Support » Fixing WordPress » Category Descriptions usage question

  • Resolved jamesisin


    For every category there is a Description text field. Innitially I was under the impression that this description was used when a category archive page was accessed, but that has proven untrue. In fact, I am totally unclear as to the actual purpose of the description field as it seems its only function is to advise me, the category creator, what the category is about.

    So my question is: is it possible to use that Description text as a introduction or sub-header to the category archive page?

    Here is one of my category archive pages for reference:

    As you can see, this page begins with the text “Archive for the ‘Darkly Glasses’ Category”. I suppose following that with something like “: which is all about photography and such blah blah blah…” would be perfect.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 35 total)

    You just need to call the function i think….

    Not used it myself, but post if you get stuck….

    Well, I can see that those are lines of code. And I understand just enough PHP to make out the basics of what those lines are intended to do. I am not at all clear what I would do with those lines of code.


    You add it to whatever theme file is used for your category pages.

    Possibilities (themes differ):
    1. category.php
    2. archive.php
    3. index.php

    I’d say the next question (as iridiax suggests) is does your theme have a category.php file?

    If so, post the code here inside backticks.

    And i/we can give an example…

    I am using the ever-exciting default theme. I suppose that means index.php then? Do I just add those lines to the end of the document (before the get sidebar and footer lines)?

    The default theme also has an archive.php file.

    Well since you don’t have a category file, let’s make one…

    Start by plonking this into the category.php file.

    Template Name: Category
    <?php get_header(); ?>
    		<div id="content" class="narrowcolumn">
    			<h2><?php the_category(); ?></h2>
                            <p class="someclassfordescription"><?php echo category_description(); ?>
    <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
    			<div <?php post_class() ?>>
    				<h3 id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>"><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h3>
    				<small><?php the_time('l, F jS, Y') ?></small>
    				<div class="entry">
    					<?php the_content() ?>
    				<p class="postmetadata"><?php the_tags('Tags: ', ', ', ''); ?> Posted in <?php the_category(', ') ?> | <?php edit_post_link('Edit', '', ' | '); ?>  <?php comments_popup_link('No Comments »', '1 Comment »', '% Comments »'); ?>
    <?php endwhile; ?>
    <?php get_sidebar(); ?>
    <?php get_footer(); ?>

    Untested, but it should work fine…. give it a test, and i’ll check back tomorrow (sleep time soon) and see how you got on…

    Thanks for that.

    Two questions…

    First, once I have created this file and placed it into my defaul theme folder (assuming that’s the best location) how will I test to see if this file is actually doing anything?

    Second, assuming this file is created, saved, and functioning as expected where will I place the lines of code from the link provided by t31os?

    Nope. That file breaks all of my category links.

    I’ll do a test later on for you, should be easy enough, it was untested…

    Thanks for working on that other issue with me, t31os. I’m going to put that on hold until any new information comes to light.

    Any luck with this issue?

    (I’m sorry to be such a bother. If you can recommend a good book on either WP or especially PHP, I’m in the market.)

    I did have a play around but couldn’t find a simple way to grab the description.

    I think get_the_categories(); can pull up description in place of title, but that’s one or the other, so not sure if that’s suited.

    I’m sure there’s a straight-forward way to grab it but i’m still getting use to the usage of WP functions so it’s a little beyond what i’ve tried thus far..

    In regard to PHP, i’m still a novice admittedly, and i never could quite wrap by head round it, until one day after much fiddling something just clicked, or a light bulb came on and it made much more sense all of a sudden.

    I tend to work on something and learn what i need as i need it, and as time goes on i tend to pick new bits up…

    Of course if you like reading a pal recommends the O’Reily books highly, however different strokes for different folks, what book suits one guy may not suit the next…

    I’d say avoid the dummies books… i have a PHP and MYSQL one, and i found it awful to learn from….. have the best tutorials i’ve ever followed.

    Turns out it is simple… this is from a file i created to test (category.php)..

    <?php get_header(); ?>
    <?php if (have_posts()) : ?>
    $category = get_the_category();
    echo $category[0]->cat_name;
    echo '<br />'.$category[0]->category_description;
      <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
      <li class="someclass-<?php the_ID();?>">
        <a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>">
          <?php the_title(); ?> on <?php the_time('M j Y'); ?>
      <?php endwhile; ?>
      <div class="navigation">
        <div class="next"><?php next_posts_link(__('&laquo; Older Entries', 'elegant-grunge')) ?></div>
        <div class="previous"><?php previous_posts_link(__('Newer Entries &raquo;', 'elegant-grunge')) ?></div>
    <?php else : ?>
      If no posts for the category do whatever is here...
    <?php endif; ?>
    <?php get_sidebar(); ?>
    <?php get_footer(); ?>

    Obviously adjust the HTML as required…

    You can use your index.php as a basis, and adjust as required, that way you have the right DIVs and classes etc…

    I have been poking through the default theme. I believe it might be best to place the category description code into the archive.php file. Here is the related code and where I think the description code ought to go:

     * @package WordPress
     * @subpackage Default_Theme
    	<div id="content" class="narrowcolumn">
    		<?php if (have_posts()) : ?>
     	  <?php $post = $posts[0]; // Hack. Set $post so that the_date() works. ?>
     	  <?php /* If this is a category archive */ if (is_category()) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Category: <?php single_cat_title(); ?> </h2>
    <!--  Place category description code here  -->
     	  <?php /* If this is a tag archive */ } elseif( is_tag() ) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Posts Tagged ‘<?php single_tag_title(); ?>’</h2>
     	  <?php /* If this is a daily archive */ } elseif (is_day()) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Archive for <?php the_time('F jS, Y'); ?></h2>
     	  <?php /* If this is a monthly archive */ } elseif (is_month()) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Archive for <?php the_time('F, Y'); ?></h2>
     	  <?php /* If this is a yearly archive */ } elseif (is_year()) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Archive for <?php the_time('Y'); ?></h2>
    	  <?php /* If this is an author archive */ } elseif (is_author()) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Author Archive</h2>
     	  <?php /* If this is a paged archive */ } elseif (isset($_GET['paged']) && !empty($_GET['paged'])) { ?>
    		<h2 class="pagetitle">Blog Archives</h2>
     	  <?php } ?>

    I just need to know what code to add to place the appropriate category description into those pages.

    If you create a cateogry.php file you won’t need half the above…

    category.php is only in effect when on a category page, as appose to an archive file which handles multiple cases…

    This part does the title and decription..

    $category = get_the_category();
    echo $category[0]->cat_name;
    echo '<br />'.$category[0]->category_description;

    Which goes in place of..

    <?php the_category() ;?>
    <?php single_cat_title(); ?>

    depending where you place it…

    Not sure how reliable it is with multiple depth categories, ie. sub sub categories etc…

    Used the example from here, and just added description.

    Create a category.php, that way if anything if it doesnt work you can edit or remove the file where needed without effecting the archive.php functionality…

    I’d suggest a test install somewhere when testing code, whether in a sub-directory on your site or installed locally using WAMP, Uniform Server or any one of the other popular apps…

    Any code being tested does not effect the live site, once it works you upload the new file(s)…

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 35 total)
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