Part I: The WordPress Essentials in Java

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Part I: The WordPress Essentials
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Figure 3-6. A sticky post order, and so on. When you remove the sticky setting from the Edit post screen, the post will automatically sort itself into place with the others. There is a sticky_class() template tag to output the sticky post class, but with the addition of post_class() it really isn t very useful.
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<div id="post-< php the_ID(); >" < php post_class(); >>
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The lovely post_class() template tag will add a number of classes to the post, depending on the details of the post. This is very useful for a designer, so this book covers post_class() in more depth in 6. If the post is marked as sticky, post_class() will add a CSS .sticky class. That way you can alter it in any way you want. Maybe you want it to have a light grey background, larger type, or something else Just add the necessary styles to your stylesheet, applying them to the sticky class:
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3: The Loop
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.sticky { padding: 15px; background: #eee; border: 1px solid #bbb; color: #444; font-size: 18px; }
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That CSS code would put the sticky post in a light grey box with a slightly darker frame, and 18pixel-sized default font size. Here it is in action, within a basic loop:
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< php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); > <div id="post-< php the_ID(); >" < php post_class(); >> <h2><a href="< php the_permalink(); >" title="< php the_title(); >">< php the_title(); ></a></h2> < php the_content(); > </div> < php endwhile; else: > <p>Some error message or similar.</p> < php endif; >
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Want to do more with sticky posts The conditional tag is_sticky() will help you do some funky stuff. Maybe you really want to rub in the importance of this post above all others Then why not say so:
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< php if (is_sticky()) echo 'Super important post! Read it! Now!'; >
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41 A bit over the top, of course, but there may indeed be times when it is a good idea to output or change things if there is a sticky post involved. It all depends on how you use them, but the basic concept that they are important things that you really want your readers to see should be observed. Say you sell e-books on your blog; you could use sticky posts to promote your latest one:
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< php if (is_sticky()) echo 'The latest e-book release by yours truly'; >
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Because of sticky posts being fairly new, both theme designers and users tend to forget about the possibilities that they offer. Be sure to have that in mind when it is time to emphasize the content.
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Putting query_posts() to Good Use
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Every WordPress loop hacker and ambitious theme designer should know about the nifty query_posts()tool. In essence, query_posts() represents a way to take the loop WordPress wants to output (the latest posts being the most common usage) and do something else with it. Perhaps you want to limit the amount of posts, exclude a set number of categories, or change the order of things. A few words of caution: the idea is to apply the query_posts() template tag on the main loop, not to use it to build multiple loops. That is possible, but things can get weird if you do, so it s best not to use it that way. See the Multiple Loops section later in this chapter to see how to create as many loops as you like.
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Part I: The WordPress Essentials
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To use query_posts() you apply it before your main loop, like this:
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< php query_posts(); > < php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); > <! Doing stuff here, styling the posts and so on. > < php endwhile; else: > <p>Some error message or similar.</p> < php endif; >
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Naturally you can tighten that code a bit; there is no need for separate PHP tags for query_posts() and the have_posts() part. So what does this do to the loop Nothing really, since you haven t passed any parameters to query_posts() yet. There are no default values; this would just return the standard loop according to your WordPress settings. What query_posts() does is alert the SQL query from the loop to fit your needs. Now that you re acquainted with query_posts(), you can execute a few examples to get used to it. First of all, you need to know that there are tons of things you can do with this template tag: it really has a lot of settings, and combining it with conditional tags is the route to hundreds of possible combinations. 42 But first, start by removing all posts from a category from the listings; probably that asides category where you push out your short, nonsensical posts. The first thing you need to do is figure out what ID it has, which is easily done by logging in to the WordPress admin interface and find your way to the Edit category page. There you ll find the ID hidden at the end of the URL of the edit page:
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