[theme-reviewers] front-page.php and display of blog posts index

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Sun Mar 3 01:54:05 UTC 2013

I disagree completely. (Ahh, just like old times!)

Just because a Theme has an awesome static front-page template doesn't mean
that the user should be forced to use it. Presumably, the rest of the Theme
is just as awesome as the static front-page template. So, while some users
may opt to use the Theme with a static front page, other users very well
may want to use the Theme while displaying the blog posts index as the site
front page.

There's simply no reason for the Theme to trump user choice here, and in
this regard, the discussion very closely resembles the "WordPress-as-CMS"
Themes discussion held some time ago. The logical conclusion of that
discussion was that there was a trivial difference between supporting blog
posts and not supporting blog posts (the so-called "CMS" use of WordPress),
and that "WordPress as CMS" was therefore not a valid special-use/niche
case. I believe the same is true for static-page-as-front-page. Just
because a Theme provides the option doesn't mean that it should be able to
force users into using that option.

It makes even less sense to force a Theme to use "template-front-page.php",
and instruct the user to jump through an extra hoop (apply template via
Page Attributes) beyond the normal static-front-page configuration steps,
just to make the static front page option truly *optional*. But that's
essentially what you're arguing for.

IMHO, it makes infinitely more sense for WordPress simply to fall back
automatically to the home template when the user has specified to display
the blog posts index on the site front page.

On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net> wrote:
> > I've just submitted a core patch that should facilitate Theme display of
> the
> > blog posts index as the site front page for Themes that define custom
> static
> > front page content using front-page.php:
> > http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/23669
> >
> > Essentially, if approved, this patch would modify the template hierarchy
> > slightly, such that the site front page would use home.php if 'posts' ==
> > get_option( 'show_on_front' ), and would only use front-page.php if
> 'page'
> > == get_option( 'show_on_front' ).
> >
> > Comments/criticism/other feedback welcome!
> No, I agree with Michael Fields on that one. The front-page.php file
> should be used as the "front page" regardless of what the user has set
> to be on the front-page. If this is not desired, then the
> front-page.php file should be removed entirely.
> There's basically two use cases here:
> 1. Theme wants to always have the front page look the same way,
> regardless of user choice. Solution: Use front-page.php. Done and
> done. User choice then only affects the content of that front-page, by
> choosing whether to use the blog posts or the content from a static
> Page.
> 2. Theme wants user choice to change the look of the front page.
> Solution: Don't use front-page.php at all. Use home.php, which will
> always be used for the blog posts regardless of location, then provide
> a special Page Template (named something other than front-page.php) if
> the theme wants to provide a special look for the static-page case.
> The user can then choose to use that Page Template or not, as they
> desire. Alternatively, you could just use page.php if the pages across
> the site are all supposed to look special.
> There's no real good reason I can think of to have front-page.php
> check for the blog-on-front case and load home.php instead. If that is
> the desired use case, then front-page.php should simply not be
> included at all.
> -Otto
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