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How Simple:Press Works

Important Note:  The contents of this document applies ONLY to version 5.x.x of Simple:Press.  It likely does NOT apply to version 6.x.x (our latest version).

The Simple:Press Page

When Simple:Press is installed it creates a WordPress ‘page’. By default it gives that page a title of ‘Forum’ and as saved WordPress goes on to give it a slug of ‘forum’ for use by the permalink system. This page is going to contain all of the forum display – no matter what view.
You can safely rename this page and optionally change the slug to whatever you prefer. Just remember that if you do so then you will need to update the forum permalink (The forum admin > WP Integration).

Simple:Press is able to use just the one page because of the magic of the WordPress Rewrite Rules Engine which allows for every forum, topic and post to have it’s own, unique url but to be dynamically displayed on request.

The Theme Page Template

As Simple:Press has no information regarding the WordPress theme in use, the new page will be assigned to the theme’s default page template. If your theme offers a variety of templates for pages, then there is no reason not to change it to one you may find more appropriate. A common support question is how to make the forum full width with no sidebar. The first thing to do is look at what templates your theme offers as many good themes come with a full width option.

Interaction with your Theme

There are three basic and mandatory elements that any WordPress theme must possess and all three are vital for Simple:Press to display correctly. Sadly, we have come across many themes in the past where these have not been included by the theme author. These are:

A call to the function wp_head()

WordPress mandates that this function call should appear somewhere in the html tag. It is used to declare stylesheets and scripts that should not be declared in the body of a web page.

A call to the function wp_footer()

WordPress mandates that this function call should appear before the closing tag in the footer of the web page. This too is used for scripts and is vital for Simple:Press and many other plugins to function correctly. This one is, sadly, often missed out.

A call to the function the_content()

This function will be called somewhere in the main body of the template and is the function responsible for displaying your blog posts, your pages and, indeed, the Simple:Press forum.

Constrained by the Theme

Simple:Press will display in whatever area the template being used allows. If that area is narrow then the forum will be narrow. We can not override that. It is the WordPress theme that dictates width and placement.

The Influence of the Theme CSS Styling

it is virtually impossible to prevent the theme having an influence on the way the forum looks and, on the whole, this is desirable to keep the overall site looking the same. Sometimes, the CSS styling for a theme is written in, shall we say, a dictatorial way and minor adjustments are necessary to get things just right. We recommend the use of Firebug – an extension for Firefox – for this task. Firebug is a remarkable tool that allows you to inspect the CSS being applied to any element on a web page and will even let you change it on the fly to see what effect any alterations will have. It is a ‘must have’ tool for troubleshooting any CSS problems and WP theme ‘leakage’ into the Simple:Press display.

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