Tag Archives: html

An Abstract (and brief) Look Into WP Theme Development

Introduction

This article is first and foremost written to give insight on what comprises a WordPress Theme. Though I will be touching on many things needed this is not intended to be a how to on theme development. It is more so an insider look at the processes involved and the code needed to achieve various functionalities within the themes themselves.

What We Will Be Covering

For this article, we will be using a theme I am currently developing as a case study. We will be covering the basics of the theme as well as some of the more advanced features such as custom shortcodes, custom post types and various functions used throughout the theme.

Theme Basics

First off, if you don’t want a primer into themes, please skip to the next section.

The following are the basic constants when developing WordPress Themes, the core items and methods to turn what otherwise would be plain static HTML into a dynamic template file in a WordPress Theme.

The most important thing to understand about WordPress Themes is that they are modular. When talking WordPress, that means that parts of the templates are broken down into modules that are called in template files rather than hard coding them into every file. So, what does that look like? Lets take this extremely basic example static HTML5 page and break it down into WordPress modules.
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Inline CSS Styling in WordPress

WordPress by default strips out any code in posts and Pages that may be considered “code” or malicious. Yet, there are ways to add color, splash, and fun to a WordPress post or Page without WordPress Plugins to overwrite the default functionality of WordPress. Here’s a quick how-to of what you can do to jazz up your posts and Pages (and when not to) on WordPress.com or WordPress.org without using a Plugin or going into the CSS file.
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How to Code POUR-ly

Web accessibility is huge; especially with such a large percentage of the world’s population being considered “disabled” it is important to make your website as accessible as possible. Lack of patience for a few extra lines of code is quite lazy, when the end result is so critical. Here’s a few tips on how to code POUR-ly and make your website accessible!

Let’s look at few things you can do specifically in the code of your site.

  1. Properly formed HTML links: All links and URLs should be wrapped in anchor tags and have a title.
  2. Proper Image Formatting: All images should have an alternative text for screen readers to describe the image. They should also have width and height parameters in the IMG HTML tag so that the page loads accordingly even if the image cannot be displayed.
  3. Emails are Mail-to Links: Your email addresses listed on your site should be mailto: hyperlinks, not just plain text.
  4. Proper Text Formatting: Bold text should be made so with the “strong” tag and italic text should be made so with the “em” tag. If you want text to be bold or italic but not be read different by screen readers you can use a “span” tag with the “text-decoration: bold” attribute as an example.
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Difference Between Visual and Text Editor

There is a huge difference between the two editors in WordPress. If you are determined to be a serious blogger working with WordPress, you need to understand how both work, why you should use one over the other and when.

In general, if you are a novice blogger, then stick to the Visual Editor. If you wish to be a speed blogger or professional blogger and web publisher, then get comfortable with the Text (HTML) Editor – both editors in fact – because you will be able to publish at high speed. I’ll offer tips and information on both editors to help you learn more about how they work.
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Creating and Using HTML Jump-links

HTML jump links are a very handy trick for a developer or blogger to have up their sleeve.

Jump links behave just like regular links except instead of linking to a different page they link to a component of the page you’re already on. This is an invaluable HTML trick to know for situations where you have a long page or post that could benefit from a table of contents at the top of the page, each item of which jump links to a component further down the page. It aids the user experience tremendously and it’s quite easy to do, and here’s how. Continue reading Creating and Using HTML Jump-links

Website vs Blog: Never Has So Much Been Said About So Little by So Few

image of Winston Churchill
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
The headline quote is blog sarcasm based on Churchill’s 1940 Battle of Britain address ‘Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.’

The blog sarcasm, attributed variously to English professors in the UK and US, is uninformed. Read why.

Here are some of the most common myths around websites and blogs:
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How to Make HTML Lists

HTML lists are obviously quite common on websites. People tend to shy away from them however because the code can seem a little complicated, especially when you get into nesting lists to make one or two sub-levels. Though I assure you coding a nested list it is quite an easy concept! We will be doing all of this within the WordPress text editor.
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What Do You Need to Learn to be a WordPress Expert?

In “Wanna Create Dynamic Websites? Learn JavaScript” by Daily Blog Tips, Daniel Scocco says:

If you want to become an expert programmer and make a living developing software you’ll need to learn a wide range of stuff, from logic gates to how the hardware works, from algorithms to data structures and programming paradigms (if this is actually what you are looking for I suggest you peek at the curriculum of the Computer Science degree on some good university and follow along).

Luckily, Clark College’s degrees for Web Development, Web Programming, and Computer Graphics Technology degrees include the skills you need.

What do you need to learn to be a WordPress expert?
Continue reading What Do You Need to Learn to be a WordPress Expert?