Know your back door, noobs :p

I have received many SOS from panicky bloggers when they accidentally modified, deleted, added or changed their html/php codes. Some find their sidebar missing. Some find their background gone. Some find their right side bar running to the left. And so on and so forth.

I am no expert but so far, my suggestion works. What newbies to WordPress or html need to know is to find the back door to retreat. That is:

1) Don’t be lazy to save a copy of the text file as back-up. What you need to do is to copy and paste all the codes in that file where you are adding some html/javascripts codes into your computer, using .txt format. If something goes wrong, just copy back from your pc to the dashboard/presentation/theme editor.

2) If you had not done so, you can always copy the fresh one from where you downloaded the theme/template. Just copy the exact same file over.

3) Normally, you only touch the main file (label as mainindex.php, index.php or maintemplate.php), the single.php, header.php or footer.php. STAY AWAY FROM .css unless you are confident. It is like the main artery of your blog. Don’t touch it. Now with widget ready WordPress templates, it is even easier.

4) Remember what files you were meddling with, the position where you are adding the code and you will be safe.

5) In order that you don’t get confuse, use the return/enter key and make a huge white space where you are adding codes. This way, you can easily trace where you did the pasting. These empty spaces will not show on your online webpage because spaces and new lines all need their codes.

6) Don’t sweat. WordPress is so marvellous. You may cause your site to totally disappeared. But it is not all gone because all the files are stored in little folders and your data is safe. Once you retrace your steps, you will find your blog again. You don’t ‘kill’ a blog just because the template cause your blog to disappear.

7) Do I need to repeat that you have to constantly check the effect after each changes you made? Do it so that when you screwed up, you know what cause it.

8) The most evil thing that most newbies did is to accidentally delete one div tag. It can be the closing (identified with the / ) or opening division tag and your background or sidebar will ‘poof!’.

9) If you stare at your files long enough, they will start to make sense to you. Basically, you can see a ‘story line’ on the files. It is actually parts like header, body/content, sidebar etc. Don’t let those little squiggly tags intimidate you. Stare at it with your eyes. Hehehe.

10) The ‘language’ is very easy to understand. < all these and > all these are just commands.

br mean line break (start on a new line)
div means division
li means list
b means bold
and so on…See? It is just simple abc. Hehehe.

So, don’t sweat it. If you make a mistake, just go back and try again. In no time, you will be very confident with changing templates, adding codes and so on.

Post Author: lilian

6 thoughts on “Know your back door, noobs :p


    (June 3, 2007 - 6:50 am)

    Thanks for the help, you can ask me about surfing but wordpres… hehe. Thank you!

    Ah Pek

    (June 3, 2007 - 8:24 am)

    Hehehee!! good tips.

    Mess with the stylesheet also ok. I messed up so many times trying to change colors and fonts sampai the whole thing look upside down. But I always have my original copy around, so I copy and paste back the original css files. Then everything back to original form.

    KennyP's Technology Blog

    (June 3, 2007 - 12:55 pm)

    Learn a bit about HTML before you try to modify the codes, you can always search it to know more, for example, if you want to know more about , go to Google and search “html br”


    (June 3, 2007 - 1:28 pm)

    Adding to your point (7)

    Doing F5 to check the effects is just not enough, you may think things works fine but it could be calling from cache.

    Try Ctrl F5, it clears the caches.
    Have fun wordpress’ing ;-)


    (June 3, 2007 - 11:45 pm)

    What a nice tips, thanks for sharing ;)


    (June 4, 2007 - 12:35 pm)

    I played with all those you mentioned in the post for the past few days. I did add something to my .css but nothing major lah. Yeah, they all are more or less the same to me now. WordPress is magical!

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