Support » Fixing WordPress » Formatting

  • WordPress is cool and all, but I’m a little dissappointed when it came time to edit the css in it. I’ve looked over several sites and people seemed to have changed the tags in index.php for CSS and implement their own version. While I’m not against that, it certainly makes it hard to use others templates if I’m having to change index.php file everytime I want to switch to another css format. Is there something that is going to be addressed soon? Also in index.php there is a <div id=”rap”> right after the body tag. Shouldn’t this at least be in the css file even if no values are set? Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m new to WordPress and because the lack of documentation, it’s making it hard to love this likeable blog.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Hi,
    You are looking at other people’s .CSS to use them? I’m confused about that.
    If I recode a template that someone else creates, I still give them the credit for the template as they created the graphics, etc. I have done this for clients that want to use a MT template in WP.
    I take out the tags I never use, such as the Header and the rap. I create the .CSS.
    Does this help at all, or did I miss the questions?

    I’m confused as to how I should create my own layout, at least colors wise. When I look at other people’s CSS files to get an idea, it seems the names of the classes have been changed. I know very little about CSS, but enough to mess it up, and know a little php. If someone changes the names of the classes, then obviously you have to edit index.php to match what’s in the CSS file. Am I making sense now?

    most of us who know CSS tend to recreate the index.php file – mine is totally different and is very “messy”.
    i am actually thiking of adding a wordpress template section to my site once I get some free time so you’d be able to grab a layout off of there.

    Well if you want to know more about css and how the css works under wordpress, what i did is that i went into my wp-layout.css and labeled all the tags. In other words, i have classified which tag edits what on my site. I have kept all my css tags in the index.php page the same as default, however i changed the css file completely to my suiting.
    e mail me at if you want to check out my css file, but i recommend you do it yourself, as you’ll learn a lot.

    deiri87 – Ok, what you did is great, so long as all the CSS tags stay the same in the orginal file. I think that having to maintain two files is cumbersome and unnecessary. I’m new to WordPress and it has made it hard to figure things out, because everyone has done it a little different, as I am slowly learning. It just seems to me that this blog is headed for disaster because you have to do it your own way. And when the upgrades come down the road, your going to have recode everything again. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    uregistered said:
    “It just seems to me that this blog is headed for disaster because you have to do it your own way. And when the upgrades come down the road, your going to have recode everything again. Hopefully I’m wrong.”
    For me, this is exactly why I *like* WordPress…the *ability* to do it my own way. So many of the other systems are cumbersome to truly customize, whereas with WP I can modify everything….right down to which tags are wrapped around a link.
    As upgrades come, I don’t anticipate having to change anything in my .CSS file. The majority of div’s are outside the WP loops, so changes to the backend systems will have no effect. I haven’t modified the names of any styles inside the loops, but I can change the *styles* all I want…that’s the beauty of CSS.
    Forgive me if I’m not really understanding your concerns…
    Let’s say I was installing a fresh install of WP. As a newbie, I could change the styles in the .CSS file to my hearts content without affecting any functionality. I could create 10 different styles, and switch them whenever I want, again without affecting any functionality. So, I guess I’m not really understanding the concern…

    I agree with you about having control and the ability to do it your way, but lets face it Burger King doesn’t need that many cooks in the kitchen. We just need people to order a slice of css and be on their marry way. But from what I’ve seen, there are just as many that have altered the index.php file as the people who haven’t. I’m not here to argue, I just wish the documentation was there and that all things considered, it made sense. And right now its still not complete. I do thank the developers for the contributions they have made.

    I’m confused as well. If you don’t want to modify the base index.php, don’t — you don’t have to. However, some people have gone and extended their index.php, and modified the css to fit as well. This doesn’t invalidate the base index.php layout, or any CSS stylings based on it, in the slightest.
    You seem to be indicating that nobody using WP should ever touch the index file or rename styles… but that’s an individual’s choice! There are many people who have stuck with the basics, and many who have decided they wanted more flexibility. Both sides win.
    Now, if you are looking for a ton of CSS examples basing off index.php, there certainly are some, but it’s really not hard to just make your own. Hopefully, the “people leaving things alone” and the “people modifying things” will grow closer and closer over time, so that you will have more off-the-shelf ‘templates’ or style sheets that you can grab and apply. But the crowd that wants to go beyond that always will.
    You also say ‘WE just need…’. WE is all the users of WP. WE all have different needs. I’m happy at how much EVERYONE tries to help everyone else out! That’s what makes this a great community.

    Clapping, David! 🙂

    Read some of the other post in the forum and you will see that the developers are hard at work releasing a much improved verison, and that the documentation is coming.
    I would like to see better documetation too, but first things first.
    Don’t be scared off by a lack of documentation. The people in this forum are great at answering specific questions.

    David, when I installed WP, the doco was/is lacking. So I came to the forums and perused thru them. I read “don’t edit index.php” and then going to other sites I learned that they did edit them. When you look at the CSS file that some have out there you quickly found out that the CSS tags had been modified in the index.php file. So…given the lack of doco, you can see how a newby could come a little confused in the beginning, and it becomes a little fustrating. They people here are great that’s why I’ll stick it out. Again, I’m not here bashing WP. Because the doco didn’t exist and having read thru the forums, it became a little fustrating that I couldn’t just get down to business without having to kill a couple hours searching for an answer.

    Anonymous, why not register here at the forums? 😉
    I have always changed my index.php. Always. Basically because I like making sandwiches and pulling in includes. I have a blog.php, index.php and quite a few includes with sidebar information and other little scripty things.
    People will change their index.php and .CSS to fit them. That’s one of the main reasons I liked b2 and now use WP. I like flexibility vs. hard structure as some of the other CMS’s use. I like simplicity as well.

    I’d like to know where this mythical “don’t edit index.php” is…. I know there is a couple of threads that have wording like that, but it was in relation to a design contest to see what people could come up with to change the default look of WP. But other than that, one can’t help but to edit index.php, as that’s where the layout is controlled.

    I’m scared to death about screwing around with ANY of the PHP. My site is 99.9% changed strictly through CSS.
    One thing that is critical to understand about CSS, is that design and content are, for the most part, separated. This makes it incredibly easy to change the look of a whole site without altering a single line of code.
    The documentation is coming along, but it’s a big job. We are focussed now on fundamentals and as everything evolves, we’ll be doing our best to cover all the bases.
    In the interim, since some in this post have stated that CSS is new to them, I would suggest checking out the links from this post as a start.

    To be honest, most WordPress users seem to be comfortable editing their own html, css, and in many cases php. That’s why you won’t find that many people using the default index.php; we want to put our own stamp on our sites, and we find the default template limits our design options. Yes, the documentation is lagging behind on the issue of templates, and I’m one of the people who’s found that frustrating. And, as this forum gets busier, it’s becoming harder to keep up with things here too. But the docs issue is being addressed, and it shouldn’t be too long before I can confidently recommend WordPress to newbies.
    In the meantime, you can download alternative css files that won’t require you to touch index.php (check out my zip file, and the ‘design contest’ threads in the design forum) This is a much easier and ethically superior option than taking css from people’s actual blogs.
    (sidenote: if I were to write a tutorial on ‘what it’s safe to change in index.php’, would this be best placed in the ‘design’ section of the board or in the wiki?)

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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