When you login to your local WordPress test system, then this screen will appear, this is the WordPress Dashboard. The dashboard is used to create Posts, Pages, and lots of other important WordPress functions to your theme.
The Dashboard screen consists of a vertical menu on the left side of the screen with selected information boxes shown on the right side of the screen.
In our example, the default theme loaded when you install WordPress is Twentyeleven at this time.
A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files (*.php). For more information, here is a link.
To show the screen options, click on the dropdown arrow, and the following screen options will be displayed. Click on the up arrow to make them disappear again.
This is an example of the dropdown menu shown when you click on one of the dropdown arrows, in this case for Settings.
Click on General under Settings and update the follwoing fields: Site Title, Tagline, email address, Timezone and Week starts on day. Click on Save Changes and continue.
Click on Media under Settings and note that media uploaded for your web site is stored in the “wp-content/uploads” folder by default. If you want to store your images and other media in the theme related folders, then change this to “wp-content/themes/themename/images” and your media files will be stored in an images folder (you may need to set one up, if not already defined). Also, be aware that the word “themename” needs to be replaced with name of theme you are using. Again, if you make changes, click on Save Changes before continuing.
This setting alters two major items for your theme: 1) the Front page display, and 2) the number of posts shown on the Posts page.
At this time, this page can remain unchanged but, if you add a Home page and a Blog page, you will need to make an update to this setting, as this setting tells WordPress how you want the front page and posts page (Blog) displayed.
Now, check yout new installation. In the dashboard menu, click on Posts and Pages, and then click on View on any item listed to look at what WordPress generates for posts and pages. What you see is generated from code (HTML, CSS, PHP) contained in the theme Twentyeleven.
In the next chapter – Pintsize and Beyond, I will download and install a minimal theme called Pintsize with some CSS styling applied to it. It is a real small functional theme codewise compared to WordPress default Twentyeleven (14KB vs 851KB). Stay tuned for more analysis of WordPress and its elements…