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Lesson 7 – Part 4 – Using WordPress Tools to Organize the Site

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WordPress gives us a set of tools to organize your Genesis theme website and I’m going to describe those sets of tools in two ways.

Simplified View of the Tools

First is the Training Wheel View of these tools. Please understand that this is a simplified explanation of the concepts but for the purposes of this class the simplified explanation is going to be sufficient.

It’s not sufficient if you’re going to develop a complicated content management system after this class is finished but it is sufficient for the kind of business website with the Genesis theme that we’re building so I offer you the Training Wheel View. Then what we’re going to do is to look at the Bird’s Eye View which adds more complexity into it.

Once you’re already comfortable with the concept of this, that is in a few weeks, we’re going to come back to this subject and we’re going to give a fuller and more mature view of the same subject. In terms of the Training Wheel View, WordPress gives you two different sets of tools. It gives you static tools and it gives you dynamic tools.

Static Tools

Static tools are pages and those are all of the things that we’ve just talked about creating. The Services page, the Case Studies page and the About page; all of those things are static pages. In WordPress, pages are hierarchical so that means you can have a page, a subpage and a sub-subpage and you can have this constantly expanding lineage of pages in a hierarchy. Those are what I call static tools.

I refer to them as static tools because a page will only change when you specifically change it. That might sound so obvious to you but there are pages in WordPress that change because you change something else. The static pages are not that kind of a page, these pages do not change with other changes on the site, they only change if you change them specifically.

Dynamic Tools

The next set of tools are the dynamic tools. Primarily, those dynamic tools are posts and posts are a non-hierarchical corollary to pages. If you look in your WordPress dashboard and take a look at that right now, this is the lesson 7 course that I created for this. If you take a look at your dashboard, you can add a page or you can add a post. These are two different types of content that you can create.

Posts however are not hierarchical so you can’t have sub posts. In order for you to create a hierarchy of your posts, you have to use categories to categorize the posts. Categories are an organizational system that are hierarchical and tags are another organizational system that is not hierarchical. These are two different ways of organizing posts.

These are the dynamic tools and they only relate to the content management part of the site or to the blog part of the site and we are using pages primarily. That was the Training Wheel View, you have the static tools and the dynamic tools and we’re going to focus most on the static tools.

Bird’s Eye View of the Tools

Here’s the Bird’s Eye View. In the Bird’s Eye View, you’ll understand that WordPress has different types of content and it has different organizational elements for organizing that content. Those are the two types of tools that WordPress gives you, remember before I called them two sets of tools, one static and one dynamic.

Now, I’m calling them two types of tools because you can use the content types for organization and you can use the organizational elements for organization as well. So, we’ve got these two different types of tools that we’re going to use to organize our site.

Three Content Types

In terms of content types, we have 3 worth mentioning at the moment. We have Posts, Pages and then something that’s not automatic. Post and Pages are automatically created inside of WordPress and the part that’s not automatic is a Custom Post Type.

You can create your own post types that can be like posts, can be like pages or can be a bit like both but that’s outside of the scope of this conversation. It’s just important to understand that that’s your range of choices in terms of content types.

Built-In Organizational Elements

On the other hand, you also have organizational elements and the two built-in organizational elements are categories and tags. Then you have the corollary for custom post types which is custom taxonomies. Custom Taxonomies can be applied to posts, pages or custom post types. Categories and Tags can only be applied to posts but not pages because they are the static parts.

These are the two types of tools that you have, content types and organizational elements but we’re going to spend almost all of our time using a single tool and that’s Pages.

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