Support » Fixing WordPress » Am I using WordPress the "correct" way?

  • I’m new to WordPress, and before I go much further I want to do a sanity check on the way I plan on using it. I want to use it as a CMS for my existing website.

    So, I am using the default theme, and I modified the page template to remove all sidebars. I want to be able to establish <DIV>s on my main page and have widgets or plugins contained in my <DIV>s, so I can control the layout and write my own CSS.

    For example, I want to publish articles — but all I want on the main page in one of my customized DIVs is a list of the article titles/links so I can use jquery on the list.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I want to leverage the power of WordPress — but I want to have total control over the position and CSS of the content. If I’m restricted to having “sidebars” on the left or right side, and restricted to the behavior the theme dictates, then it won’t work for me.

    Also, if I end up having to code all my own SQL calls, etc. – then I’m writing my own CMS and not really using WordPress.

    Can someone point me in the right direction? Should I learn how to modify or create sidebars so I can put them wherever I want them? Or do I ignore sidebars and just figure out how to get plugins and widgets to work inside the <DIV>s I create on my pages?

    I’m kinda lost and just want to get on the right path before wasting too much time on something I might end up having to throw out.


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  • Hi @chrisv2: Your themes templates are totally of your own making. If you don’t want sidebars, don’t include the sidebar code. It’s up to you and your HTML code how you want your pages to be laid out.

    And sidebars don’t actually have to be on the side, they can be in the header, footer or even embedded in content. The term “sidebar” is really a legacy; think of then as “widget containers” instead.

    And that said, if you don’t really find widgets meeting your needs, don’t use them. Much of the CMS work on CMS sites I do have no sidebars or widgets at all.

    Also, you almost never write SQL code, you call WordPress API functions like get_posts() for the functionality that you need almost all the time (rare cases require SQL, but most sites don’t ever need direct SQL.)

    Here are some answers that you can use as starting points:

    Hope this helps.


    OK thanks Mike – that looks like exactly what I’m trying to do. Thanks for your help!

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