Linking or Enqueuing Stylesheet in WordPress Themes

There are several ways of adding a stylesheet to a WordPress theme;

A: linking the stylesheet (in the head section of header.php)

– linking the main stylesheet style.css:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php bloginfo( 'stylesheet_url' ); ?>" />


<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory(); ?>" />

– linking another stylesheet custom.css:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>/custom.css" />

B: enqueuing the stylesheet (in functions.php)

– enqueuing the main stylesheet style.css of a theme:

function theme_styles() {
	wp_enqueue_style( 'theme-style', get_stylesheet_uri() );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'theme_styles' );

– enqueuing another stylesheet custom.css of a child theme:

function child_theme_styles() {
	wp_enqueue_style( 'custom-style', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/custom.css' );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'child_theme_styles', 20 );

C: using @import in an existing stylesheet

– example linking the parent theme’s style.css in a child theme’s style.css

@import url('../parentheme/style.css');


WordPress Theme Development – style.css

link html
enqueue stylesheet

Comments on the ‘Posts Page’ in WordPress

If you are using a static home page and have set one of your other pages to be the ‘posts page‘ [Codex], then there is no direct way to allow comments on that page.

You will need to do some custom programming to allow viewers to comment on the ‘posts page‘, i.e. not just on the individual posts, but on the whole page in general.

WordPress does not use any page templates for the ‘posts page‘, but uses index.php or home.php of the currently active theme – see template hierarchy.

This example assumes that the theme does not have a home.php, so we are doing the coding in index.php.

First, we need to check that we are on the ‘posts page‘, and that is set under dashboard – settings – reading:

if( is_home() && get_option('page_for_posts') ) :

Then we get the ‘original’ page using WP_Query():

$posts_page = new WP_Query( array( 'post_type' => 'page', 'posts_per_page' => 1, 'post__in' => array(get_option('page_for_posts')) ) );

We could then for instance output the content of that page as it is written in the page editor; this content would otherwise not get shown for a ‘posts page’; or use ‘get_template_part(‘content’,’page’)’ as in the example for Twenty Twelve.

Last we output the comments and comment form with:

global $withcomments; $withcomments = 1;
$withcomments = 0; 

The $withcomments = 1;  is needed to show the comments part in a ‘posts page‘.

The full example code is:

<?php if( is_home() && get_option('page_for_posts') ) :
$posts_page = new WP_Query( array( 'post_type' => 'page', 'posts_per_page' => 1, 'post__in' => array(get_option('page_for_posts')) ) );
if( $posts_page->have_posts() ) while( $posts_page->have_posts() ) : $posts_page->the_post();
//this is for Twenty Twelve; or whatever you want to output from the 'posts page'
global $withcomments; $withcomments = 1;
$withcomments = 0;
endwhile; wp_reset_postdata();
endif; ?>

Automatically Shorten the Manual Excerpt

When you are building or modifying a wordpress theme, you have the choice of either using ‘the_content()’ to show the full article, or ‘the_excerpt()’ to show a shorter version.
By default, the latter limits the output to the first 55 words of the post, and automatcally strips formatting and images.
To make things more flexible, the editor also allows you to add a manual excerpt that will have preference before the automatically generated one.
There is no default limit to the length of this manual excerpt, which might break some carefully designed templates.

To apply the excerpt length limit to all excerpts, a modification of a core wordpress function ‘wp_trim_excerpt()’ would be needed.
However, changing core files is not a good idea, as the changes will be lost after each update.

Luckily, the same result can be achieved by using a fillter hook on ‘get_the_excerpt’; the code for it is added to functions.php of the theme.

(updated to utilize the filters ‘excert_length’ and ‘excerpt_more’ – aug 2010)

function wp_trim_all_excerpt($text) {
// Creates an excerpt if needed; and shortens the manual excerpt as well
global $post;
  $raw_excerpt = $text;
  if ( '' == $text ) {
    $text = get_the_content('');
    $text = strip_shortcodes( $text );
    $text = apply_filters('the_content', $text);
    $text = str_replace(']]>', ']]&gt;', $text);

$text = strip_tags($text);
$excerpt_length = apply_filters('excerpt_length', 55);
$excerpt_more = apply_filters('excerpt_more', ' ' . '[...]');
$text = wp_trim_words( $text, $excerpt_length, $excerpt_more ); //since wp3.3
/*$words = explode(' ', $text, $excerpt_length + 1);
  if (count($words)> $excerpt_length) {
    $text = implode(' ', $words);
    $text = $text . $excerpt_more;
  } else {
    $text = implode(' ', $words);
return $text;*/
return apply_filters('wp_trim_excerpt', $text, $raw_excerpt); //since wp3.3

remove_filter('get_the_excerpt', 'wp_trim_excerpt');
add_filter('get_the_excerpt', 'wp_trim_all_excerpt');

edit: expanded to take remove shortcode from the excerpt; 12/07/2010
edit: adapted to wp3.3; 16.01.2012

thanks to michael.oeser for his well written article: Wie man WordPress Textauszüge mit the_excerpt individuell anpasst. It contains even more details on how to tweak the excerpt.

Troubleshooting wordpress themes

here is a little trick if you need to check some variables, or try something new in your wordpress theme while the site is live.
use a conditional if statement to check that you are logged in as the original administrator, and only then do what you need to do. this way you can perform and display the neccesary tests, without the public seing anything.

if ('1' == $user_ID) :
echo 'you are logged in - this will not be shown to the public: <br/><br/>';
  // test routine begin //
echo 'cat-id , cat-slug , cat-name , number of posts <br/><br/>';
$categories= get_categories('');
foreach ($categories as $cat) {
echo $cat->cat_ID.' , '.$cat->category_nicename.' , '.$cat->cat_name.' , '.$cat->category_count.'<br/>';
  // test routine ends //
echo '<br/>end of logged in section <br/>';
endif; ?>

in this example, i displayed a full list of all categories with id, slug, and name.

the wordpress back-end (dashboard) is generally a good place to work, however for developers, some lists don’t show all the variables or parameters that would be useful for programming custom displays or functions. for instance, the IDs of posts, pages, categories, tags, etc. are not easily found in the back-end.

you can (and sometimes need to) build your own code snippets to show them on the spot where you are working with them.
this avoids a lot of guesswork.

and now you know how to hide these displays from public view.