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March 25 2013

08:00

How To Create a WordPress Custom Page Template

Creating a WordPress theme to accommodate your website design concept becomes so much easier when you know about things like Custom Page Templates. WordPress operates using posts and pages, but every page doesn’t have to be cookie-cut from the same format. You can create unique layouts and content for specific pages to create visually interesting sites that are still editable via WordPress’ powerful publishing tools.

What is a custom page template?

WordPress custom page templates are theme files that provide an alternative to the default page.php file. These custom templates can contain whatever HTML and template tags you wish to build your desired layout or content, then the file can be attached to a specific page in order for WordPress to use this new template when serving that particular page of the site.

Common uses for custom page templates are to create unique page layouts for about pages, testimonials or services; an eye-catching portfolio with an array of clickable thumbnails; or a clever about or contact page with features embedded directly to the template in code. If you need to configure your page layout beyond what is available in the default page.php file, a custom page template is what you need.

How to create a custom page template

Creating a custom page template couldn’t be easier. Create a blank php document, then add the following code:

< ?php
/*
Template Name: About
*/
?>

Configure the template name to something recognisable, this is what will appear in a drop down menu within the WordPress admin screen. Saving the file with a name corresponding to your chosen template name makes sense, for example about.php.

In the remainder of the document add your HTML and WordPress template tags to construct your desired layout. This might utilise tags such as <?php get_header(); ?> to build the page using the existing header/sidebar/footer elements, or you might be building something completely unique using a complete WordPress loop. Don’t forget, you can also hard code features into your template file that are unique to this page, such as a contact form, YouTube video or a Google Maps iFrame.

Once you’ve created your custom page template and uploaded it to your theme directory, create your page using the WordPress editor. Any content you add using the WYSIWYG will appear wherever the <?php the_content(); ?> tag was placed within the template. This page will use the default page.php template unless your change the Template option under Attributes.

Select the Template menu and choose the template file with the name you supplied. Hit the publish button and see your WordPress content dynamically generated using the structure of your custom page template.

June 25 2012

07:00
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July 13 2011

20:25

Easily make sexy error messages in WordPress (and everything else)

Some hosts have custom error page options in their admin panel software, but if you want to bypass that and easily make your custom error messages work (as long as you’re running Apache) it’s pretty simple. Especially if your a blogger, and you’re familiar with .htaccess files, this is a very simple process and it works great. Let’s get started.

Easily make sexy error messages in WordPress (and everything else)

Part 1 – General

Step 1

Design your error page as a static HTML page.

Step 2

You can upload the error pages to anywhere on you server, but I recommend putting them either in the root directory, or in a folder in the root.I put mine in a folder in the root called “errors.”

Step 3

Add the following line of code to your .htaccess file in the root of your site.

ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html

And for the other error messages, simply uplad the other HTML files and add another line in your .htaccess file and change the error code to whatever you need, like:

ErrorDocument 503 /errors/503.html

in my example code, obviously, I’ve got a folder called “errors” in the root directory of my blog, and I named my error message html files as the same name as the error I want to display.

Live Example

The easiest error page to test, (as well as the most used) is 404, or “Not Found.” Simply type in your URL, then a forward slash and then a bunch of jibberish, like this:

http://www.bittbox.com/fghjkdfghdfgkjh

And that’s it. If you are having trouble seeing your error messages, you might check your file paths in your .htaccess file, as well as the file paths to images in your HTML and/or CSS, depending on how you have it setup.

Part 2 – Custom 503 “Service Unavailable” Page using WordPress and the Maintenance Mode Plugin

Step 1

Obviously, have the Maintenance Mode plugin installed and activated. Maintenance Mode lets you display a custom message while your site is down, whether your upgrading, or making a new theme, or simply doing maintenance of any kind. Nowadays, wordpress shows an error 503 (most likely your server default) “Service Unavailable” error when you do an automatic upgrade, so customizing this 503 error can make you rest a little easier when you need to upgrade your worpdress. (which wordpress users know, happens often.)

Step 2

Copy your 503.html error you already made in Part 1, and put it in your wordpress theme directory. Then rename it to 503.php. Even though it’s most likely a simple html or xhtml file, the Maintenance Mode plugin needs a “php file extension, and it has to be in the same folder as all of your theme files. (don’t forget to move any images, and check image URLS during this process, as well as any image URLs in your CSS for your 503.)

Step 3

In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Maintenance Mode and select the custom 503.php option under “Splash Page Theme.”

Easily make sexy error messages in WordPress (and everything else)

Done

In order to test the custom 503 that will display when you do upgrades (as long as maintenance mode is active before you upgrade) you can just activate it for a minute to see what it looks like, but you have to either log out, or use a different browser where you aren’t logged in to your site.

Conclusion

Custom error messages can be cool, and I recently learned a little about how to make them, so I thought I would spread the knowledge. It was way easier than I previously thought, and all you need is FTP. As I mentioned earlier, some customizations may be available from your host admin panel, but using the .htacess method, you can add as many as you want, and therefore have more control.

Here’s a link to the most common Apache Error Codes»

Here’s a link to all Apache Error Codes »

February 12 2010

05:25

Amazing Executions of Lundberg Architecture Design

LundbergDesignLundberg Architecture Design has some serious talent, skill & superior execution. They are a group of creative minds that aren’t afraid to custom fab anything and everything they can get their hands on. Their interiors are stunning & exteriors are equally intriguing. Their philosophy says it all:

Good design is always personal, and it is often the little touches that impart the unique character of a building. While there is great variety in the work we have done, there are recurring themes that define it as ours.


We like materials that age well, that develop character over time. We look for variations in texture, both visual and tactile, and feel that buildings should have surfaces that beg to be touched.

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Amazing Executions of Lundberg Architecture Design

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