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Community Library Website Case Study – Part 34, Troubleshooting Custom Menus

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This is the thirty fourth in a series of live lessons on using WordPress and Thesis as a Content Management System (CMS). In this lesson we continue working on our new catalog page. We check to make sure all the links work and discuss putting the menu on each of the linked pages.

Video Transcript

Rick: Okay so here we have all… we’ve got these 4 for adults and these 4 for children. These have not been edited… I mean, I don’t have any CSS for these yet so we’ll have to do that yet. But if you go to easy books, evidently, there are no easy books in our list for children. Let’s see, either that or I’ve got something wrong. No, that’s because it’s children’s ebooks, okay.

Let’s go back down to menu. You definitely have to get these things right. Children’s ebooks, okay so audience, children, location… childrens-e-books. Save the menu, check it out again, easy books. There we go, now we’ve got our 4 easy books.

Back to the custom catalog, biography…no, we don’t have it’s because it’s not biography, it’s biographies. See, we’re getting bit on this thing. Let’s see, Appearance and Menus… that stuff also has got to be right. Menu, biographies, save it. Okay, that one’s working. Bible and reference is working. Fiction isn’t or bio… it’s just a typo. You’re absolutely right. Fiction’s working, nonfiction is working. Let’s see, is junior fiction working? Junior fiction is working and nonfiction is working for children. Is that right? …. is a children’s book? Are you serious? Wow. Not when I was a child.

Okay and then let’s see, oh it’s a junior biography. I see. Oh, that’s not true… a certain person not found, try again. Audience, children, and location biographies… oh no, I’ve got an extra http in that. That’s what the deal is. Children biographies… yup, backspace. Save that menu, go back to it, custom catalog, children’s biography. Although nothing is showing there, biographies.

Okay well, let’s see. Let’s put Pam back on and see what she has to say about where we are. Okay Pam, what’s up?

Oh, I was just saying that I feel a little lost in space I guess, because I was kind of envisioning that when you select something from this menu, you’d see some things, some teasers appear below the menu and you’ll feel like you haven’t left that page so you could click on a different category to get a different selection. Is that where you’re heading with this?

Rick: Well, no. It’s got a you know, it’s going to have to go to a different page. We could certainly add this catalog… I mean, add this menu to the archive page so that every archive page has that menu in it.

Pam: Okay.

Rick: But we aren’t going to be able to use the native WordPress function, right? We didn’t have to do any programming to make this happen. All we had to do is give it the right question. We aren’t going to be able to use that if we want… what we really want to do is have it show up on the same page because what we’ve had to do is when this page is rendered, it would actually have to produce all of those as teasers and then hide them all. And then this would be a javascript thing which would let him show up. But obviously, that’s going to make the catalog very hard to load because it’ll have to load so much data.

Pam: Right, we don’t want to do that.

Rick: And it’s all custom programming at that point whereas with adult nonfiction where there are, at this point, there are at least 3 pages of entries. You know, you can use this pagination system to go back and look further back. Whereas you wouldn’t have that ability with the custom stuff we’re doing because well… I mean, we could try and make it, figure it out but it’s not nearly as easy as you’d like it to be.

Pam: That all makes really good sense and I like the way this is working although I’m sorry I messed up the taxonomy labels and made that confusion. But my next question is okay, we clicked on one of these menu items and we see that archive page then what does the user do if they want to make a different selection? Should we plan to include those menus eventually on this archive page or…

Rick: Yeah, that’s what I would do.

Pam: Okay.

Rick: That’s exactly what I would do is I would take that menu and I would put it directly below this you know, and maybe even directly above that, above the label. And then it would happen on every archive page.

Pam: I’m just being impatient so I’ll put down the…

Rick: Well actually, that wasn’t my plan so it’ll be something that we do this evening. We’ll do that this evening and we’ll add the styling this evening as well as anything else we can accomplish you know, in the time we have available. But the good news is you have a very simple way of you know, of getting this information displayed which is the… I mean, really the trick, right… is to have a simple system that requires very little special programming to make it behave the way you want it to behave.

Pam: Yes, that’s good.

Rick: Right.

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