Support » Plugins » Where is main WordPress HTML file?

  • Resolved myrab


    Does anyone know the file name and directory location for the WordPress main blog page? I mean, I know it’s mostly php files but the source code is html. So when I view the source code, what and where is that file?

    I set WordPress up so that it’s in the “blog” directory at the root at my webhost. Then the main directories: wp_admin, wp_content, wp_includes are under there, and so on.

    The only change I made to the basic install was using a different theme, which is probably all style rather than content and I know where that css file is.

    So, any answers about the html file location will be much appreciated.



Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • There is no html file as such. The html you see in the source code is produced by the PHP coding contained in your template files.

    Thank you very much for the reply Marc. So if I wanted to change the content of the main blog page, for example add some navigation, then I’d have to know php, eh? Hm, well gotta learn sometime…


    It depends on what you want to change.
    The php files contain both php code and html markup. If you only change parts of the html markup, you don’t need to learn php. Although knowing some php might come in handy.

    PHP is also fairly easy to read. There’s no need to really learn how to create your own PHP code, but just simply looking at the existing code should give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

    Anyway, everything you want to edit is in this folder:


    This is a good read:

    I’ll just explain that a little further.

    Inside each theme is the html for how the page looks. There is an initial page, index.php (inside your theme dir as explained in the previous post), which is basically a page that calls up the entries from every category and makes a list. The index.php page will call header.php, sidebar.php, and footer.php. Header is all the html until just past the body tag, sidebar is the side navigation html, and footer closes off the page with the closing body and html tags.

    There are other pages that have slightly different tasks, like single.php, archives.php etc. They all want to do different things on the page, like display a single post, or display all posts from a single category, but they will all generally call the header and footer into the page, and often the sidebar.

    By having common header, footer, and sidebar files, each page will built pretty much the same. A lot of what you want to customize will be in the header, footer, and sidebar files. These files frame the page. To get specific in the middle of the page with the meat of the content, look to index.php, single.php, archive.php, archives.php, etc.

    The is an over simplificaion, but I hope it gives you the general picture. Each theme has it’s own unique header, footer, etc., and of course, a unique style.css file. Most of the colour stuff, and a LOT of the layout is actually in the style.css file. In short, if you want to change how it looks, edit the style.css file. If you want to change what appears, look to the php files, and look for the html within then.

    Wow, thank you so much Nazgul, Viper007Bond, manstraw, Marc. This is all exactly what I needed to know. I had no idea that there was html embedded in the php. Is that typical of php-for it to contain segments of html? Can a webpage be written with only php and style sheets?

    You’re not obliged to answer! I’m just wondering out loud. I’ll be studying php soon so maybe I’ll come back and answer my own question.

    Thank you again everyone. I really appreciate all the detail. Hm, this is my first thread here and I hope I don’t screw it up. I may need to set it to “resolved” or something. I’ll poke around and see…


    Yes. PHP pages always return html, and contain recognizable chunks of html. The whole point of php is to create html, but to do it dynamically. In simple terms, php customizes the page for each view. It finds the very latest info, and formats it to proper html. It typically gets the data from a mysql database, and this is how wordpress works as well.

    In the old days, we used to write 20 pages of code if we needed twenty pages of html. When we need to change the navigation on every page, we had to change the code on all pages. Quite a task, when the page count increases. PHP let’s you bust the page up into pieces, so if you need to change the navigation for all 20 pages, you really just change a bit of code in one place one time, and it will instantly be shown on all pages. Because we build the page each time it’s viewed, we always have up to the minute html code.

    Did that make sense? It’s all about being dynamic instead of static.

    Yes. PHP pages always return html

    Well, not always, but for all intents and purposes, especially when it comes to WordPress themes, yes, that’s the case. 🙂

    I knew someone would call me on that. 😉

    Yes, PHP can, and does do other things. PHP is also used to make the xml rss feeds. I myself actually use php for all my shell scripts on my server. And I even use php to generate and feed frames of video to a special viewer. But for the purposes of this discussion, and with the internet on the whole, it’s pretty much always busy making html code.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s name is PHP Hypertext Preprocessor.

    For those of you that are visual types: a visual anatomy of a theme…

    I myself actually use php for all my shell scripts on my server.

    Heh, same here. 🙂

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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