[wp-hackers] Page Templates vs Category Templates

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Thu Dec 2 06:16:15 UTC 2010

On Dec 1, 2010, at 10:58 PM, Chip Bennett wrote:
> Unless I'm just completely misunderstanding what you're saying, why would
> you need to do all of that?

We are deeply immersed in using WordPress so the way it works is "obvious", at least to us.  We've been use to it for so long we don't expect anything different, and we know how it is implemented so its again "obvious" for it to work certain ways.

But I've been working for several months with a client who is having me build software on top of WordPress for their clients and one of the things they constantly say to me "But the way WordPress does it just doesn't make intuitive sense (so we need you to change it to work differently.)"  If you saw the admin console of the site I've been working on, you wouldn't  recognize it save for the most fundamental aspects.

So, hopefully without getting anyone's defensives up and without me making any value judgements at all on the current state of WordPress there is an argument to be made that some aspects of WordPress are not intuitive to people who are unfamiliar with using WordPress.

> If you know that you will want your category "Foobar"  to display full-width
> with no sidebars, you merely need to add a "category-foobar.php" template
> file, in which you remove the sidebars (and add appropriate CSS definitions
> via the body.category-foobar class), and your "Foobar" category posts will
> now display as desired.

Yes that works fine for the user with skills to create templates and is what I would do.  But it's a bit much for a non-technical user.

Now I'll admit up front I might has misunderstood what Haluk was after because reading his email I immediately thought "Yes, I can see that" but it might have been me overlying my ideas instead of recognizing his concerns.  

But ignoring if I misunderstood Haluk I could see an argument where every web page in WordPress outside the admin could be managed using the "Pages" module instead of having their URLs hardwired into WordPress, with the exception of 
things that are more specifics such as Posts or a Custom post types like "Product" of course.

Imagine that instead of just having the URL root slugs /category/ and /tag/ and /2010/ baked into WordPress instead they were predefined "Pages" where the user could control the URL slug and add content such as intro text above the list of posts. I think that would more intuitive for the user who is not intimate with WordPress than what we currently have.

Am I pushing for this?  No, it's not my hot button.  But I think it might be a nice addition and I wanted to recognize Haluk's suggestion with positive reinforcement. It's really not that far away from what we already have, just a bit of changed UI, that's all.


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