WP Theme Add-on Basics

The WP Theme Add-on allows you to convert Backlight's page templates into WordPress themes, providing coherence between your Backlight-managed image galleries and your Wordpress-driven blog.

Demonstration video

Wordpress Setup

Use of Backlight's Wordpress Add-on first requires the separate installation of Wordpress. This is a simple process, and often can be automated through your host. See your host's information for details, or download and install Wordpress manually.

Personally, I prefer the manual installation, but you do you.

Our only requirements are as follows:

  • Backlight and Wordpress be installed at the same domain; you cannot install them in separate subdomains.
  • The /wp-content/themes folder [[creating_writable_server-side_directories|should be writable]].

You might be wondering about where to setup your blog in relation to Backlight. Following our documented setup for Backlight 2, your site structure should look something like this:

  • /public_html
    • .htaccess
    • /backlight
    • /galleries
    • index.php

Above, the index.php and .htaccess files belong to Backlight.

In such a case, Backlight would be powering your Home page, and so you'd want to install Wordpress into a new folder. You may name this new folder as to your own preference. In our examples, we will use the name "blog", and so our Wordpress installation will be located at http://domain.com/blog.

  • /public_html
    • .htaccess
    • /backlight
    • /blog
      • index.php
      • /wp-admin
      • /wp-content
      • /wp-includes
      • etc...
    • /galleries
    • index.php

If you plan not to use Backlight's pages, and instead run your Home and other pages with Wordpress, then omit the index.php and .htaccess files from Backlight's installation. Your site root might then look like this:

  • /public_html
    • /backlight
    • /galleries

You may then intermingle these folders with your Wordpress installation:

  • /public_html
    • .htaccess
    • /backlight
    • /galleries
    • index.php
    • /wp-admin
    • /wp-content
    • /wp-includes
    • etc...

In this scenario, the index.php and .htaccess files belong to Wordpress.

Usage

Following installation, and having setup Wordpress itself, you're ready to start using the Wordpress Add-on.

  • In Backlight's menu, go Backlight => Settings.
  • You will find a new section on this page, Wordpress.
  • Provide the Wordpress URL.
    • This will be the full address of your Wordpress installation, beginning with "http".
    • For example, http://yourdomain.com/blog.
  • Set your preference for "Export on Save".
    • Most users will want to set "Yes".
    • When enabled, the Wordpress theme will be updated automatically when changes are made in the designer to its template, or to its parent page template.

You're now ready to create a theme template.

  • In Backlight's menu, go Designer => Templates.
  • You will find a new section on this page, Theme Templates.
  • Click "Create New Template".
  • Provide a name for your template; this name will be used only within Backlight.
  • Provide an identifier for your template; this name will be used within Wordpress.
  • Click the "Add" button to create your template.

At this point, you will find yourself on the Design Template page. At present, there are no theme options here; you need only select the Page Template on which to base your theme, then click "Save".

All that now remains is to send your theme to Wordpress. To do this, click on the theme's name in the page's breadcrumbs, or from the Templates page, then click "Export Theme".

If your Wordpress Settings are correct and the /wp-content/themes folder is writable, as in our instructions, then your new theme will be exported directly to Wordpress and ready to use.

  • Log in to your Wordpress admin.
  • Navigation to Appearance => Themes.
  • Activate your theme.

And you're done! Go forth and blog.

If you should happen to update your template in Backlight, your changes will be automatically applied to your theme in Wordpress.

If necessary, you can force an export of your theme at any time by revisiting Backlight's Designer => Templates page, clicking the template name, and then "Export Theme" on that page. Or, on the Designer page, click "Clear Template Cache".