Meeting My Ignorance
So I sat down this evening to continue with Jesse Friedman’s book (affiliate link), and I ran smack dab into my own ignorance. Ouch. Let me explain.
Jesse begins Chapter 5 of the book, Our First WordPress Website, by gifting us the files to create a theme called J2. We can get them from his download site. That’s all very well and good, it looks lovely and all that.
Jesse tells us how we are going to use PHP to call the header and footer, and that all fits with what we learned before. I get that, even though I don’t actually know PHP. I figure I will learn enough here to get on with.
Then he starts talking about the theme template files, starting with the home page. It’s a very nice home page with lots of pretty pictures on it. There are nav (navigation) menus top and bottom on the header, and I remember that we used PHP in the previous chapter to call menu pages in my little theme. I get that. There are two places for ads in the header, a search form. He says we can do that with widgets, and that’s good. I know what widgets are – anybody who has done anything in WordPress, even on WordPress.com, has done widgets. If you are confused by widgets, drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to explain.
Then he drops the hammer on me, and tells me that the main content area starts with an image slider. What the heck is an image slider?? Wikipedia failed me. YouTube, however did not.
There are three more parts to the tutorial. I don’t want to get into the scripting stuff, mostly because I don’t really understand it myself at this point, but I want to show you the second part, just so you can see what it looks like at the end:
So an image slider is a way to make an automatic slideshow. Very cool. Later in the book Jesse is going to show us how to use functions to create our theme. He finishes this chapter by showing us the different templates we are going to use for different pages – the home page, blog posts, pages (with a sidebar) and full-width pages (without), and archive and search pages. It’s a good idea to have a basic template or recipe for each kind of page, for consistency and also so we only have to program each kind of page once.
We’ll take it one step at a time. If you run into something like this that you don’t understand, give a shout and we’ll figure it out together. We are all stretching our minds here!