Post Content Sandbox

This is the H1 Heading
Above this paragraph should be the H1 heading for your web page. If it is not visible, the design settings for the H1 tag is set to display:none which many WordPress Themes use to hide the blog title text and replace it with a graphic. Do not use H1 within your blog post area.

If the design in the H1 heading looks like your blog title or blog post title, then that is the style set for that HTML tag and you should not use it within your blog post area.

Inside of this test data section are most of the basic HTML and XHTML and CSS styles that you might use within your WordPress Theme.You need to know what that will look like as part of structuring your styles.

This is the H2 Heading

While WordPress assigns the H1 and H2 headings to specific places, such as the header and post title, not always are they in the same places. For your Theme, the H2 might be the post title, or it might be used in the sidebar for the section titles, and the H3 is used for the post title. You need to know what each looks like and identify it on your Theme and layout.

Look at how the heading is styled, but also look at the space around it. It might have a huge amount of margin or padding above or below, background colors, and other effects. If you want them for that heading, fine, but if not, change them.

This is the H3 Heading
Is this the same heading as is in your post title or is this the section headings found within your sidebar? Or is it different? This is the post content heading for the HTML tag h3, as is the one below, H4, for section headings within your post to divide up topics. If there is an H3 or H4 tag in your sidebar, you will need to identify the parent HTML and CSS container for the sidebar and style those appropriate in your blog’s stylesheet.

For more information in searching for your styles in your WordPress blog, see CSS: Studying Your CSS Styles and Finding Your CSS Styles in WordPress.

Also notice how the links in that paragraph are styled so you can style links within your post content area. Links have three styles. There is the link color, link hover color, and visited link color. Be sure and design for each style.

This is the H4 Heading
In this section under the H4 heading, we’re going to look at what the post content, the meat and potatoes of your site looks like. In general, you will have multiple paragraphs, so we will add another paragraph so you can adjust the spacing in between them to the look you want.

Paragraphs are not just for typing your blog babble, they can also hold frame and hold other information within your content area to help make the point you want to make in your writing. For instance, you will commonly have three types of lists.

General Lists using the

    tag
    Ordered Lists using the

      tag
      Definition Lists using the

      tag
      Definition Lists use two other tags to generate the list:

      sets up the word or phrase to be “defined”, usually set in bold, and

      sets up the definition, which is usually in a normal or slightly smaller font and indented under the definition.
      And that’s the end of the lists
      And we’ve just tested a paragraph before and after a general list along with a nested list to help you see what at least three levels of the list will look like. Make sure that each level of the list is styled to match your specific needs. You might want to use the default disc or circle, or you might want to add graphic bullets to your list, too.

      This is the H5 Heading
      While the H5 heading is not always used, maybe you might find a need for it if your H1 and H2 and H3 headings are used. You might need one to two levels of subheadings in your post content, so this one gives you another option.

      We also need to look at the other two lists and then add some images and other styles to flesh out your WordPress Theme sandbox.

      You need to do this first.
      You need to do this second.
      You could do this in between.
      Or give this a try, too.
      But this is the third and last thing to do.
      This should give you an idea of how a nested number list would look on your site. Now, let’s look at a definition list.

      WordPress Themes
      A WordPress Theme is not a “skin”. Though many young people call it one. The reality is that a WordPress Theme contains many files that come together in various ways to generate a WordPress web page. A “skin” simply changes the look, and rarely the results.
      WordPress Plugins
      WordPress Plugins add flexibility, features, and capabilities to your WordPress site. There are hundreds to choose from. Some add power and control like monitoring and busting comment spam and enhancing your administration features. Others add fun things like random elements and polling and rating systems.
      And here is another paragraph to show the relationship between the various parts and pieces.

      This is the H3 Heading
      If the H3 heading is your in-post section heading, then you need to see how it works within the post itself. If it isn’t, simply change the H3 to whatever heading number you are using.

      We need to look at how images, another major feature of most WordPress sites, are used within the site. Images tend to sit on the left, right, or middle of your post, depending upon how you are using them. For an image sitting on the left or right, you need to add appropriate padding around the image on the text side to push the text away from the image so the text won’t push up against the edges of the image.

      A centered image is a little different. It is centered in the middle and the text is pushed above and below it. NOTE: Currently, the Theme used here doesn’t feature “right” or “left” or “centered” styles. It uses the CSS deprecated “align”. Please change the code here from align to class so your site will validate and you will have much more control over image placement.

      How to add the CSS styles for images is discussed in the Codex article, Using Images.

      Testing Font Looks – H3 Heading
      You will need to test the looks of the different font styles, too. This is bold and THIS IS BOLD. This is italic and THIS IS ITALIC. This is bold and italic and THIS IS BOLD AND ITALIC. This is code and THIS IS CODE. And now let’s look at what the PRE tag, also known as the preformatted tag, looks like:

      This is the pre tag.
      It should be formatted as written
      so if you add spaces to the front of the line
      it will show the spaces and the as written
      This should be back to the normal paragraph style and we hope you have been paying attention to the margins and padding around each element, including the paragraph, so you can position things appropriately to the rest of the content.

      Your CSS Here – H3 Heading
      Let’s look at the blockquote, one of the most common tags used in most blogs. It is designed to “frame” a quote from another blog, website, or reference that you are “quoting” from. For the most part, there are three examples of usage:

      This is a simple quote. It is either preceded or followed by a link within the text to the credited source. A blockquote must be designed to stand out from the rest of the text content, but it does not have to “really” stand out, just separate itself from the content so we know it’s not your words.

      A second style to the blockquote is one that includes a citation. Under HTML guidelines, this citation should be wrapped in the tag and then that tag can be styled to be in italics, bold, or whatever look you want in your design.

      Take care with the style of the tag as some WordPress Themes use it in the comments area. I recommend you style it specifically withblockquote cite {style declarations} in your stylesheet.

      This is an example of a blockquote which also contains a link to Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a SandBox to help you see what links will look link within a blockquote.
      Lorelle on WordPress, your guide to all things WordPress and blogging

      The citation includes a link and text to help you see what a link and text will look like within the cite tag.

      There are many tags that can be found within a blockquote, just as can be found within any container within your web page design, but a last example includes an unordered list. Many bloggers love to quote examples from lists, so this is a good tag series to test.

      Within this web design sandbox test page, we’ve tested:

      Headings
      Text styles like bold and italic
      Ordered (numbered) and unordered (bullets) lists
      Links
      Code and PRE tags
      Blockquotes
      And much more…
      Which should show you what a list looks like within a blockquote.

      Each website is unique with it’s own look and feel for the various parts and pieces. This cut and paste section looks only at what you might have within your content section. So if you will have boxes for lists or little aside information, you will need to add them so you can see how they will look in the overall page layout.

      Some elements in a WordPress Theme are controlled by the style sheet, while others are controlled by the Template files. Try to work on as much as you can from the style sheet first, then you can mess with the template files.

      Remember, any changes you make to the style sheet and template files will be not available if you change themes. If you want them carried over, you will need to copy and paste them into the new Theme folder.

      As a last element in the content area and throughout your site, check the hypertext links. These are the links to external websites and/or internal pages within your site. They come in three flavors: active, visited, and hover. Make sure you work on the styles for each of these.

      Your Turn to Play in the Sandbox
      Now, it’s your turn to play in the WordPress Theme Sandbox.

      If you use tables or want boxes for a form of in-post sidebars or pullquotes, or to use other HTML tags within your blog posts, add those to the Sandbox so you can test drive those design elements.

      If you need help with this, leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer your question. Remember, there is a ton of information on styling and designing your WordPress Theme and layout, and here are some links to help:

      WordPress Lessons and Tutorials
      WordPress Blog Design and Layout
      WordPress 1.5 Site Architecture, HTML, and CSS structure
      WordPress Template Files
      Choosing a WordPress Theme
      Help Me Find a WordPress Theme
      Looking for Lists of WordPress Themes?
      How Do You Choose a WordPress Theme?
      My WordPress Theme is Broken
      The Secret of Successful Editing of WordPress Themes
      Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
      Navigating Your WordPress Site
      WordPress Design Details
      WordPress Template Files and Style Sheets – Give Them a Name
      Using Javascript in WordPress
      WordPress.com Blog Bling
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Decorating Your WordPress.com Blog with photographs, graphics, and more
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Lines and Smilies
      Social Bookmarking Submit Links on WordPress Blogs
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Fun Font Bling
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Blockquotes and Quotes
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Blogroll and Sidebar Bling
      WordPress.com Blog Bling: Signatures and Writing Code
      Adding Video and Podcasting Bling to Your WordPress.com Blogs
      NOTE: I’ve closed comments and trackbacks to this post as I get dozens of trackbacks every week from people using this web design post sandbox on their test sites. Some of those test sites are just that, tests, and never become real blogs. This saves everyone a lot of time and trouble with comment and trackback links. Thanks for your support and I’m so glad this is being appreciated.

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