learn/do/reflect/teach

categories

Another leg of the journey leads me to investigate custom post types. I’ve found tutorial on Creative Web Ideas, which is helpfully organized by the steps in the process—including the planning and thinking—but, alas, I have to fork out some money to get the full information. However, even the starting diagram taught me a way to think about setting up custom post types. It’s one thing to simply know how to create a type, but what’s more helpful to me is to have a process it fits into. That helps me make decisions about whether to invest my time (or money).

 

I spent most of yesterday reading the WordPress Codex about categories. Prior to then, I had thought using categories was a nice way to simply identify what a post was about but that they were not really all that important otherwise. However, now I know that categories help form an important organizing principle for WordPress-based sites. So yesterday I created my categories for the PLP and installed two plugins: first, the Category Template Hierarchy, which adds several templates (which are PHP documents) to the hierarchy of templates that are the bones of WordPress: “In WordPress, the (X)HTML structure and the CSS style sheet are present but the content is generated “behind the scenes” by various template files.” This plugin makes a bunch of different templates that I may or may not end up using.

I also installed the Category Content plugin, which displays a list of the posts in WordPress that are in that category only on the category page that comes up when you click on a category in the menu. On this page, for instance, it shows only those posts (so far just the two) that fall under the category WordPress Sites. It’s at the right side of the page in the Related to… box. By using this plugin, I also realized that any widget—including a simple text box—can be modified to show on all pages or on selected pages of the site. This means, perhaps, that I can create a text (and HTML) widget with links to projects I have completed or examples within that category. I have to think more about this because that’s a lot of hard coding that won’t automatically update, that I have to remember to update when I add stuff. It may not be an efficient solution to how to link ongoing learning to resulting projects within a category, but it might be a first step.

(Hm. Perhaps I will need to write a plugin along the way?)

Anyway, yesterday I created a new template for a category page that shows the category name and my goal (see above). The layout of the page will be the same, but the category and goal will change based on what is clicked in the Learning interests… box at left. The nice thing: this is not hard coded at all. It uses only the category name and description that I set up once in the WordPress system for category management. I set the description to contain my goal for that learning category:


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