• Quickies – September 14, 2006

    September 14th, 2006HARTQuickies

    How I Modify My WordPress Templates

    I began blogging on wordpress when version 1.2 was out. By version 1.5 I considered myself being quite proficient in modifying my templates here – despite that I do not know any PHP programming.

    I know that you can modify the template directly in the Presentation area of your dashboard – but, I have never done so.

    It’s much easier for me to load up my WS_FTP_LE program. First, this software is preset to launch directly to my …/wordpress/wp-content/themes/specific-theme/ folder .. When I first login .. I make a new folder (called “backup-yyyymmdd”) and copy all the online files into there – just in case. My ftp program is set to use simple Notepad as my html editor of choice. I used to have EditPad .. but, got fed up of the safety backups it was doing on its own.

    EditPad is better in that it does read all .PHP files normally. Notepad, sometimes does not. But – that’s only because it was placed on the host provider using Binary transfer protocols .. (what you should use for pictures) .. so, if for some reason a file is not at first readable .. just transfer it over again in ASCII mode.

    So .. I pretty much know where to edit the files, although sometimes it’s time consuming creating new templates. I try to add extra memo tags in there to describe what’s being added by me. I’m comfortable doing things this way. If I make a mistake, or if my template halts or does not display or load – I just reload the safety backup version and start over.

    I never liked doing the modifications directly in the Presentation on the dashboard, for the above reason – you forget to backup your files! Also, before 1.5.2 (I believe) .. You had to remember to make your directories readable (CHMOD) it a certain way. Since that version, it didn’t matter and the permalinks seemed to accept changes. That was the way it was .. “IN THE GOOD OLE DAYS”


    There’s a new breed of templates being created and updated and modified for the newer version 2.0+ versions .. The stylesheet and options that I might have added or deleted or modified while I was in the file editing my template “blog” stuff anyway .. can now be directly modified inside WordPress as a separate menu in the Presentation area.

    I’ve just set up two sites using the following design – It’s going to work out well for me. What I liked about it? In this new template presentation options .. you can select from about 6 different headers, or add your own; change the stylesheet a little, and opt for admin stuff, meta stuff, links, categories, etc to be printed or not printed .. and finally whether your sidebar goes on the left or right.

    Anyway .. I like that – as a user of FREE TEMPLATES … I’m glad to promote your link at the bottom of my templates when I choose to use your design and template .. and like where this is going for users like myself.

    Good Job and thanks to BinaryMoon.co.uk who created their “REGULUS” theme .. the link is for version 2.12 but, it’s version 2.13 that is downloaded. It’s neat. Try it. And, come back here in a in 14 days and I will give you the URL of several sites that are using this template, for your perusal. (or, just ask me privately for the URL)

    And yes .. yes .. yes … I know I could probably use some Network Redesign to give us some unique look or be innovative .. but, I’m too poor *sniffles* to afford all of you high-class designers ~~


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4 responses to “Quickies – September 14, 2006” RSS icon

  • Hey Hart,

    I’m like you – I have little to no knowledge of PHP (actually none) but I like to tinker with my templates and I think I’m getting pretty damn good at it. 🙂

    Although I’ve always done so in the Dashboard > Presentation area. Just seems easier that way and I’ve done it from day one – and those habits you can’t break. I usually back-up, although I have been caught out on the odd occasion.

    My downfall is usually playing around with CSS too much. I know what I want just gotta get that damn css to do it.

    I’m a big user of free templates – I usually use it as a foundation and try to mould it into what I want – and I always give credit where it’s due.

    Just seems respectful for all the hard work the designer put into it.

  • Hi Martin .. thanks for finding me over here, where I’m not so crazy 😀

    Can’t stress the importance of backups first .. but, as you know – even though we don’t know PHP .. it’s sometimes obvious in ways to tinker with the templates (making sure the DIV and /DIV and other tags are closed, leave HTML stuff outside the ?PHP and ? closing greater/lesser than signs, etc).

    Usually in the bottom footer of my sites, I leave the designer of course, but add something ‘witty’ like PetLvr’ized by … 1800HART’icized by .. Crazy’ized by .. stuff like that and give me a bonus link to another one of my sites :

    I just noticed that on this site .. my last update for Spam Karma2 seemed to have eaten my code and replaced it with its SpamEating count. I’ll have to fix that.

  • Don’t you just love spam.:)

    I’m using WP’s Akismet and really, 99% of my spam troubles have vanished. It’s been an awesome change from last year.

  • Akismet is great. I’m not really sure how it works though, but take the time to denote the ones that go through and mark it as Spam to help Akismet. I might recall reading somewhere warning that when you do that – it adds a record to your own MySql database and over time – if you are the type of blog with lots of spam – your database gets too big or awkward to backup.

    I’m monitoring it on my Curling Blog, where there are no posts during the offseason, and accumulating different sized files mailed to my gmail account automatically thanks to Skippy.net‘s wp-cron plugin.

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