We’re going to start creating the Pages for our business/professional Genesis theme site. What we’re going to do is to start without a page outline just to understand the hierarchy.
We’ve got our Home page and we’re going to have a Finished Products page, inside that Finished Products page, there are going to be some subpages. Then we have our Testimonials page and our Services page. Inside of that will be some subpages, our About and our Articles page.
Create an Outline of Pages
If you are wondering how to figure this out yourself, it makes sense for you just to write out an outline in the same way you might outline an article or a paper that you’re writing. You can outline the content of your Genesis theme site, break the main things up and organize it in a hierarchy like this. That can be a very useful way for you to plan your site which is the way I always plan every site I work on.
We’re going to start off by creating the main pages. There’s a funny thing going on here that’s just going to seem normal if you’re brand new to WordPress and you’re new to the Genesis theme.
The Agency Child Theme doesn’t follow the WordPress way of doing things when it comes to things like the Home page and the Blog page because we are not going to create a Home page. That page is going to be automatically generated by Agency so we won’t be creating a page called Home in this process, we will be creating a page called Articles.
Genesis Theme and Agency Theme Home and Blog Page
This Articles will become the posts page. The reason why this is unusual is that the Genesis Theme and Agency theme do a funny thing with Reading Settings. WordPress in this context would say the Articles page is going to be our Posts page and the Home page is going to be a static page so we’ll create a static page called Home.
We’ll create another static page called Articles and under WordPress Reading Settings, we’ll make the static home page the front page and we’ll make the Articles page the Posts page. However, that’s not the way it works in the Genesis theme.
Genesis skips that process entirely and instead it creates the Home page automatically and ignores the Reading Settings. Then what you do in order to get posts to show up on a Posts page instead of using the Reading Settings is change the template of that page to make it the blog template.
We’re going to talk about that more later but we’re just going to look at it here in the site. Under Settings and Reading, a veteran would know that if your Home page is not going to be a blog, then it’s a static page and you would select the static page and from your pages list, you would select the page to be your front page.
You would’ve had to create a Posts page as well in the pages section and you would select that page as your Posts page and then this whole thing would be set up. However, that’s not the way the Genesis works theme. Genesis ignore this entirely so the Home page is automatically generated for you once you start filling out the widget areas and the Posts page is created by using a template.
Adding Content to Pages
Now we’re going to create the pages and as we work our way through this system, we’ll gradually add content to the pages. This is the sort of a progressive refinement method of building a website, that is you figure out what you’re going to do and you just start doing it.
As you work your way through the process, you continue to refine it so you don’t wait till you have all your content in order to create your pages. You go ahead and create your pages right off the bat as soon as you know what your architecture is going to be.
Create the Main Pages
As you work your way through the system, you gradually add a content to those pages. So, without further ado, we’re going to add a new page. Remember that we’re not going to create a Home page, we’ll create a Services, Finished Projects, Testimonials, About and Articles.
We’ll call this one Services and we’ll hit publish. We’ll add a new page, click on that button up there and say, Finished Projects and publish. We’ll add a new page, it’s About and publish. Testimonials and Articles, Add New, Testimonials, publish and Articles.
We’ve just created our main pages now. If we come over and take a look at the pages, there they are. I guess I’ll give you the sneak peak in order to make this a blog posts page or a page that displays blogs posts.
You come over here and select the blog page as the the blog template then it will show those posts but we’re not going to do that yet. We hit Save on that, take a look at our pages and we’ve got all of our pages laid out here.
How to Layout Pages in Rational Order
Note how these pages are laid out in alphabetical order and they’re all on the same level. It’s time for us now to add some hierarchy so we’re going to add the subpages now. We’ll say, Add New and let’s see, Custom Home Design, Builder Spec Home Design and Remodel Design.
The way we make this a subpage is by coming over here to page attributes and selecting the parent page and we are going to select the Services as the parent page. Hit publish and you can see how this is developing, we’ve got the site title Services Custom Home Design.
Actually, it would probably be more interesting to call this Architecture Services. I’m going to go back to that page and change that. We come to our Services page and edit it but I don’t have to change it up here if I don’t want to. I could just change it in the slug, Architecture Services and hit publish. Notice how the slug didn’t change?
If you want the slug to change, you have to do it this way; Architecture Services and hit Update. When we go back to our All Pages here, notice how this Custom Home Design has this line under it and it’s now below Architecture Services even though it’s not in the original alphabetical order?
In fact, notice how Architecture Services jumped up here in alphabetical order because in the absence of anything else, these things are going to sort out in alphabetical order but because this is the child page, it’s showing up under this and it’s ignoring that order.
Let’s add another child page, Builder Spec Home and Remodel Design, select the Architecture Services and hit Publish. We’ll add one more, Remodel Design, come over to the parent, select Architecture Services and hit Publish. Come back over and look at our list of pages, you see these child pages are all located under Architecture Services page.
We’re going to create a Finished Projects child pages as well and we simply repeat that. Add New, West Seattle View Home, come down to our Finished Projects as our parent and hit Publish. Then add another page and we’ll call it Bellevue Craftsman Home.
Now, you could do it differently. You could call Bellevue Craftsman Home here but say East Side up here. We’re going to talk about the SEO part later but this is one of the ways in which the SEO can be tweaked where your URL can be different than your title, so go ahead and hit Publish.
We’re going to create our final sub page. I think I failed to give it a parent page but that’s going to be Edmonds View Remodel, hit Publish, go back over to our pages and come over to our East Side Craftsman Home.
We can actually use the Quick Edit if we wish and select our parent, Finished Projects and hit Update. Refresh our page, everything looks right. Now you’ve got your list of pages already created.
Use Page Order to Organize Your Admin View
One thing to know is that these pages arranged in themselves alphabetically. However, you may not want to arrange your pages alphabetically, you may want to arrange your pages in more rational order and WordPress has this thing for pages called Order. Sometimes it is called Menu Order and sometimes it is called Page Order but you saw in the dialog, it was called Order.
What I would recommend that you do is to lay it out well. In a complex site, you’d lay this order out based on what you want to get at. The pages you get at the most will be on the top and the pages you want to get out the least will be on the bottom. In this case, we’re going to follow the Menu Order so we’ve got About Us as our first menu item, then Projects, then Testimonials, Services and Articles.
That’s what we’re going to do here then. What we’ll do is do a Quick Edit and we’re going to give our About a page order of 1, then Update. The second one was Projects so we’ll do a Quick Edit and give that a page order of 2.
Actually, it makes the most sense to say 02 because if you’ve got 11 pages, it’ll go 1 and then 11 and then 2. If you say 01 and 02 then it follows the numeric value, it doesn’t really matter with 1, it’s always first. We come down to Testimonials, Quick Edit, give that 03, Update and Services and Articles will be 04 and 05.
When we refresh this page, you’re going to see it takes on a whole different structure now. Our sample page didn’t get a page order so it kept the page order of 0 and went up to the top. We’re just going to move that one to trash.
Now it’s laid out on page order, About, Finished Projects, Testimonials, Architecture Services and Articles. The view of this is laid out in page order rather than alphabetically. That’s the main reason for using page order, it’s to organize your own view of this.
That’s no big deal when you only have 11 pages like this but when you have a bunch of pages, it can be a bigger deal. In fact, I have a system that I suggest for organizing your pages and I use level 0 for what I call a “Sandbox” page.
What is a Sandbox Page?
The “Sandbox” page is essentially a page that you play in. You’re going to put some code in there to see what it looks like or you’re going to use the Visual Editor in the “Sandbox” page to create some code that you’re going to use in a text widget. So I put the “Sandbox” page as level 0.
Remember I say that you only want 4-8 main pages at most but my main pages I use 1 through 19, I simply order them in menu order just like you saw us do. The other kinds of pages that you may create in other kinds of websites might have some hidden pages.
If you’re offering a free download, that might sit on a hidden page or if you had a thank you page for when somebody purchase something from you, that would be sitting on a hidden page.
I make those hidden pages level 20-29. If you’ve got Administrative pages which my site has where either somebody administers their account or there’s something that I am administering from a page, I usually make those as 30-39. If you’re going to create 301 redirects for your pages then I usually just use 301 as the page order for those so I know how to find them.
Obviously the first two categories are the one that really apply to the site architecture we’re talking about. The others are for an organizational system that can work for a more complex site architecture as well. What this does is just makes it easy for you to find your pages in your page list.
The same thing is true for page order of child pages, I just use 1-99 in logical or menu order and then again, 301 is for 301 redirected pages.