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WordPress Structure and Install Procedure

WordPress uses the power of PHP to read from saved variables and document headers to dynamically pull together all the needed elements of the webpage. When the user visits a site powered by WordPress (calling index.php), the program runs through a series of boolean tests to determine which themes are present and, as such, which files it needs to pull code from. There is a template hierarchy governing these series of tests, ensuring that the page will still load even if the user-defined template does not contain files matching a particular type of page (six categories apply: Author, Tag, Category, Taxonomy, Date, and Archives). Example

Wordpress theme pages consist of five template files that the program reads from in order to assemble the theme properly. These are:

  1. header.php (includes Doctype and opening HTML and body tags)
  2. index.php (responsible for dislaying the main content)
  3. sidebar.php (manages sidebars, which frequently incorporate widgets)
  4. footer.php (includes the footer information and any closing tags that are needed)
  5. style.css (includes all the css, as well as information about the theme that WordPress reads and displays in its menus for user viewing and selection)

Wordpress also contains additional template files beyond this base set of five. See here.

Installing WordPress is first a matter of downloading (link in new tab) the current version. Unzip the WordPress file to your local site root folder.

To begin the installation, type the file URL for install.php (found in the wp-admin folder). When the browser loads the file, installation proceeds as follows (click).