Support » Fixing WordPress » how versatile is wordpress

  • I’m building the following website:

    I was learning as I went, but I quickly realised that comment forms were going to require a HUGE learning curve. So I decided to try out wordpress.

    If you go to my wordpress website you’ll see the “music” tab, which takes you to what I had originally set up (all menu items can be used to navigate the original non-wordpress design I was setting up apart from forum/home)

    A standard looking set of pages for tutorials/FAQ/music/gallery etc. I used .php includes for the header/footer content. Apart from comment forums/user interaction the website was coming along perfectly.

    Before I get started in wordpress, I am just wondering what is the best approach for achieving the look I was going for with my old site.

    I am now quite experienced in html and css. I know how to use .php includes and a few other basic functions and I also know how to set up a basic mysql database.


    1) Where to start. Do I look at child themes, making a new theme, or something else?

    2) Which theme do I use as a base to modify? Something closer to my original design or something as vanilla as possible (twenty eleven perhaps?)

    3) Is it even possible to modify my wordpress site to look just like my old design with the added goodness of comments etc? That would be absolutely ideal.

    Thanks! 😉

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • esmi


    Forum Moderator

    I know how to use .php includes

    WordPress does not use standard PHP includes. It uses functions, actions & filters.

    1. For starters, do not edit the Twenty Eleven theme. It is the default WordPress theme and having access to an unedited version of the theme is vital when dealing with a range of site issues. Create a child theme for your Twenty Eleven changes. Many recent themes are also best customised using a child theme.

    2. Twenty Eleven is far from being vanilla. I’d suggest that you start with a theme that is close to your original design and take it from there.

    3. Yes – perfectly possible.

    Hi wildpluckings,

    WordPress is extremely versatile. There are tons of plugins that will extend the functionality to do almost anything you can think of. There are also over 1,500 themes in the WordPress Themes Directory. If you do not find a theme you like, you can easily create a Child Theme and customize it to your liking. There are also quite a few easy to customize themes available, here are links to a few:

    Weaver II

    I see you had forums planned for your site, if you do not already have forum software for your site, you may want to check into the bbPress plugin.

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks very much. I am happy to know that I can get everything looking like the old design with a bit of tinkering.

    I have so many questions because I want to quickly gain more perspective on how everything works. I hope you don’t mind 🙂

    I have just installed “weaver ii”:

    aahhh! I guess I read through the lengthy page of information on child themes and I’ll end up with my own? Sorry to ask in advance but I don’t want to invest time reading through everything if it isn’t necessary.

    Also I just realised I have modified the Twenty Eleven theme. Is there any way to restore it back to default before I get started on child theme?


    There seems to be limitations on file sizes/image dimensions/video sizes/gallery items. Is it completely possible to adjust these and any other limits to our liking? Also noticed “Weaver II Pro”. Will not purchasing this affect what I can put on my site in any way?


    All of my test posts and reply buttons on posts link to “%page1%/”

    I remember doing something, somewhere in the admin dashboard and making a “page 1” for fun but I can’t remember where I did this! Now everything is linking to it only resulting in:

    Bad Request

    Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.

    oops. Not sure what I’ve done here. Are there any obvious places I should check?


    @christini thank you for mentioning bbPress. I have set up a phpbb3 forum though which appears to have everything covered. If I find any limitations I will definitely consider bbPress though

    [ Don’t be sorry, just don’t continue to bump. ]

    Hi wildpluckings,

    I can certainly understand you have a lot of questions, like we all did when we first started using WordPress. I would really recommend starting with the WordPress Codex so you can begin to familiarize yourself with all of the different aspects of WordPress. It’s a great resource that I still use quite frequently myself.

    I have just installed “weaver ii”:

    To restore the Twenty Eleven theme, de-activate it, delete it & then re-install it through the Themes area of your dashboard (Appearance > Themes).


    Limitations on dimensions may vary from theme to theme and you should be able to modify that as needed. If you’re talking about upload limits, depending on your host, you should be able to increase that. You’ll want to do a search for something a bit more specific if you are having any trouble uploading files (e.g. any errors you are seeing).

    Regarding Weaver II Pro, I’m not sure what you are asking, but since at that point it’s a paid theme, those questions would be best to address with the theme developer.


    It sounds like something is going wrong with your Permalinks for your site. I would suggesting familiarizing yourself with WordPress Permalinks modifying yours as needed.

    Good luck with your new site!

    Thanks so much for the help.

    I have spent around 5 hours reading through the WordPress Codex, and thankfully things are starting to click 🙂

    I decided to go with twentyeleven after all. It had the most “neutral” comment forms and things which I think will offer versatility in the long run.

    Regarding limitations, lets take this example:

    Media –> Add New –>

    “Maximum upload file size: 96MB. After a file has been uploaded, you can add titles and descriptions.”

    I assume this 96MB limit can be adjusted somewhere? I have GB’s of webspace and unlimited bandwidth on my host so I would like to remove these restrictions even if I don’t currently have anything above 96MB to upload. The knowledge that these restrictions can be changed is important to me.

    Lastly the problem I was having was indeed with permalinks.

    settings –> permalinks –>

    I had created a “custom structure” named page1 for whatever reason, and this was why my links were broken as there was no format/structure to it. I have changed it to “post name” now and everything is working nicely.

    My first goals will be to get the header and footer content looking like my old design. I am having some difficulties understanding the code but I think I’ll get there eventually 🙂

    I won’t even begin to start adding content until I have mastered the entire system and understand all of the limitations.



    Forum Moderator

    I assume this 96MB limit can be adjusted somewhere?

    Yes – via your hosting’s php.ini file in most cases. Or try using

    I had created a “custom structure” named page1 for whatever reason

    No. You cannot invent your own custom structure like that. See Using_Permalinks.

    Hey esmi. Are you implying the limitations are on the hosting providers end then? it isn’t a wordpress limitation? Sorry if I am misunderstanding something. With regards to the hosting’s php.ini, will I be able to access/modify that or will it vary from one hosting provider to another?

    Yes that upload limitation is a limit configured in PHP, not a WordPress limitation.

    Whether you can edit the php.ini depends on your host.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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