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Thread: Wordpress Frontpage layout

  1. #1
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array orion_joel's Avatar
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    Default Wordpress Frontpage layout

    Hi All,

    I have been looking at a few different sites recently, and found that there are quite a lot that dont use a standard straight down front page. They have the feature block and then a number of other recent posts show up, with some other bits of information and feeds being incorporated as well.

    I have been thinking of doing something similar on my own site, however cannot find anywhere it would seem that has anything that is comprehensive on how to work this into wordpress. Just one example would be Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging - ProBlogger.

    Anyway if anyone can shed any light on where to find information about doing this, would be greatly appreciated.
    Joel Brown
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  2. #2
    @haroldmansfield Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are just looking for a different layout for your WP site, that isn't the standard "blog" lay out. I'm pretty sure that ProBlogger is a custom design.

    There are hundreds of WP themes with different layouts out there that are laid out in all kinds of ways, and there are many that you would never know were a blog..with some minor customizations and CSS, you could come up with something pretty original.
    You also know that you can use a page as your landing page, and design that any way you want with good old fashioned HTML.

    But if you want a custom coded theme, or tips on how to build one, I suggest you talk to Vangogh
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array jamestl2's Avatar
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    There's a few ways you could do this. One is to just create a custom template, upload it, and then change the page's template through the dashboard:
    Dashboard > Pages > Edit > Attributes (in the right-hand column) > Template

    Then just choose whichever one you want (the one you custom coded). This is assuming you already have a fair understanding of the Wordpress loop, PHP, etc. though.

    A second, less common way could be to "widgetize" the page, where you create custom widget bars to a page and add whichever widget features you wish to desire. I actually wrote a tutorial on how to do this on my personal site, but since I'm still new, I can't help link-drop just yet.

    If you'd like to do it the second way, let me know and I can PM you the URL. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array orion_joel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I think what i am looking to do is as James describes, a custom template, which i can use on a page, which i then set as a static landing page.

    While i have seen some of the themes that enable this somewhat, I thought it would have been something quite common. But i am having a lot of trouble finding much to do with customer templates. More so ones you can download and use with any theme.

    I imagine at the most basic look you could create something like problogger (not the same, not looking to copy, just was using this as an example). Using a series of divs, however while i can usually figure things out, if i spend enough time working on it, sometimes it is just easier to work off a base.

    I would be interested to read the article James, feel free to send a PM with the link if you like.
    Joel Brown
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  5. #5
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array jamestl2's Avatar
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    Sent you a PM Joel.

    Also, the WP codex has some pretty good info on basic page templates. If you check out the Page Codex page, you should find some pretty useful info there too.

  6. #6
    @haroldmansfield Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion_joel View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I think what i am looking to do is as James describes, a custom template, which i can use on a page, which i then set as a static landing page.

    While i have seen some of the themes that enable this somewhat, I thought it would have been something quite common. But i am having a lot of trouble finding much to do with customer templates. More so ones you can download and use with any theme.
    You are kind of confusing me. Do you want to design a single page that you can then set as the landing page, or do you want an entire new template/theme ?

    You can set a custom, or static landing page with any WP theme. You of course have to design the page first.

    Most times if you just create a new page without the sidebars, you can put anything you want on it and set that as your landing page. (Go to Settings -> Reading)

    You can design a theme that uses a static page as the landing page, or you can use one of the many that are out there already. It is actually quite common...many people are using WP these days because of that ability to have a static landing page, and still keep a blogs functionality to add additional content.

    Or..are you talking about trying to add static page to your WP blog using an outside platform or one of those flash landing page set ups ?
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array orion_joel's Avatar
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    eborg, i think maybe some of the terms i have used maybe are meaning something different to both of us.

    I already have the theme, what i want is a Custom Page Template which i can apply to a page i create in Wordpress. This page will become the static first page people see when they visit my blog. However it will be setup to show the most recent blog posts, and one or two featured blog posts.

    Setting a static page is no isse,
    Design the custom page template, and the coding behind is more then issue for me. If i can get something that i just drop in that even just shows what i want, playing around with positioning and colours and design elements is no issue, it is just the getting it to show what i want.
    Joel Brown
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  8. #8
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array jamestl2's Avatar
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    Joel, if all you want is a homepage with some featured posts and a list of your most recent ones, here's something you could try.

    Copy the following code into a PHP file, welcome.php for example:
    PHP Code:
    <?php get_header(); ?>  

    <div id="content">
    <div id="fposts">

        <ul>
        <li><a href="http://yoursite.com/link-to-post1/">Featured Post 1</a></li>
        <li><a href="http://yoursite.com/link-to-post2/">Featured Post 2</a></li>
        </ul>
        
    </div>

    <div id="rposts">

        <?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
            
        <h2><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
                    
        <?php the_content(); ?>
        
        <p><?php the_time('F j, Y'); ?> at <?php the_time('g:i a'); ?> | <?php the_category(', '); ?> | <?php comments_number('No comment''1 comment''% comments'); ?></p>
        
        <?php endwhile; else: ?>
        
        <p>Sorry, no posts we're found.</p>
        
        <?php endif; ?>
        
        <p align="center"><?php posts_nav_link(); ?></p>
            
    </div>
      
    <?php get_footer(); ?>
    Just be sure to change the links inside the fposts div to the ones you want to display.

    Save the file (welcome.php) into your theme's root folder and apply the template to a page (which I showed in post #3) which you've designated the front page (inside your dashboard settings, which eborg described).

    Then open up your theme's stylesheet and add the new divs created (fposts and rposts) and apply whatever style properties you wish to use.

    Let me know if this works .

  9. #9
    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    Joel you've already gotten some good advice, but I'll chime in anyway. If I'm understanding right you want a home page that looks a little different from the rest of your theme. What you want to do is create a custom page.

    Copy page.php and name the copy anything you want. home.php is probably a good choice. You need to tell WordPress that your new file is a template.

    Code:
    <?php
    /*
    Template Name: Home
    */
    ?>
    You can design and develop that page however you want. Then in the admin side of WordPress when you create your home page make sure to choose your new template as the template for the page.

    Under Settings > Reading(?) there are options to set WordPress to load a static page as the home page and then choose another page as the main posts page. Choose your home page as the static home page and another page for your main posts page. You'll probably want to crate a blank page with the name Blog and set that as the main posts page.

    As far as how to create the new custom page template it's really up to you. You can design and develop it any way you'd like. You probably won't find a tutorial on how to create the page specifically, but you'll find all sorts of info about doing different things within WordPress.
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  10. #10
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    One suggestion, even though I'm still pretty wp illeterate, is find a template you like for the homepage, download it, copy and paste the one page into what VG described above. As long as it uses the standard tags, I would think it should work. I'll defer to others as to whether it will or won't.

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