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PeterParker Nov 2, 2013 09:24 AM
Which way to go with Wordpress?
Hey guys,

let's say I want to build a blog and I want to use Wordpress, two blogs in fact.

I'm a bit confused. Apparently, there's the web-based version of Wordpress which is hardly ANY customizable and there's the whole source code online with many of the themes offered with the web version and extremely customzable, but you have to code rather much. Isn't there a middle way?
How difficult is it, building a rather custom design?

I want to build a rather custom design for my mum, combining blog and gallery, for paintings.
And I thought about building something more complex, like an ipad gaming magazine, hmm...

Any experiences, advice to go with?

Greetings,
PeteParker
 
OreoCookie Nov 2, 2013 11:21 AM
Have you had a look at squarespace? They have rather nice templates which are responsive and you can customize them to your heart's content.
 
Phileas Nov 2, 2013 02:07 PM
Squarespace is an excellent choice if you don't know much about code but want an awesome looking website.
 
andi*pandi Nov 2, 2013 08:50 PM
wordpress.com is good for those who don't want to deal with buying domains, getting hosting, or setting up databases, or editing PHP.

wordpress.org is good if you have a domain, a host, and want a little more control. There are lots of free themes out there that have varying levels of customization.

Does your mom sell her paintings? Or is it more of a hobby?
 
besson3c Nov 3, 2013 01:37 AM
PeterParker: if you want a complete turn-key DIY sort of website, as has been mentioned Squarespace and Weebly are worth looking at. Andi*pandi's summary of WordPress is good.

One other option worth checking out though, particularly if your Mom sells paintings, is Shopify.

A shared hosting provider + WordPress could be a good choice if you want to minimize your monthly expense.
 
PeterParker Nov 4, 2013 02:42 PM
Look, this may all be well, but I already asked you all over a year ago for a proper blog solution and you recommended Posterous. Posterous is now done for. It was not bad, although not so modern, not so elegant.
Has anyone experiences configuring a custom Wordpress installation and customizing themes? I could code enough, if that's really where I have to go, don't worry. I really want to learn, too.
 
besson3c Nov 4, 2013 02:56 PM
I live with WordPress every day, I'm sure I can be of help...
 
PeterParker Nov 4, 2013 03:47 PM
So, what do you do, did you build your own theme or did you modify an existing one?
 
besson3c Nov 4, 2013 04:08 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4255843)
So, what do you do, did you build your own theme or did you modify an existing one?
I've done both, actually.

There are a number of places where you can search for themes outside of wordpress.org, I would find something that gets you in the door keeping in mind that any aspect to any theme can be customized to your liking, so what you come across doesn't have to be a perfect match with what you're looking for.

It might not be a bad idea to install your own copy of WordPress locally on your own Mac/Windows machine so that you have an environment where you can evaluate stuff before publishing this to your live site. Otherwise, any shared hosting provider should provide you with access to WordPress where you can install your own theme and customize it via WordPress' web-based CSS editor (one other reason for a local test version of WordPress is so that you can use your own CSS editing app). I would say that if the only changes you want to make are CSS based, you can skip the local install thing. If you are concerned about ownership of your site though, having your WordPress theme in your possession on your computer might offer you peace of mind.

WordPress 3.7 features an auto-update feature, if you decide for a local test install you'll need to do some stuff to make that feature work, but manually updating WordPress isn't tough.
 
andi*pandi Nov 4, 2013 06:50 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4255843)
So, what do you do, did you build your own theme or did you modify an existing one?
I've done both. But unless you are a really looking to have a really unique brand, one of the free themes out there should do for you. A lot of them have customization options (header graphics, colors) built in.

Follow besson's advice, install locally, and then play around with the 2013 theme that wordpress installs by default. Make a copy of it so you can revert if you mess up anything.

You will need xampp or mamp to run wordpress on your local machine (it sets up the mysql etc almost for you).
 
PeterParker Nov 5, 2013 09:50 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by andi*pandi (Post 4255874)
I've done both. But unless you are a really looking to have a really unique brand, one of the free themes out there should do for you. A lot of them have customization options (header graphics, colors) built in.

Follow besson's advice, install locally, and then play around with the 2013 theme that wordpress installs by default. Make a copy of it so you can revert if you mess up anything.

You will need xampp or mamp to run wordpress on your local machine (it sets up the mysql etc almost for you).
the 2013 theme huh?

Other than that, thanks... I think I want to do something a bit more unique, but maybe you are right and I don't need to start from scratch entirely.

How about advertising anyway, is there any if you host yourself?
 
andi*pandi Nov 5, 2013 10:21 AM
it may depend on your hosting plan (I recall go daddy used to insert ads at the top of my pages when I used their cheap/free plan) but the wordpress install itself does not show ads.

Assuming you aren't looking to monetize on your own, in which case you can set up google adsense etc.
 
PeterParker Nov 9, 2013 05:59 AM
Alright, so I spent a few hours with all this, and I think I learnt a lot. I set up a local WordPress installation as you suggested and I'm starting to play around with themes. Auto-Update workes fine, too, cool.

One thing: Let's say I sort of want two blogs instead of one, like, one page with blog posts on flower paintings, the other with posts on paintings of people. Can I solve this using categories? So only one category is displaed on a single page...?
 
andi*pandi Nov 9, 2013 06:44 AM
Yep!
 
PeterParker Nov 9, 2013 02:14 PM
Oi. How?
 
andi*pandi Nov 9, 2013 03:42 PM
If you are using a modern theme like 2012 or 2013, you can use the menu feature.

admin panel>left column>appearance>menus

left column of the menus page is a list, select category and click "add to menu". Once you have several on the right, you can drag them up and down to make the order you want them to appear. You can also nest them into dropdowns.

If you choose a theme that does not have menu built in, you can do it in the code. I don't have my samples handy, but I can check next week.
 
PeterParker Nov 9, 2013 03:45 PM
Yes, yes, neat, didn't know, it's all so much easier than I thought. I searched the themes for one hour and it helped it lot, cool overview... Starting to enjoy.
 
PeterParker Nov 16, 2013 02:24 PM
Alright, one more question... Can I export blog entries from the web-based version of Wordpress to the one I now host myself? Or do Imhave to restart from scratch?
 
besson3c Nov 16, 2013 02:40 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4257767)
Alright, one more question... Can I export blog entries from the web-based version of Wordpress to the one I now host myself? Or do Imhave to restart from scratch?
If you have access to the WordPress Export plugin or can install plugins yourself, then you are set.
 
PeterParker Nov 21, 2013 10:22 AM
Alright, back to the self-hosted wordpress... Is there something like a photo gallery plugin? Can I improve the normal wordpress galleries of any theme with such a plugin? Is there a different way?
 
andi*pandi Nov 21, 2013 10:33 AM
Jetpack has a gallery component, and you should definitely install jetpack.
 
PeterParker Nov 26, 2013 01:27 PM
Some more questions:

This is the url I'm working on, looks like a standard theme for the moment, but I played around for a while: radioipad.de

- Can I create a transparent background? I thought I could use a transparent png, 1 px x 1 px, which should be used as a pattern so it creates a transparent background, right? How?
- So I created several categories and it works okay, but the look is more one of an archive, see yourself if you want. The design is generally similar, but it says archive at the top, huh?
- It doesn't show the author's name for the moment...?
- How would I create a page somewhat thinner, so less pixels in width?

Greetings!
Pete
 
PeterParker Nov 27, 2013 10:54 AM
Okay, ah, playing around more and more... But:

I'm also working on this site and I think I found a great theme. How, for instance, would I get rid of the navigation menu when I think I don't need it...?

http://daten.design-books.de/ingmarwenz/wordpress/
 
besson3c Nov 27, 2013 04:44 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4259223)
Some more questions:

This is the url I'm working on, looks like a standard theme for the moment, but I played around for a while: radioipad.de

- Can I create a transparent background? I thought I could use a transparent png, 1 px x 1 px, which should be used as a pattern so it creates a transparent background, right? How?
- So I created several categories and it works okay, but the look is more one of an archive, see yourself if you want. The design is generally similar, but it says archive at the top, huh?
- It doesn't show the author's name for the moment...?
- How would I create a page somewhat thinner, so less pixels in width?

Greetings!
Pete

Looks nice!

I suggest enabling the WordPress Permalinks feature, as it will help your SEO.

It looks like you figured out your background question?

I'm not sure what you mean by your archive question? Are you referring to the the URL format?

If the author's name is missing from posts you can add this into your theme templates pretty easily. Do you have a "single.php" within your theme?

You can adjust the width by making adjustments to the #wrapper CSS max-width parameter


I hope this helps!
 
besson3c Nov 27, 2013 04:45 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4259298)
Okay, ah, playing around more and more... But:

I'm also working on this site and I think I found a great theme. How, for instance, would I get rid of the navigation menu when I think I don't need it...?

Ingmar Wenz | ist im Internet zu Hause

In what sort of context would you want the navigation menu hidden?
 
PeterParker Nov 28, 2013 07:11 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4259337)
In what sort of context would you want the navigation menu hidden?
i wante to hide it on the front page. I thought I could reuse the big slider for navigation.

As for the transparency, I just used another theme which offers transparency. Incidentally, the font and colors fit into the whole idea pretty well.
However, how would I add the same transparency for a more generic theme like 2012?

Getting there...
Pete
 
besson3c Nov 29, 2013 01:47 PM
You could make a change to your header.php file to not display the markup for the nav on your homepage, but the easiest thing might be to add a CSS rule setting the nav to display:none when the parent .home class exists in the body tag. I can provide you with the specific rule here if what I'm saying doesn't make sense.
 
PeterParker Dec 25, 2013 05:32 AM
Ah, hi! Merry christmas btw! (It's the morning after in Germany now, it's raining, the gifts were naturally excellent, and it's the 24th evening that counts around here, not your fancy morning & breakfast traditions ;) ). I'm expecting answers throughout the day, though!

So, as I stated at the beginning, I'll have to create more than one design during these days. Sounds rubbish, but it's not a real problem. Every page is different though and my WordPress skills are only just growing. My mum finally got a new blog for christmas! I worked on the idea for quite some time, but to finish it in WordPres...
This is today's adventure: | malen, schreiben, lesen, leben, erleben, denken, fühlen ...

Open questions:
- I want to move the whole content part of the page to the left, I just want it to be left-handed. I have to see how the background fits in, it looks sort of cool already, though. Is moving it to the left entirely possible? Maybe with a small margin to the left?
- I wanted the background of the content part itself to have neither color nor image, simply entirely keeping the backgrounds color. Is that possible? How?

Thanks!
Pete
 
besson3c Dec 25, 2013 02:52 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4262277)
Ah, hi! Merry christmas btw! (It's the morning after in Germany now, it's raining, the gifts were naturally excellent, and it's the 24th evening that counts around here, not your fancy morning & breakfast traditions ;) ). I'm expecting answers throughout the day, though!

So, as I stated at the beginning, I'll have to create more than one design during these days. Sounds rubbish, but it's not a real problem. Every page is different though and my WordPress skills are only just growing. My mum finally got a new blog for christmas! I worked on the idea for quite some time, but to finish it in WordPres...
This is today's adventure: | malen, schreiben, lesen, leben, erleben, denken, fühlen ...

Open questions:
- I want to move the whole content part of the page to the left, I just want it to be left-handed. I have to see how the background fits in, it looks sort of cool already, though. Is moving it to the left entirely possible? Maybe with a small margin to the left?
Yeah, you can do this by tweaking the CSS rules of .container_16.


Quote
- I wanted the background of the content part itself to have neither color nor image, simply entirely keeping the backgrounds color. Is that possible? How?
Don't assign a background at all, article footer has a background assigned to it. Alternatively if you need a background image you can also work with transparent PNGs.

Quote
Thanks!
Pete
Merry Christmas!
 
PeterParker Dec 26, 2013 07:57 AM
Alright.

1) Which file to I have to edit to change the rules of .container_16?

2) There used to be a small line below every post saying "this post entered has been posted in $category". I threw this out, but there remains a visible white line, empty, but nonetheless some pixels high. Where is it?

3) There's an ugly grey box at the bottom, offering various options I really don't need. How can I remove this?

4) There's still a white background behind the postings on my "guestbook" page, and I suppose it appears whenever someone tries to comment anything. How can I remove this?

5) I used the sketchbook theme because I really like the way it integrates images, pretty subtle, nothing fancy. However, it doesn't work as well on tablets/smartphones. It opens the image on the total vertical center of the page, instead of the visible horizontal and vertical center, that is, you usually have to scroll down, and more and more so the more content you put on a single page. Any workaround?

Greetings!
Pete
 
besson3c Dec 26, 2013 03:13 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4262350)
Alright.

1) Which file to I have to edit to change the rules of .container_16?
Through the site's CSS file, usually style.css, or through the WordPress CSS editor if the server has been configured with writable access to the file or suExec.

Quote
2) There used to be a small line below every post saying "this post entered has been posted in $category". I threw this out, but there remains a visible white line, empty, but nonetheless some pixels high. Where is it?
Your footer tag. I suggest learning how to use the Webkit inspector for tracing these sorts of problems. This is available in both Safari and Chrome, and you can install Firebug if you are interested in accessing similar functionality in Firefox (although it has been a long time since I used Firefox for dev work). If you right click and "inspect element" while your mouse pointer is over the element you want to inspect you can see the CSS rules assigned to the element, and even change them on the fly so that you can preview what the page will look like with these changes.

In your case, see if you can find the background image assigned to the footer tag, that is the problem (although since you have nothing in your footer you can also just delete it completely).

Quote
3) There's an ugly grey box at the bottom, offering various options I really don't need. How can I remove this?
Deleting this footer as well, or else unregistering your footer navigation menu.

Quote
4) There's still a white background behind the postings on my "guestbook" page, and I suppose it appears whenever someone tries to comment anything. How can I remove this?
#respond has a white background CSS rule assigned to it.

Quote
5) I used the sketchbook theme because I really like the way it integrates images, pretty subtle, nothing fancy. However, it doesn't work as well on tablets/smartphones. It opens the image on the total vertical center of the page, instead of the visible horizontal and vertical center, that is, you usually have to scroll down, and more and more so the more content you put on a single page. Any workaround?
CSS rules for tablet sized viewports. You can see what people will see on their tablets from your Mac or Windows machine simply by reducing the size of your browser to the width of the tablet you are targeting. There is a Chrome extension called "Window Resizer" that makes this easy by providing a bunch of window size presets. Seeing as how you seem to be just stepping into CSS now I'll leave it at this now for now, hopefully pointing you in the right direction!
 
PeterParker Dec 27, 2013 11:29 AM
Okay...

I don't want to use a title for the site in general, but when I simply leave the field "title" empty, there's no title displayed in the browser bar either. So, I thought I could insert a title, but remove the code so that it doesn't display any title at the top of the pages. How?

Hmm? (thanks a bunch)
 
besson3c Dec 27, 2013 04:57 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4262468)
Okay...

I don't want to use a title for the site in general, but when I simply leave the field "title" empty, there's no title displayed in the browser bar either. So, I thought I could insert a title, but remove the code so that it doesn't display any title at the top of the pages. How?

Hmm? (thanks a bunch)

Modify your theme's header.php so that the sitetitle tag only appears within <title>, or probably an even easier method: simply set the CSS display property of your site's title to display:none. This will simply hide the title from view, while not removing this from your markup entirely. The search engines might reward you for having a site title, so I'd recommend this CSS method.
 
PeterParker Dec 30, 2013 07:54 AM
Thanks a bunch, hey! Mum happy!

Got a new website for christmas, finished the last bits during past days. Look:
Atelierkunterbunt.net
 
PeterParker Feb 2, 2014 10:45 AM
Okay... A few more things...

There is one more thing really, and I had always hoped it is not so complicated... One problem, however:
What if I want the page I see to be more 'dynamic' in the way that it displays news posts next to each other, in columns...? Okay? I thougt I could solve this with categories, like having all posts for one category in one column on the right, then two more columns using two different categories in the middle and on the right side.

In addition, I wonder if I could add a fourth place, a row at the bottom, displaying yet another category's content. Can I?

I know there would be too many entries too quickly, then I would have to limit amount to, say, three or four entries. Maybe I could add a link then to see a big page displaying only one category's stuff then...

Basically, this should not be so difficult, I could well use WordPress' power here. However, how do I do it? Any good theme to start from? My entries would also probably be short enough so that ten or twenty should fit on the one mentioned page. Hmm?

[edit] In addition, I found my WordPress installation was set to English, however, the displayed language ("Posted in", "0 Comments" etc.) was in English. Most themes say, they have been translated, do I have to activate this at some place?

Greetings,
Pete
 
andi*pandi Feb 3, 2014 05:25 PM
there are lots of plugins that will pull specific categories and put them in a widget that you can say how many entries to list. Search for Category Widget.
 
besson3c Feb 3, 2014 05:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by PeterParker (Post 4266162)
Okay... A few more things...

There is one more thing really, and I had always hoped it is not so complicated... One problem, however:
What if I want the page I see to be more 'dynamic' in the way that it displays news posts next to each other, in columns...? Okay? I thougt I could solve this with categories, like having all posts for one category in one column on the right, then two more columns using two different categories in the middle and on the right side.

In addition, I wonder if I could add a fourth place, a row at the bottom, displaying yet another category's content. Can I?

I know there would be too many entries too quickly, then I would have to limit amount to, say, three or four entries. Maybe I could add a link then to see a big page displaying only one category's stuff then...

Basically, this should not be so difficult, I could well use WordPress' power here. However, how do I do it? Any good theme to start from? My entries would also probably be short enough so that ten or twenty should fit on the one mentioned page. Hmm?

[edit] In addition, I found my WordPress installation was set to English, however, the displayed language ("Posted in", "0 Comments" etc.) was in English. Most themes say, they have been translated, do I have to activate this at some place?

Greetings,
Pete

There might be some plugins that help, as andi*pandi suggests, but I would suggest looking at using programming techniques like this: http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_AP.../pre_get_posts. By doing this you can drop in a small chunk of code into the theme to specify what content gets displayed (e.g. all posts or x number of posts within a category). If you can get yourself to a place where you are comfortable with using this function and displaying the results of these queries, you can modify any theme to drop in these blocks of content wherever - you can have complete control rather than being tethered to a theme or plugin.
 
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