WordPress Web Design For Dummies

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Updated, full-color guide to creating dynamic websites with WordPress 3.6

In this updated new edition, bestselling For Dummies author and WordPress expert Lisa Sabin-Wilson makes it easy for anyone with a basic knowledge of the WordPress software to create a custom site using complementary technologies such as CSS, HTML, PHP, and MySQL. You'll not only get up to speed on essential tools and technologies and further advance your own design skills, this book also gives you pages ...

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Updated, full-color guide to creating dynamic websites with WordPress 3.6

In this updated new edition, bestselling For Dummies author and WordPress expert Lisa Sabin-Wilson makes it easy for anyone with a basic knowledge of the WordPress software to create a custom site using complementary technologies such as CSS, HTML, PHP, and MySQL. You'll not only get up to speed on essential tools and technologies and further advance your own design skills, this book also gives you pages of great case studies, so you can see just how other companies and individuals are creating compelling, customized, and cost-effective websites with WordPress.

  • Shows you how to incorporate WordPress templates, graphic design principles, HTML, CSS, and PHP to build one-of-a-kind websites
  • Explains how to create an effective navigation system, choose the right color palette and fonts, and select different layouts
  • Reveals how you can tweak existing website designs with available themes, both free and premium
  • Provides numerous case studies to illustrate techniques and processes, and the effects you can achieve
  • Discusses how you can translate your design skills into paid work

Want to create cost-effective and fantastic websites with WordPress? This do-it-yourself book will get you there.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118546611
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 237,960
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is co-owner of WebDevStudios (http://webdevstudios.com), a company specializing in custom WordPress plugins, themes, and deployments. She's a popular conference speaker and bestselling author of WordPress For Dummies. Find her on Twitter: @LisaSabinWilson.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Establishing a WordPress Foundation 5

Chapter 1: Exploring Web Design with WordPress 7

Delving Into the Differences between Blogs and Websites 8

Using WordPress as a Content Management System 11

Discovering the World of WordPress Themes 13

Checking Out Premium WordPress Themes and Frameworks 15

Getting Your Site Up and Running 16

Chapter 2: Understanding WordPress Requirements 17

Establishing Your Domain 17

Understanding domain name extensions 18

Considering the cost of a domain name 19

Registering your domain name 19

Finding a Home for Your Website 21

Examining what services web hosts offer 21

Finding a host that provides WordPress features 23

Planning for future needs 24

Being cautious about offers of unlimited space and bandwidth25

Chapter 3: Installing WordPress on Your Web Server 27

Installing WordPress 27

Setting up the MySQL database 29

Uploading the WordPress files 31

Running the install script 33

Discovering WordPress Release Cycles 39

Understanding why you need to upgrade regularly 40

Examining release cycles 41

Keeping Track of WordPress Development 42

Chapter 4: Managing Content with WordPress 45

Archiving Content with WordPress 45

Building categories 48

Changing the name of a category 49

Creating new categories 52

Using static page parents and children 54

Customizing Permalinks 55

Making your post links pretty 56

Customizing your permalinks 57

Making sure that your permalinks work with your server 59

Syndicating Your Content with RSS Feeds 61

Introducing feed readers 61

Discovering the many WordPress RSS options 62

Using your RSS feeds with your social media accounts 63

Part II: Choosing the Right Tools 65

Chapter 5: Exploring Editors, Browsers, andFTP 67

Choosing the Right Text Editor for You 68

Notepad (Windows) 68

Notepad++ (Windows) 69

TextMate (Mac) 71

Understanding and Choosing a Web Browser 71

Discovering browsers and tools 71

Understanding cross-browser compatibility 74

Introducing File Transfer Protocol (FTP) 76

Setting Up FTP on Your Hosting Account 77

Transferring Files with an FTP Client 80

Connecting to the web server via FTP 80

Transferring fi les from point A to point B 83

Editing fi les by using FTP 83

Changing fi le permissions 84

Chapter 6: Choosing Graphics and Software Resources87

Exploring Image Types and Formats 87

Comparing raster and vector images 88

Looking at image fi le formats 90

Exploring Graphic Design Software 92

Using raster-based software 93

Using vector-based software 97

Using Online Image-Optimization Tools 99

Finding Online Image Libraries 100

Chapter 7: Choosing Colors and Fonts 103

Understanding Color 103

Checking out the color wheel 104

Examining the RGB and hex color models 105

Creating Color Schemes with Helpful Tools 106

Exploring different color combinations 107

Finding RGB and hex codes 108

Understanding Typography Essentials 110

Exploring font styles 111

Discovering web-safe fonts for content 111

Finding and Using Fonts for Graphic Design 114

Finding the right fonts for your project 115

Installing fonts on your computer 115

Chapter 8: Planning Your Design Strategy 117

Choosing the Width of Your Website 118

Designing with a fixed width 119

Designing with a fluid width 123

Designing a responsive layout 126

Choosing the Number of Columns 129

Determining Website Navigation 131

Understanding Content Display Options 133

Testing Your Design in a Sandbox Environment 134

Creating a sandbox environment 135

Using a plugin to back up and transfer from your sandbox 137

Part III: Working with WordPress Themes 141

Chapter 9: Finding and Installing a WordPress Theme143

Finding and Installing a Theme from the Themes Directory 144

Deciding to Use a Premium Theme 146

Chapter 10: Working with the Default Theme: TwentyThirteen 147

Exploring the Layout and Structure 147

Customizing the Header Image 150

Selecting one of the available header images 150

Uploading your own header image 151

Including Custom Navigation Menus 154

Enhancing Your Website with Widgets 158

Understanding how widgets work 158

Adding widgets to your sidebar or footer 160

Using the Text widget 162

Adding the RSS widget 164

Chapter 11: Dissecting Themes and Templates 167

Understanding How PHP and MySQL Work Together 168

Exploring PHP Basics 168

Examining the makeup of a template tag 169

Trying out a little PHP 170

Managing Your MySQL Database 172

Viewing the Template Files in a WordPress Theme 175

Examining the Templates That Make Up a WordPress Theme 177

The stylesheet 179

The Main Index and The Loop 180

The Header template 183

The Sidebar template 187

The Footer template 187

Other template files 188

Exploring Template Tags, Values, and Parameters 188

Customizing Your Blog Posts with Template Tags 191

Putting It All Together 192

Connecting the templates 192

Using additional stylesheets 199

Chapter 12: Displaying Content with Widgets and Template Tags201

Exploring Common Template Tags 202

Calendar 202

List pages 203

Post archives 205

Categories 207

Content types (WP_Query tag) 209

Miscellaneous but useful template tags 211

Adding New Widget Areas to Your Theme 213

Registering your widget areas 213

Adding widget areas to your template files 214

Using Template Files 215

Creating named templates 215

Creating and using template parts 216

Exploring content-specific standard templates 219

Using Page templates 220

Adding Theme Support for Built-In Features 222

Adding support for custom navigation menus 222

Adding support for custom post types 230

Adding support for post formats 238

Adding support for post thumbnails 245

Chapter 13: Understanding Parent and Child Themes 249

Customizing Theme Style with Child Themes 249

Creating a child theme 250

Loading a parent theme’s style 252

Customizing the parent theme’s styling 253

Using images in child theme designs 254

Modifying Theme Structure with Child Themes 259

Overriding parent template files 260

Adding new template files 260

Removing template files 263

Modifying the theme functions file 265

Preparing a Parent Theme 266

Part IV: Building Your Custom Website 269

Chapter 14: Using Basic CSS and HTML to Customize Your SiteDesign 271

Styling with CSS: The Basics 272

Introducing CSS 272

CSS selectors 273

Classes and IDs 274

CSS properties and values 275

Changing the Background Image or Color Used in Your Theme277

Adding the custom background feature to a theme 277

Customizing the background 278

Changing the background using CSS 280

Defining and Positioning Your Header Image with CSS 281

Defining a background image to use as a header 282

Positioning, repeating, or scrolling your background image282

Changing Basic Elements to Create a Unique Look for Your Site284

Adding background colors and image effects 284

Choosing a font family, color, and size 285

Using borders in your design 287

Understanding Basic HTML Techniques to Use on Your Site 287

Inserting images 289

Inserting hyperlinks 290

Inserting lists 290

Chapter 15: Designing for WordPress as a CMS 293

Creating the Front Page of Your Website 294

Creating a static page 296

Assigning a static page as the front page 297

Tweaking the page to look like a website rather than a blog299

Adding a Blog to Your Website 300

Creating a blank page for the blog 300

Assigning the new page as a blog 301

Creating Custom Page Templates to Achieve Different Layouts andStyles 302

Viewing the default Page template (pagephp) 303

Creating a new category Page template 304

Comparing two Page templates 306

Creating Different Sidebar and Footer Templates for Your Pages307

Creating Custom Styles for Sticky, Category, and Tag Posts308

Chapter 16: Enhancing Your Website with Plugins 311

Installing WordPress Plugins via the Dashboard 312

Finding free plugins 312

Installing and activating a plugin 313

Installing Plugins Manually 316

Exploring E-Commerce Plugins to Use on Your Site 316

Understanding what you can do with e-commerce plugins 317

Examining some recommended plugins 317

Creating Photo Galleries or Portfolios 321

Inserting images into your page or post 321

Adding image styles to your stylesheet 326

Inserting a photo gallery 327

Creating Web Forms for Your Site with Plugins 332

Exploring different types of forms you can use on your site333

Helpful plugins to create forms 334

Building a Social Community with BuddyPress 337

Using Plugins to Integrate Popular Social Networks with YourBlog 339

Integrating Twitter with Twitter Tools 339

Integrating Facebook with Wordbooker 340

Part V: The Part of Tens 343

Chapter 17: Ten Powerful Plugins for WordPress 345

All in One SEO Pack 345

BackupBuddy 346

WP-Print 346

PluginBuddy Mobile 347

ShareThis 348

Subscribe to Comments 348

WordPresscom Stats 349

WP Security Scan 349

WP Super Cache 349

WPMU Premium 350

Chapter 18: Ten Well-Designed Sites That Use WordPress as aCMS 351

IconDock 351

Kate Rusby 352

Katy Perry 353


Mozilla Labs 354


Time Healthland 355

WebDevStudios 356

WeGraphics 357

WordPressorg 358

Index 359

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