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[resolved] General information on themes and formats (9 posts)

  1. jwm57
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    I have been using WP badly for some years, my domain name server has just updated my self administered site to the latest version. I want to become active and work with my site. For years my site was my domain name (murphsays.com) and my WP was murphsays.com/blog. We have now moved my "front page" to the WP front page (that was /blog).

    I see a proliferation of theme pages on the WP site, and there are many variations of capability. Let me tell you what I want to do and ask for suggestions at the theme level. I am fully familiar with posts and pages (which I'd call blogs and articles), I have used them both.

    Let me give you my ideal format, which may not be possible. I'd like a front page that I can upload a picture to as the background theme. I'd like to put a link on that page to a page of "articles" (pages) with the ability for those with a password that I give them to respond, but not a general response. Also a link to the blog pages (posts) which would be open. And the ability to put links on the front page directly to recent articles by name. As I think of it, I'd like to have multiple links on the front page to articles by category so that visitors can chose politics versus music, etc.

    Wow, that's a lot to ask - and I'm not asking for it all. I'm asking you to help me get started in choosing the best of the many theme formats for my purpose - I'll take it from there. They are well described on the WP site, but there are so many that correlating the differences isn't easy. I hope you all can reduce my choices of ones I try. To summarize my desires, I want to direct my varied audience to the appropriate places on the front page - and limit the audience for more personal pages with passwords. I have many correspondents who are, like myself, elderly curmudgeons who don't like an open forum (I'm happy with an open forum if I choose it to be, like my blogs).

    Best. Jon
    Jonathan W. Murphy

  2. webbrewers
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    Password protection is part of WP core, so should work with any theme. Take a look at the options available in a post edit page. Your choice of theme depends mainly on how you want the site to look and if you require additional features, such as sliders, widgets etc.

  3. jwm57
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    So what you are saying it that the themes are differentiated by appearance for the basic functions (which include password protection), and that the additional features a variables among the themes.

    I think that tells me how to proceed. I have no idea what sliders, widgets, etc. do - so my first job is to look at their definitions and decide what I need or want, then go to the themes and choose one with the appearance I like and the features I've chosen.

    Thank you, I can now proceed rationally with my choice.

    Best, Jon

  4. webbrewers
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    I'll just add that you can also change themes at any point - your content is safely contained in the database and isn't affected. This allows you to experiment a bit on the actual live site and see what suits you best.

  5. jwm57
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    That does raise a question - the form of the storage in the data base. I'm sure this is all in the "Codex", but it is a difficult volume to navigate for simple answers if one doesn't know the vocabulary.

    If I may prevail on you for a further answer, what is my "content". At eh moment I have certain articles (pages) as well as the "About" and "Home", etc. shown on the task bar of my home page (theme). There are also the "posts" (blogs). My confusion has to do with the definition of a page in the sense of a level. Sorry, that isn't very clear - let me try again.

    I'm going to try to describe the storage structure of WP as I'm guessing it is, tell me where I'm wrong.

    WP stores pages by name, and they are in no specific sequence as to level - except that one of them is primary and is called when the web site is accessed (and that page is defined by the host server for self-managed accounts). That would imply that one can redefine the "levels" of the pages by removing a call from the "front page" and creating a new page, called from the front page, and put the old call on that because all the pages are still in storage. In other words, I can remove the call for an "article" from the theme page and create a page called "Articles" which then can call any or all "pages". In fact I could create a circular logic where pages recall "higher level" pages.

    That leaves out one thing, where are the "posts" (blog type entries) - are they all on a "post page" or do they also have separate pages.

    I guess my confusion comes from the difference between page and post, they are functionally different but are they stored diffently.

    Best, Jon

  6. webbrewers
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    Jon,
    The way it works is everything you add to site (plus some other stuff - like user data etc) is stored in the database. The php template files (and assets like images) are stored in directories on the server.
    When someone clicks a link to a post or page on your site, WP builds it on the fly by combining the required template files and assets, and the appropriate data from the database. In a static html web site you have a composed file for each page you can actually see - but in WP the pages don't "exist" until someone requests them.
    The only real difference between posts and pages is posts have meta data (date/category/tags) that allows them to be organized in a variety of ways.
    I'm not sure if that answers your question but hope it helps.

  7. jwm57
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    I'm not sure if it directly answers my question either, but it certainly helps. You have given me a road map of the process, now I just have to study my route. I far prefer an answer like yours to specific instructions.

    "Pages don't exist until someone requests them", didn't know WP was into Quantum Mechanics,is this a parallel to the quantum nature of the electron <g>.

    Thanks, you have given me an understanding, I'll sort out the vocabulary and details - that is the best way to learn.

    Best, Jon

  8. webbrewers
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    Understanding how what you see is put together and delivered is key - once you get that, the rest of it will make much more sense.

  9. jwm57
    Member
    Posted 6 months ago #

    Thanks again, that is exactly how I view it.

    Totally off the WP topic, but actually on topic, I'm going to bore you with a story.

    I first met computers when I joined IBM as a sales trainee in 1961, the 1401 was the new product to break into the small business market. Sales and systems trainees were taught to program it in machine language - we weren't given Assembler with macros and relative addressing until we first learned the basics. BTW, all computers actually operate on machine language at the root - we have just been divorced from the internals by the higher level languages.

    I was assigned to a "trade show" to demonstrate the 1401 and the new 300 line a minute printer, but with no card reader for the program. Xerox had their new copier, various companies had things that worked - I had a grey/blue computer and printer, and no action.

    There were "bit switches" on the front panel of the 1401 where one could enter bits into storage locations. The printer printed from a fixed location in storage (200)and programs started at 300. I wrote a two line program with the bit switches (6 bit BCD, plus parity and "word mark") that said "print" then "goto 300", not in text but in the machine language instructions. I entered the text "I am a 1401 computer" into the printer location (8 bits per letter). I hit the start button. Now the printer was shooting paper at 300 lpm and the crowd gathered.

    OK, long story, and a bit of a boast - but it confirms your point of understanding one's tools. I thank you for your indulgence and help, I'll take it from here - but beg permission to ask a detail should I not be able to figure it out.

    Best, Jon

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