  • Can the content be categorized into the standard “posts” and “pages,” or does it call for custom post types?
  • Does extra content need to be stored for certain pages (custom fields, taxonomies, etc.)?
  • Will the URL structure change? If so, will the old URLs need to be redirected?

EXISTING FUNCTIONALITY

  • Does the website integrate any third-party services (data collection, reservations, etc.)?
  • Do any forms need to be migrated (contact forms, application forms, etc.)?
  • Is access to any content restricted (such as members-only content)?
  • Does the website sell products (digital or physical)?
  • Do any administrative tools need to be carried over (such as custom CMS functionality)?
  • WordPress Themes

A WORKING EXAMPLE

My brother, Joshua Wold, has volunteered a website to serve as an example; it’s for a side project of his in which he sells posters and postcards of a Vegan Food Pyramid. He built the website in plain HTML, with some basic PHP includes for the header and footer. Below is a screencast of me evaluating the website to give you a sense of how the process will work. Enjoy!

Set Up WordPress

Before importing the content, we need to get WordPress ready to go. If you’re just experimenting or if you prefer offline development, start with a local installation of WordPress. Otherwise, the next step is to install WordPress with your current hosting provider; or you could use the migration process as a great opportunity to move to a new host.

Once WordPress is up and running, you’re ready for action!

WordPress Themes

Setting Up WordPress

For our example, we’ve installed WordPress with the same host, setting it up in a wp directory for the duration of the migration process.

SETTINGS AND PLUGINS

With WordPress Themes installed, we’ll make a few minor adjustments:

  • Update permalinks.
    Go to Settings → Permalinks to make changes. In most cases, I’ll switch to “postname”-style permalinks.
  • Update users.
    I create an admin-level account for myself and any admin or editor accounts that are needed for clients and collaborators. I also remove the default “admin” user name if it exists (a basic but wise step for WordPress security).

Depending on the needs of the project, we might have to preinstall plugins. Here are the major categories of plugins:

  • Form management
    Migrating a form “as is” is usually a mess; simply recreating it using a forms plugin is usually easier. My current favorite is Gravity Forms ($39+ per license). Other options are Formidable (with free and pro versions) and Contact Form 7 (entirely free).
  • SEO management
    Search engine optimization (SEO) is a touchy subject. My philosophy is to build content for people, not for search engines. That being said, there is a common-sense approach to SEO that is solidly supported by the WordPress plugin ecosystem. And if your old website includes custom meta descriptions, giving them a new home during the importing process is important. I recommendWordPress SEO (free).
  • Multiple languages
    If your old website supports multiple languages, WordPress has you covered. My plugin of choice is WPML ($79 per license, free for non-profits). Another option isqTranslate (free).
  • Security
    WordPress security is a topic near and dear to me. The increasing popularity of WordPress has made it a target for security attacks. WordPress itself is rarely the problem; a poorly secured hosting environment or an outdated or poorly developed plugin usually is. I use managed WordPress hosting for the majority of my projects, which offers a good foundation for solid WordPress security. Options include WPEngine, ZippyKid, Pagely and Synthesis. In addition to managed hosting (and especially if you opt for a non-managed host), consider installing a security plugin, such as Better WP Security (free) or Wordfence (also free). Last but not least, review the “Hardening WordPress” guide in the Codex.
  • Backups
    If you opt for managed hosting, backups are usually included (make sure, though). If you’re managing backups yourself or you want an extra layer of data protection, great options are available, including VaultPress ($15+ a month), CodeGuard ($5+ a month), BackupBuddy ($75+ per license) and BackWPup (free).
  • from : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/05/15/migrate-existing-website-to-wordpress/[quote font=”verdana” font_size=”14″ font_style=”italic” color=”#474747″ bgcolor=”#F5F5F5″ bcolor=”#dd9933″ arrow=”yes” align=”centre”]This Demo Content Brought to you by Momizat Team [/quote]

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Create A Tab Widget In WordPress

In this WordPress tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the Tabber widget, which is very useful for when multiple widgets need to fit in a sidebar. It saves space and streamlines the appearance and functionality of your WordPress-powered website.

In the past, there were different methods of doing this, most of which were theme-dependent. As we’ll see in this tutorial, creating a tabbed widget that works on its own and with any theme is easily accomplished. So, let’s jump in and learn how to create our own Tabber widget, which we’ve made available for downloading at the end of this article.

create-tabber-widget-splash

Saving Sidebar Space

The main advantage of tabs is that you can fit more widgets into the sidebar. And tabs look good. The image below shows how much vertical space is taken up by three standard widgets (using the default Twenty Ten theme). The default layout is on the left, and our tabber widget is on the right:

tabber_example

Before We Start

A few things are useful to know. Because we are building a widget in this article, you might want to learn about WordPress’ Widgets API and how to create a basic widget:

Use these resources as needed while following the tutorial along.

The Basic Idea

The idea for this widget is simple: select a sidebar, and the Tabber widget will grab all of its widgets and display them as tabs. In the widget’s interface, you can select a sidebar, specify an extra CSS class and optionally apply your own styles. When enabled, the plugin will register an extra sidebar (which may be removed if you have other ways to add a sidebar). Then, using the same code, you can add more sidebars, and each of them can hold instances of the Tabber widget.

To control your widgets, Tabber uses idTabs for jQuery, created by Sean Catchpole, but you could always use another solution. Note that additional CSS is loaded to style the resulting widget.

So, the goal with Tabber is to transform any widget’s output into markup that can be used to display tabs

tags for this. Other themes may use complicated markup that can’t be predicted or successfully transformed into the output needed for tabs.

The solution to this problem is to intercept the widget’s parameters before rendering, and then to restructure them into useful structures using JavaScript or jQuery for the tabbed output. More on that later.

action. We register the widget on line 17.

Widget Interface
Widget interface.

The Main Tabber Widget Class

Tabber is a normal widget, and in this case it is located

SETTINGS: PLUGIN INTERFACE

The widget has two settings:

  • “sidebar”
    to hold the ID of the selected sidebar
  • “css”
    for extra CSS classes to style the Tabber widget

When selecting which sidebar to use, you must avoid using the sidebar that holds the Tabber widget. Otherwise, it will spin into endless recursion. To avoid this, before rendering the widget’s content, check whether the selected sidebar is the same as the parent sidebar. This can’t be prevented while the widget is set up, because the widget’s panel affords very little control over this.

Also, using sidebars that are not normally used is a good idea. To help with this, the plugin includes sample code to help you add an extra sidebar.

This function requires the name of the sidebar, and it will display all widgets in it. Line 9 contains the check mentioned before, to prevent recursion when displaying sidebar content if the selected sidebar is the same as the parent sidebar.

Lastly, the filter is removed, and any widgets belonging to other sidebars are displayed normally, without modification.

WIDGET MODIFICATION

To prepare for the transformation done with JavaScript, the tabber widget includes the

tag for the control tabs. After this filter, the widget’s output will look like this:

JavaScript For Widget Transformation

Once the widget’s presentation is modified, one thing remains: to complete the transformation and get the titles from the widgets and turn them into tabs:This code uses jQuery to get all of the Tabber widgets based on the

  • will hold only its content.

Final Tabber Example
Final Tabber example.

Finally, when all this is done, we enable idTabs to activate the tabs control. And with the default styling loaded from the

How To Install The Tabber Plugin

As with any other plugin, unpack it, upload it to WordPress’ plugins folder, and activate it from the plugins panel. When you go to the “Widgets” panel, you will see an additional sidebar, “Tabber Example Sidebar,” at the end on the right. And “Available Widgets” will show one more widget, “D4P Smashing Tabber.”

Add this new widget to the “Main Sidebar.” From the “Sidebar” widget drop-down menu, select “Tabber Example Sidebar,” and save the widget. Now, open the “Tabber Example Sidebar” and add the widgets you want to be displayed as tabs. You can add as many widgets as you want, but pay attention because if you add too many, the tab’s control will break to two or more lines, and it will not look pretty. Starting with two or three widgets is best.

Conclusion

Creating one widget to display several other widgets as a tab isn’t very difficult, as you can see. The trick is in adjusting the widgets’ output to a format that can be transformed into tabs, and then using JavaScript to display them. We’ve explored just one possible transformation method; you can always experiment with ways to rearrange widget elements.

We used idTabs here, but there are many methods of displaying tabs, and not all of them require JavaScript:

I prefer using a jQuery-based solution, and idTabs is very easy to use and easy to style and it works in all browsers. Check out other solutions, and see what extra features they offer to enhance your own tabbed widgets.

 

from : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/08/27/a-tour-of-wordpress-4-0/

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The WordPress Theme Customizer

In case you missed it, WordPress release 3.4 included a very exciting new development: the Theme Customizer. This allows users to tweak theme settings using a WYSIWYG interfaceand customize the theme so it includes the colors, fonts, text — and pretty much anything else — they want.

WordPress 3.4 allows you to make extensive customizations to a theme, including colors, fonts, and text.
WordPress 3.4 allows you to make extensive customizations to a theme, including colors, fonts, and text.

The purists out there may be throwing their hands up in horror — a WYSIWYG interface! Letting users alter themes themselves! Surely that opens the floodgates for the creation of thousands of ugly, messy WordPress websites? Well, yes, there is a risk of that. But more importantly, the Customizer means that if you’re developing custom themes for client websites, or themes for other developers to use, you have a whole new set of tools to play with.

With the Theme Customizer:

  • If you’re developing free or premium themes for others to use, integrating the Customizer will make your themes much more appealing to developers and website owners.
  • If you’re building client websites, you can let your client tweak the template content of their website such as the logo, tagline and contact details in a more intuitive way than by using a theme options page.
  • For both groups, you can let website users and developers make changes without having to rely on widgets or theme options pages — a less risky and less time-consuming approach.

So, let’s start by having a look at what the Theme Customizer is and how it works for the user.

How The Theme Customizer Works For Users

The Theme Customizer has been integrated into the Twenty Eleven Theme, so you can try it out using that theme. There’s a great video on the Ottopress blog showing you how the Customizer works with Twenty Eleven. Using it is simple:

  1. On the “Themes” page, search for and activate the Twenty Eleven Theme.
  2. On the same page, click on the “Customize” link under the current theme’s description.

The “Customize” link is right below the current theme's description on the “Themes” page.
The “Customize” link is right below the current theme’s description on the “Themes” page. Larger view.

  1. This brings up the Theme Customizer in the left column, along with a preview of your website on the right.

The theme customizer shown with the twenty eleven theme
The Customizer options are shown side-by-side with a preview of your website, so you can test the effect of changes. Larger view.

  1. To make changes, all you have to do is select each of the available options and edit their settings. The options are:
    • Site title and tagline
      Edit the title and tagline of the website without having to go to the “Settings” page.
    • Colors
      In the Twenty Eleven theme, you can only change the color of the header text and website background, but as we’ll see, this can potentially be used for much more.
    • Header image
      Choose from one of the default images or remove the header image altogether.
    • Background image
      Upload an image to use as the background of the website. The image below is what happens when I upload an image of some hang gliders to my website. The image can be tiled but unfortunately doesn’t stretch.

You can set your background image to tile, but not stretch.
You can set your background image to tile, but not stretch. Larger view.

    • Navigation
      Select which menu you want to use for the primary navigation of your website.
    • Static Front Page
      Specify whether the front page of the website should be a listing of your latest posts, or a static page of your choosing.
  1. Once you’ve made the changes you want, you must click the “Save & Publish” button. Until this is clicked, none of the changes are reflected in the live website. This means you can play to your heart’s content without your visitors seeing your experiments.

Another really exciting way to use the customizer is when previewing themes. If a theme has the Customizer built in, you can use it to make tweaks before downloading and activating the theme.

This demonstrates the Customizer in action with the Twenty Eleven theme, but what about your own themes? How would you harness this to add more functionality in themes you are selling or developing for clients?

So let’s take a look at how to implement Customizer in your theme, and how to add your own customization options.

 

 

from : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/03/05/the-wordpress-theme-customizer-a-developers-guide/

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What would it Take for WordPress to Lose Dominance?

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WordPress 4.1 Release Candidate is now available for download which includes the new default theme Twenty Fifteen, you can read about what else is new with it here. Or download it here. I love this new default theme, a huge step back in the right direction ( I thought Twenty Fourteen was awful ). A nice clean design, optimised nicely for mobile devices and good typography – this is how it should be done.

There was an interesting discussion on the WPTavern comments of this post, where Jeff asks what it would take for WordPress to lose it’s dominance. I found point 5 rather funny “A huge scandal takes place involving Automattic, the WordPress Foundation and those close to the project.” I just cant see WordPress being taken over for many years to come – it’s too far ahead at this point, sort of like the Facebook of CMS’s. Too many large companies rely on it to see it fail and I just don’t see anything at the momement that could even come close. I did a post recently about this, WordPress competitors, but none came close to what we have with WordPress. I think we’re all safe for a bit!

from :http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creating-child-themes-for-your-wordpress-theme-framework–cms-21933

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