Philip Northeast's Web Design Tips

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WordPress Navigation Using Pages and Categories

WordPress has two main methods for navigation and post presentation available for  theme designers.  They can use custom pages or categories to organise posts for readers.

In WordPress pages are for an overview of topics while categories organise collections of related posts. Using categories as the primary navigation method displays posts in order of  their creation, with the latest shown first, revealing WordPress’s blogging heritage.

Choosing WordPress pages as the main navigation method is the WordPress  strategy  for creating a Content Management system (CMS). In this strategy posts are not as time related as the simpler category method, and each post is equally important. A WordPress page uses categories for  lower level navigation to posts for a topic. (more…)


the_excerpt() or the_content()

There are two ways to present a teaser of the content in a post in the WordPress loop.

The first is using “the_content()” command, the normal method used in a single post template to present the whole post. However, it can be used  on pages such as the front or index page  where only part of the post is required and there is a link to the full post.

This  modification is done at the editing stage using the more tool to insert this break mark in the post. This more tag is ignored in the single post template so the full post is shown.

The alternative is to show a portion from the start of the post using  “the_excerpt()” command.  This has a similar to using the “more” tag in “the_content()” but it is applied to every  post when it appears on pages such as the front or index page.

adding a more tag to a post in the WordPress editor

adding a more tag to a post in the WordPress editor

The choice depends on the proficiency of the content authors. Using a fixed excerpt is good so  the authors do need to configure the front page teasers.

Conversely, where the content author is more involved in the design and editorial control of the web site, then manually inserting the “more” tag  with the_content()  is the preferred option.  Sometimes the post is short enough to show it all on the front page.


What in the world is WordPress

Word Press is an open source Content Management System for web sites, as well as an organisation of volunteers that produces the program.

The WordPress organisation also offers free hosting for basic WordPress sites. Hosting the site on another external server allows web publishers to take advantage of the full power and flexibility of WordPress.

WordPress started as a simpler blog platform, but has grown into a popular Open Source  flexible platform for hosting blogs, or it can now function as a Content Management System (CMS) with one to many users involved in its operation.

There is a vast array  of free WordPress web site designs, or themes. and there are also commercial custom designs. It is possible with a knowledge of HTML and CSS techniques to create your own WordPress theme. The overarching thrust of Philip Northeast’s Web Tips  is starting with a simple HTML web design and turning it into a WordPress theme design. (more…)