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How Complex Is It To ‘Re-skin’ WordPress Pages

Someone asked me this recently, and further explained themselves:

I have a WordPress template that I’m using and I want to completely re-design a couple of pages (visual changes only). I can create the front-end layouts, but I’m interested in learning about how complex/lengthy the process can be to implement said front-end layout, or if it’s a fairly minimal task.

Here’s what I said back: It depends on how familiar with frameworks where the front-end is generated on the server-side (HAML with Ruby, say, as another example.) WordPress uses PHP based server-side rendering –

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Adding Custom Styles via the WordPress Visual Editor

Specifically, this is about adding the ability to select pieces of text inside your tinyMCE editor, and having a dropdown of styles to choose from that you can apply to that text.

You need to do two things –

  1. Edit your theme’s style, which you can do from the WordPress dashboard, via Appearance → Edit CSS. Add a style element that looks something like .classname {font-size: 1em}.
  2. This is the tricky part – you have to edit code now. You need to tell the editor to load a drop down called Styles, which will have the styles you want to be able to apply. Look at how it’s done here – the code is explained fairly well.

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