What should I know before using Wordpress 3.0?

Hi, I’ve dabbled around with Wordpress before the latest version. I know how to find themes, create pages, edit comments and I’ve played with a few plug-ins.

My friend wants me to update his website and he’s a musician. I’ve chosen to use a blog as the best platform and I like what I’ve seen from other musician blogs that were made with Wordpress.

So here are a few questions:

  1. How can I create a page that shows the page links while it displays the latest blog posts?

  2. What programming languages along with HTML/CSS will I typically deal with if I decide to download the wordpress installation and create a template from scratch?

  3. Should I modify a template from Wordpress’ library to make things easier instead of creating my own?

  4. What are the designing limitations of Wordpress compared to Squarespace (expensive!) and Ning? The original website is very artistic…uses photos, css, Flash.

  1. Yes

  2. There are lots and lots of examples in the WordPress Codex (the documentation on their website), so you should be able to do what you need without a lot of experience

  3. The WordPress software from wordpress.org is completely free. They do not sell anything. I think you went to wordpress.com which is a blog hosting service.

Thanks Dan,

  1. For what you described in answers #3 and #4, should I download and install Wordpress for that?

  2. What is the learning curve? Will I dabble mostly with basic PHP? I’m a novice.

  3. How can I make a fully functional blog without resorting to purchasing their upgrades from Wordpress.org? (or if I have to, which upgrade would be the most functional/economical?)

I looked at Ning and SquareSpace today. It might be the easier route but we don’t have the $ for those accounts.

  1. Any page can show page links and blog posts. Use wp_list_pages() to display a list of page links, or get_pages() to get an array to use in other code, in the appropriate template file.

  2. WordPress and its themes are written in PHP.

  3. You probably want to look at some of the existing themes to get an idea of what a theme looks like in terms of files and their contents. The default theme that comes with WP 3.0 is a good one to look at, better than the default theme of previous versions.

  4. There are no design limitations. You can turn literally any design into a WordPress blog. Take the design, code it in HTML/CSS, save the HTML as index.php, save the CSS as style.css, and replace the content text with the WordPress code snippets that display the content.