Support » Themes and Templates » Make blog home page a single-post page

  • Here’s my challenge:

    I’ve got a design that has a lot of custom information for each post: Each post has its own stylesheet, its own image, plus two text elements (one a slogan and the other volume/issue information).

    All this is in addition to the usual per-post stuff (content, title, excerpt), and all of it must be stored with each post so that, for example, when somebody views an archived post, he or she will see the correct image, the correct stylesheet, and so on. The blog will never show more than one post at a time.

    What I understand so far is that I’m going to have to use custom fields, and I think I grasp that process. Create the fields, populate them, use one of the several relevant plugins to pull the information into the template.

    What I don’t understand is how – on the blog’s main page – I can render that custom information in the various locations on the page (including the within the <head>) that it needs to be.

    Put differently, on an archived page, all this will be no problem, since a post-specific query happens in the URL and thus makes available post-specific information outside The Loop.

    But on my site’s main page, this can’t happen, because until I get to The Loop, PHP/WP will have no way of knowing what post I want the custom information for.

    Here are some possible solutions I’ve thought of:

    1. Get the index page always to redirect to the permalink of the most recent post.
    2. Expand The Loop to include, essentially, all of the page (beginning at the latest right before the <title> tag).
    3. Somehow force the index.php or home.php template in my theme to recognize the “What one post are we dealing with here?” information that I pass from…where?

    #1 seems preferable to me by a good bit, because I imagine it could be done with a few lines of simple, clean PHP in the template. Sadly my PHP career is young, and I’m not sure where to begin with something like this. Is there any easy way with WP to test for the most recent post? Because then I think I could use the template_redirect() thing (which I don’t know a whole lot about just yet).

    #2 just seems sloppy somehow, like it will cause more problems than it will solve. Just a gut feeling.

    #3 seems like a nice solution, but I don’t think there’s a way to force a page to think it’s a single-post page without calling a single post in the URL. Am I wrong?

    Thanks for any direction and/or advice.

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  • This is a complicated one, but there might be a solution or two in my hat….or maybe not.

    1. Consider skipping WordPress and going with static HTML design. Much better suited to all this individualization of every single page. No screwing around with databases or Loops. Much easier. Did this for years like that with hundreds of pages. Painful but if you are putting this much effort into having every page “look” different – go static HTML.

    2. Check out the following articles in the Codex which set up a variety of if/then statements that might be able to help you – and look at using individual Pages, too.

    I would go with option 1 of what Lorelle sugested.
    Yeah, its static but sometimes static is alot easier.

    you can still edit it pretty easy by editing the index.php file of your theme.

    is there a reason we are missing of why you shouldnt have some static/html stuff before your loop?


    Thanks very much everyone. After much review, I decided to go with my original option 2 (expanding the loop). I liked the idea of going with static content, but for two things: first, not everyone who will be updating this site is HTML-savvy (the two of us running it right now are fine, but we’re hoping for some guest posters someday…), and, second, I want to allow for drastic reskins in the future, and database-driven content seems like the best way to do so.

    Here’s the site:

    By way of context, some of the things that are different for each post are the motto at the top (currently “Bringing new life…”), the header photo, the volume and issue information, and the color that you see throughout (the brown one on borders, buttons, links, etc.).

    Thanks again.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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