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How to Use the Thesis 2 Query Box to Display Posts on the Front Page

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In this session we demonstrate how to use the Thesis 2 query box to display posts on the front page and we talk about using a static page if we don’t want to show the blog posts as regular blog posts. We also show how to change the column layout to make the sidebar and content side by side.

Video Transcript

Rick:  And creating widgets on the front page to clearly delineate your categories. For example, I want to create 3 or 4 boxes which are from my categories and those boxes, I want to have the most recent posts for that specific post with small thumbnails.

Member:  So is that the… the website that you talked about that you’re creating that skin, is that… should I wait for that? Is that going to be a better thing to do that with? A better skin to do that with?

Rick:  No, it’s not. This is… I mean, what you want to do here is already built in to Thesis and it’s called a query box. And so you can… I don’t know. Where am I? I don’t want to be on home. I’m going to be on front page. Oh, it doesn’t really matter what page you’re on. But if I’m on my front page, I’ll come over here to my… oh yeah, let’s just go back to home, sorry.

Member:  If you do this, does that mean you have to switch back to a static page?

Rick:  No.

Member:  No?

Rick:  No.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  This isn’t… I mean, you can switch back to a static page and do that but you don’t have. The fact that it’s static is not important. The question is what you’re doing. And what you’re doing is you’re adding a query box right there and let’s just say category post. It’s a stupid name but… and my site doesn’t have very many posts so this is not going to be as… great. I [don’t know how I did that but try that again because I don’t think we saved it.

So let’s say category 1 and you could put the right category name in, category 1 post. And then I’m going to just shift drag that… oh, I’m going to shift drag it back up here because I don’t want to do it on the front page.

Member:  What’s the difference between a front page and a home?

Rick:  The front page always refers to your static front page and the home template always refers to your blog posts page.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  So inside my content area, I could… I’m just going to put this above the main sidebar at the moment but I could put it anywhere I want. But we take that comment box, category 1 post and I want to drag it and drop it above the sidebar. And then I don’t want the author so I’ll drag it into the tray. Let’s see…

Member:  So I’ll get rid of the post excerpts, right?

Rick:  Yeah. So we’ll just say that all you want is the headline for the moment.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  Now, you’re going to select the post type or pick post, select the query type. We’re going to do categories. Select the category you want to pick from and I’ll do Working with An Architect. Number of post to show will say 5.

Member:  Oh my gosh, this is so easy.

Rick:  Yes, this is easy. And I don’t have 5 of those but if I just do that and hit save and then look at my home template which in this case is my articles page… okay so I have… actually, I guess I have 4 posts with that. And so right now, their labels are all here. Now obviously, we would change the style so it would look different. But…

Member:  But could I do that in the main content columns to get rid of the excerpts and just have like two boxes, almost like widget boxes?

Rick:  Well yeah, then if you did that then you would want to use a static front page instead. If you’re not going to show your blog posts as regular blog posts, that is, if you’re not going to just show… if your blog… if your page is not going to be just a list of your blog… most recent blog posts in order then you’r probably better off using a static page and adding these boxes because you can add as many of these boxes as you want.

Member:  But how do you get them to be side by side without doing widgets? Do you have to create columns inside the main content?

Rick:  Yeah, that’s what you would do. And so if you want two columns, you would you know, inside your main content columns, you would add a… well, in fact, what I would do here is change this typical 2 content to a 3 column layout. You’d have one columns for a sidebar and two columns for this content things and just put all three of them side by side. That’s how I would do it.

Member:  But what happens if you wanted to keep your sidebar?

Rick:  Well, that’s what I’m saying. If you did it as 3 columns, one column would be the sidebar and two columns would be content.

Member:  Okay, I got it. And then okay, that makes it easy.

Rick:  And then you do it 2/3… you do it 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3.

Member:  Right, right. But what happens if you wanted to do 1/3 and then ½ and ½ or the other 2/3 columns?

Rick:  Well, remember that these things have to all add up to 1.

Member:  Right.

Rick:  So if you’ve got a 2/3 column and you want to split that in half, that is 1/3.

Member:  Right.

Rick:  So if you’ve got 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3, you got…

Member:  You’re right. What am I talking about? Okay, I’m talking to an architect.

Rick:  Well… so the… I mean, these are essentially your choices. I mean, you could do 4 columns, 4 equally spaced columns.

Member:  No, you’re right. I wanted to do 3. I wasn’t thinking of the math. That was silly.

Rick:  Okay.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  And if that’’s what you want, if you want block of posts or lists of posts with you know, here’s all my category… here are all my posts about this and here are my posts about that… and you want to do… that’s essentially a magazine style site…

Member:  Yes.

Rick:  The query box is the tool and the static front page will be the right place to do it.

Member:  But will that allow you to have… like a box for the title? Does it create page allow that?

Rick:  Absolutely. I mean, you can… the query… you can have anything that you put in the post box can be there.

Member:  No, I mean like the… you know how you have that little box around comments? It’s like real pretty. It’s one of my questions on how to style the names on the sidebar. The same thing like you know, if you want a little box for a heading…

Rick:  Well, what you would do in that case is you’d create a text box and then stick it right above it and put your heading in that.

Member:  Okay, that’s good. I’ll write that down. And would you be able to do the first one with the thumbnail and a little blurb and then little things underneath it or…

Rick:  Yeah, I mean… now the trick is that if you want a different sized thumbnail than the 200 by 200, you’re going to need to use a plugin that would let you to create new image sizes. And then of course, you would pick that image size out of the featured images. So I think WordPress.org has… let’s see, what do we want to call this? It’s custom image size.

Now, so Additional Image Sizes… so this lets you create additional image sizes. So if you use a plugin like this, you could create a 100 by 100 pixel thumbnail image. It couldn’t be called thumbnail. It would be called something else, tiny thumbnail or something. And then my featured image box would allow you to choose that to place it in there.

Member:  The featured… yeah.

Rick:  When you create a new image size, you will be able to choose that image size from my featured image box.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  And that way, you could have a different sized thumbnail for these things than the 200 by 200 which is what you currently have.

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