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WordPress set up. Can's and Cant do's

  • I am setting up a blog and have now figured out it may be better to see if a standard single install on the domain can do as I would like. Still considering subdomains but open to all options and opinions.

    On a standard install of wordpress can I do the following somehow?

    1/ Have a home page which only shows main categories and pages?
    2/ have a number of subcategories which are only shown when the main category is selected?
    3/ Change the header as to which category is selected?
    4/ Show sidebar contents based on selected category selected?

    In all, I am trying to force a single wordpress install to act something like subdomains where I can change the header image, have different categories and sidebar contents based on which category I am viewing.

    Is it possible to do things like this or am I better of using subdomains? And which version of wordpress does anyone recommend I use for taking this kind of approach?

    Trying to get things right from the start so I don’t have to change it all later!

    Thanks for your help in advance.

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