Converting Your Blog Homepage To Magazine Style

I’ve never been a big fan of the “Magazine Style” blogs, but I recently had a client ask me to do some work on his blog. Because some of the content he was posting wasn’t exactly work-safe, he decided that if the homepage only showed a thumbnail and a small blurb of text, the site could be viewed by more people checking in from work.

Having never done something like this before, it was a bit of a learning process for me, and I thought it’d be helpful to share some of my discoveries with any readers that are still checking on here.. (Yes, I know I’ve been noticably absent, July was BUSY!!)

First off, is it worth saving your existing theme, or should you just go with an off-the-shelf theme that was designed as a Magazine theme? In this client’s case, he wanted to keep everything as it was, so we had to dive into the index.php file and get busy!

Now, if I went into great detail, this post would be pages long. So here’s the short of it – Use the has_post_thumbnail function for your post thumbnail. Use the_excerpt() instead of the_content() to display limited text. Make sure you have a Read More link underneath the post excerpt.

That’s the gist of it. We also checked in_category to see if the post was in the Video category, as that’s where they post their videos. Since the_excerpt strips any HTML, we set it up so that posts in the Video category would display the_content. As a publisher, they’ll need to be conscious of the length of posts placed in the Video category, but that’s not really our concern.

If you have any specific questions, I’ll try and help you out, time permitting. Good luck!

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