bookmark_borderWordPress experiences – Part I

This is continuous work, so check back once in a while.

Why I am into WordPress is a complicated story. Short version: I thought I could, and I did/do, create my own plugin. I setup my own Webserver with 2 wordpress instances and since then I made experiences, mostly frustrating ones. Why? Cause “component” based solutions, mostly, specially if you don’t want to search hours, only do the very minimal stuff the components are supposed to do, you however mostly want something slightly else.

Paginated posts by category

I wanted to be able to display on a page only posts for a certain category. First I asked on stackoverflow. Then I found, sort of, a workaround myself. It’s always workarounds. And in worst case you need to customise it too.

Tell Joe Average to apply proper CSS styles or update the theme accordingly to look it exactly the way you want.

After all the block I found can display a list of posts for a certain query, eg. to only show certain categories. So far so good. This “block” also let’s you do quite some customizing. How many to show, in columns/rows/gallery, which elements (date/title/preview/image) and even a “pagination block”. The pagination blocks let’s you paginate if there are more than the predefined amount of posts to display.

Pagination example

Interestingly I could not find the “Query pagination” block always. This gave me gray hair. First I thought it was related to my wordpress being setup in German, but it wasn’t. I think the whole “Query Loop” block needs be selected when trying to add the “Query pagination” block.

Posts by category in side bar

So I already run into the next problem trying to make my website nice. I would like to display, maybe a paginated list, of just blog titles in a sidebar. There are “side panels” (or side bars) possible in WordPress. But with predefined functionality, and, which is more depressing, they ALWAYS show. I can’t, as of my current knowledge, display different side panels on different pages.

Okay. after a while of doing research I figured: there are plugins which should let you do exactly that!

Installed 3 of them. One didn’t even show the settings pages. As a matter of fact my whole widgets page went white

Another one would let me place a per page/post widget, which is what I want. But it didn’t allow me to “customise” the widget’s. I could only use the default ones.

And the third one I couldn’t get to work. That one was supposed to do exactly what I want: display a side bar with only posts per category.

Still working on getting it to work though. Didn’t get it to work!

But with pur luck I found 2 other plugins which combined do exactly what I want!

The Category Posts Widget plugin let’s me create a widget (for the side bar)where I can chose to show only posts per category.

see the posts per category

The Content Aware Sidebars plugin let’s me create a “content” aware side par (or panel).

the PHP side bar will only display on the PHP page and posts with PHP category

I can create new “sidebars” which follow conditions. I will thus create a sidebar for each page where I want to display a list with posts for the category of that page.

Those sidebars then can be set to “replace” a standard (e.g. footer) sidebar. I can then under widgets add the Category Posts Widget to this newly created sidebar. Done!

Damn… For such a simple thing like 4 hours of research. I’m tired now.