ARCHITECTURE

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Separation of style and content 1:36
What are themes and how do they work? 2:17

WordPress introduces several powerful new ideas to our web design and development ecosystem:

  1. Databases
    WordPress stores all user-generated content in a database. A database makes the content easier to edit, view, manage, and search. WordPress typically uses a database called MySQL (which we will be using), although it is possible to plug WordPress into a variety of different databases, such as PostgreSQL.
  2. Templates
    WordPress also makes use of templates -- a powerful computational idea. Instead of hand-coding each individual page on a website, as we did in the beginning of this course, templates enable database content and HTML / CSS to be merged together, each time a user requests a page. Why is this useful?

    • This means we only have to design one page per layout type, and then add new pages using the WordPress admin interface. For instance, I only need to design a Post template, a Page template, and a Splash page template and I'm done.
    • This also means that you can have editors and content creators that aren't designers or programmers. People can add information to your website without knowing anything about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, or databases. This is very useful.
  3. PHP
    PHP is a server-side language that is used to merge the data and the template together, and you can learn more about what PHP is and what it does here: http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. For the purposes of this course, you will not need to edit PHP (think of PHP as your content injection zones), but will need to "design around it." The PHP that is present in each template allows content to be dynamically rendered on your page. You will "design around" each of the PHP sections within the various templates.

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