Gridline News is a clean and modular news magazine theme for WordPress 2.3 and up that is packed with AJAX to add flexibility to the important home page real estate. The main story section contains four of your latest posts layered on top of each other, accessible via tabbed navigation. Gridline News can transform your tubular blog into a full news magazine website.
- Unzip the downloaded file
- Upload the entire “Gridline News″ folder to your “/wp-content/themes/” folder
- Log in into your WordPress control panel
- Click the Presentation tab
- Select the “Gridline News” screenshot
- GETTING STARTED: To get Gridline News off and running, you will need a minimum of 5 categories to populate the homepage. The main section on this page is the latest article posted in category 1, followed by category 2, 3, and 4. The three posts at right are all from category 1, offset by 1 to avoid duplication. The other sections display the latest articles in their respective categories.
- YOUR CATEGORIES: In the “home.php” you will find a series of query_posts functions which refer to specific category ID numbers from my database.
You will need to change the category numbers to reflect the ID numbers of the categories that you want to display on your homepage. Category numbers can be found in your control panel under Manage->Categories. There are a total of 6 spots in the home.php file to change to reflect the post categories that you want to display on the main page.
- YOUR PHOTOS: To have thumbnails in each post, crop the thumbnail to 150px wide by 100px tall, upload it to the web and copy the URL to the photo. Within WordPress’ Write Post page, scroll down towards the bottom and click on the Custom Fields section. Add a key called “small_photo” and then paste the link to the thumbnail photo into the key value field. Photos posted within each entry’s post will should not exceed 350px wide by 225px tall, otherwise, the images will bleed out and make you site look icky. View a screenshot of the custom fields used for the Gridline News Theme. Make sure your custom field values and keys match those in the screen shot above (but change the key value to the exact url to your images.) Custom fields are one of the most overlooked, yet powerful, tools in WordPress. Read more about using custom fields.
- YOUR AUTHORS PAGE: Gridline News comes packaged with an author archive (authors.php), which will display some author specific info pulled from the Users page in your WordPress installation. In order for the author’s image to show up, you’ll need to place a jpg of the author titled by the author’s last name in the wp-content/themes/gridline/images/authors/ folder. For instance, mine is Allender.jpg, sized at 75px X 75px. Here is an example author page.
- STYLES.CSS: Unlike most WordPress themes which plug all the css in one file called styles.css, Gridline utilizes the Blueprint CSS framework to help separate positioning, typography, forms and what I’ll refer to as custom or gridline specific styles. To edit all custom gridline specific styles, you’ll need to edit the style.css file located in your wp/wp-content/themes/gridline/ directory.
All Gridline Themes utilize the CSS framework called Blueprint. Who is credited for the ideas behind Blueprint? Some of the best designers on the web. They include Jeff Croft, designer for Blue Flavor, Khoi Vinh, design director for NYTimes.com, Nathan Borror, Christian Metts, Eric Meyer, Wilson Minor, Angus Turnbull, Olav Bjorkoy and a few others. Most major websites use some form of css framework to allow for rapid, consistent development and design. Take the Blueprint 101 course to learn about all the possibilities.
If you are new to WordPress, HTML or CSS, Gridline probably isn’t the best theme to try to learn on. Gridline is, however, perfect for those who want to learn by doing, reading and practicing life inside a sophisticated WordPress magazine theme.