WordPress Theme Documentation Needs Page Diagrams

Here’s a picture I wish I’d seen when I was a WordPress beginner.

It’s a diagram of my other site, Tasting Room Confidential, to illustrate the source of each Front Page element. To find the source page, just follow the bread crumbs.

Why WordPress Theme Diagrams?

I’ve always said that to navigate a WordPress dashboard you just have to remember where everything goes. But sometimes, memories need help.

This is the kind of diagram I wish theme developers would include in their documentation. To quickly and easily see where to put data in a new theme would make life so much simpler for WordPress users. This is especially true with themes that have multiple custom post types and themes that use short codes.

Here I’m using the example of London Live not just to drive traffic to my wine site, but because it is a moderately-complex premium theme with comparable structure to other premium themes, especially with Theme Options. And you know I love me some Theme Options.

At a glance you can see how many front page elements live in the Appearance drawer. Apart from Posts, Appearance is where the design action is, the place where you’ll navigate the most while building a site.

Wondering where your post Excerpt goes? The front page is one place, but Excerpt can follow the post to Facebook, Linkedin and beyond. I suggest using Excerpts constantly and wisely.

Notice how the sidebar tabs for Popular, Recent, Comments and Tags says “Sidebar.php” only. That tells me to customize that element in the code of the Sidebar.php file. Sidebar.php is located in Appearance>Editor, but editing in Editor is a security risk, so I don’t suggest it. Better to customize the page code at the server level.

What do you think? Would a diagram like this help you navigate a new theme? Do you think theme makers should include something similar?

Please give me your thoughts about my WordPress theme diagram, and if this post helped you, please Like it, Tweet it and Suggest it to your friends.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.