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Create a Magazine Style Blog Site with Thesis 2 – Part 19 – Session 2 Q&A

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I am now going to take questions. Let’s see, who’s got questions? Good afternoon, Andrea I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Will Changing the Paragraph Tags Change the Vertical Spacing of the Image?

Andrea: Hi, Rick you answered it.

Rick: Okay.

Andrea: You answered already. My question was about when you first chose the text box that you took out the p tags, I wonder if leaving the p tags in will change the alignment or these spaces, the vertical spacing of the image.

Rick: It could, yes because this is in Thesis Classic although it’s hard to recognize that, he’s done a good job of it but Thesis Classic does have that automatic bottom margin for paragraph tags.

Andrea: Because I know that the spacing was a little bit different on the initial page. The images, when you put them in without the p tag were just a slightly harder than the text.

Rick: Oh, didn’t it use to be?

Andrea: Yes.

Rick: This could be a reason why you would use a p tag then if you need its spacing although what I would do instead of that is I would just add bottom margin to the element instead of using p tag because it’s not really a paragraph, it’s really just an image or an image link but otherwise.

Andrea: Okay, why I asked the question because as you know from many of us, the HTML part is the weak link right now.

Rick: Well, you probably want to restrict the number of HTML elements that you use to the minimum necessary so if you’ve got a div container and you’re putting an image inside of it, really it only needs the image tag inside of it without the p. Now, the reason why that p kept showing up is because the Black Studio TinyMCE widget that he was using to create it automatically adds p tags to what it perceives to be paragraphs.

Andrea: Right.

Rick: And that’s actually a default WordPress behavior, right? WordPress automatically adds p tags to anything that perceives to be a paragraph and so that’s why Chris asked that same question in the text box. Do you want to wrap this in p tags? Because it could be that you want to emulate normal WordPress behavior and if you want to emulate normal WordPress behavior, you would check the box.

Andrea: Okay, thank you.

Rick: But we don’t want any of that stuff, we just want regular straight clean HTML.

Andrea: Okay, thank you.

Rick: You’re welcome. Anything else?

Andrea: No, I think that’s good.

Rick: Okay.

Andrea: Like I said, that’s the hard part. You can throw in all the CSS and all the other stuff and you can even have me doing some code in the functions file, I wouldn’t mind but the HTML is hard.

Rick: We’re going to do a course on HTML here in the not very distant future.

Andrea: Good.

Rick: Once we get past all these base levels stuff that has to be done with Thesis 2, we’ll do an HTML course. That is a kind of class that won’t change overtime because HTML, the basics of HTML remained the same since the 90’s.

Andrea: Right. I will ask one other question.

Rick: Go ahead.

Andrea: Any word on Thesis 2.1?

Rick: Yeah, Thesis 2.1 is out in Beta now, I don’t know that it’s out to a larger community in beta but I’m working my way through understanding it.

Andrea: Has it changed a lot.

Rick: Yes, it has, it’s quite a bit different. I mean, it’s going to be a lot easier for a couple of different classes of people. It’s going to be a lot easier for beginners and it’s going to be a lot easier for developers but it’s probably a little more complicated for people in the middle at the moment.

Andrea: Okay.

Rick: So, I’m going to talk about that more at the end of this so then I’ll advertise the thing this week where we do a tour of it.

Andrea: Well, great. Okay.

Rick: Okay?

Andrea: Okay, thank you.

Rick: You betcha. Talk to you later.

Andrea: Okay, bye.

How to Layout Widgets by ID?

Rick: Bye.

Member: I have a question on widgets and the first part is this kind of a minor annoyance. I had put widgets into a footer and I had 4 columns and for some reason, when I go to the widget page, it starts off with widget 1 then it goes to widget 3 and then it goes to widget 2 and then it goes to widget 4. I went back and deleted it and tried it over again but for some reason I kept on coming up in an odd order and I just never quite understood why and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Have you come across that?

Rick: Well, you’re talking about the order in which these things are created or the reason why these are laid out the way they’re laid out essentially.

Member: Right.

Rick: And the answer is, that they are laid out like this, this isn’t really their name. They’re laid out by ID and an ID is created partially based on the second that the thing was created.

Member: Yeah, I got that.

Rick: They’re always sequentially sitting there so if you want widget 1 to be before widget 4, you have to create it first, widget 2 second, widget 3 third, widget 4 fourth.

Member: Right. And continuing on widgets, just for best practice, if you have a template and you’re going to have different widgets on the sidebar of that template, I know that there’s a plugin that will help you do it or are you better off redesigning the sidebar for that template?

Plugins for Creating Content on the Sidebars

Rick: That’s a value judgement. You know, Display Widgets works just fine or Dynamic Widgets, either of those two plugins work really well when you want a very content by sidebar. The trick is that you need to try and find what seems like a balance, I mean really, I think that in this case, he’s got way too many sidebars. Brian’s got way too many sidebars on this site because the sidebars are only doing one thing, it’s only displaying an image so you get rid of all those sidebars and replace with text boxes but say you’ve got your pages and you want to display one kind of content on your pages and then another kind of content in the sidebars on your posts. I would probably use a different sidebar on my page template than I would on my single template because it’s so easy.

Member: I try to cut down on plugins whenever possible because I suspect that it hinders the speed, the loading of the site.

Rick: Well, both of the plugins that I am referring to are excellent plugins and they’re as fast as you need to be. You have to just find your balance, right between having a plugin or not, having a whole bunch of extra custom templates or not. I would try to strive for not having a custom template for every time you want something different, I would try to find a different solution on that. I don’t have any trouble using Display Widgets or Dynamic Widgets because maintaining templates is going to be more hassle than setting up options on the plugin.

Member: Right.

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