WordPress 2011 Color Fun

We have been playing with the new twenty eleven theme from the WordPress version 3.2 release, navigating around the admin screen we found some of the nice new twenty eleven theme options.

There is an option to select a dark theme stylesheet as well as the standard, another option is to change all the link options site wide, this option injects styles into the head section as the theme loads, however we did not like the website title being a link, and we got thinking how it would be great to have a lot more control over the colors, so we created a nice little child theme and took control.

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Child Categories Page

This is a short post, the code is in the child theme download, just two files a page and a loop, on the Artisteer forum someone was asking about having a list of child categories in the page body, one of the replies pointed to a couple of examples, and like most times they showed how to return the list but not how to display them.

Well we had a look and thought an example might work well alongside our post list page download so here it is, adding a list is not really a problem, but just a list is not suitable for everyone, so we have a page with a post and the categories with descriptions.

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Twenty Ten Tweaked Theme?

I am a regular visitor to the WordPress forum and there are a lot of questions about editing the WordPress Twenty Ten theme, it looks like a lot of privateers or novice developers are editing the core theme files.

Should it be handshakes all around, and a pat on the back as that has solved the problem, or has it just caused a bigger problem for later?

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Twenty Ten Sidebar Menu Styling

WordPress 3 and the default twenty ten theme are a great base for a stand alone website, easy to work with and with a little knowledge you can make your website theme quite unique.

The default WordPress theme has a sidebar menu but this is hard to style, we tried a lot of different ways to style the menu, in conclusion we have taken the menu above the sidebars into a template part.

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Twenty Ten Alternate Sidebar

The Twenty Ten default theme comes with Primary and Secondary right sidebars, but they are stacked one above the other, you might be wondering why.

At a guess I would say it gives someone new to WordPress the ability to add widgets to the secondary sidebar without losing the built in widgets on the primary sidebar, we are going to use the secondary sidebar for a template page.

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Getting Started Two

For this series of tutorials we need to have a local WordPress setup. This will enable easy deployment of the theme files. This series will be added to over two weeks, rather than one big set of files since we are changing to a more gentle step-by-step approach.

We hope that by the end of this series you would have learned: 1: how to create other template pages with different layouts, 2: add images to the menu, 3: add a different header section, 4:  add a different slideshow, 5: introduce an options page, 6: add social media and 7: add a wide footer with links.

We are releasing the support files for this series at each stage. The idea is still that we work together in creating our templates. If you get stuck, you will have the working examples in the support files. These will also have images and other assets.

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Ten Good Reasons to use WordPress Child Themes and Template Parts

We are really getting into the WordPress 3 child themes and template parts, they can cut down the workflow and time to market for theme developers, learning to use WordPress child themes and template parts can give you the edge and make you more competitive.

If you are just starting out or been working with WordPress for years and not looked at WordPress child themes and template parts, here our our views on why you should take the time to look at how they can be used.  

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Child Theme Plugin

It is no secret that I was disappointed with the latest offering from Artisteer, it is still a great product for community groups and webmasters, but for me as a developer the use of the ini file which is causing problems with YouTube, adSense etc:, and the structure of the new themes being not easy to enhance, lots of the addition features many of us were building in are now no longer viable, this has made me step back from a product that has not been tested enough before release.

Having now spent a lot of time with the Twenty Ten theme and a text editor, using new functions like template parts and producing the tutorials, I was thinking of a way forward where we would not have to edit the generated templates.

A select options or plug and play solution is really needed, I thought I could produce an application but this then leaves out the Mac users, so I think the most practical way forward is a WordPress plugin.

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Getting Started

For this series of tutorials we need to have a local WordPress setup, this will enable easy deployment of the theme files, this series will be added to over a few weeks, rather than one big set of files we are changing to a more gentle step by step approach.

 We hope that by the end of this series we would have learnt how to create child themes, create template pages with different layouts, add a second menu navigation bar, add a slideshows likesmooth slider, work with post images, and create two and three column templates.

We will not be releasing the support files for this series, the idea is that we work together in creating our templates, if you get stuck we will answer your emails, and send a the file you are stuck on.

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