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Help, please: I don't understand Step Three

  • [I’m experienced with WordPress, but new to WordPressMU and BuddyPress, and I’m also not a programmer or a developer, but a designer. If you could explain your answer to me as if to a not-terribly-bright 5-year-old, I’d deeply appreciate it.]

    I’ve installed WordPressMU and BuddyPress; so far so good. I installed the BuddyPress Template pack; also so far so good.

    I’m stuck on Step Three of “Making Your Theme BuddyPress Compatible.” I’ve read the directions dozens of times, looked through forums, and googled, but can’t seem to find a clear English stap-by-step explanation of “Fixing Alignment.” I gather that I’m supposed to change some of the code in each of the listed files.

    What is completely unclear to me is: what code do I replace? and what do I replace it with?

    My files are more complex than the examples given.

    Any help deeply appreciated.

    The webiste in question is

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • symm2112


    Some themes call the divs that the content goes in “container”, some call it “main”. You need to match up to what your theme is. For example, I just tested this on a theme today and the theme I was testing called the div “content” and once I switched it to “main” (the way that it looked in page.php), it lined up inside the right container.

    Sorry, I know I must be incredibly dense, but that didn’t really clear anything up for me.





    I have the same issue as you Pentleton. I am so confused. I am almost ready pay someone to do this because I just don’t understand.



    This is going to come across wrong but…

    Buddypress functionality works out of the box. You install the plugin and everything works. What doesn’t work out of the box is all of the styling required to fit Buddypress into your current site design (assuming you don’t want to use the default theme).

    If you currently use a stock downloaded theme for your WordPress site and have never made any changes to it, or mucked around with CSS and HTML then hiring someone to do this stuff for you might be the best approach.

    Now, that said, once someone spends some time learning about CSS, HTML and how WordPress themes and plugins work, it’s really not that difficult to make changes.

    There are very helpful people here but they can’t do everything for you. We can point you in the right direction but much like any education, you need to do some homework on your own.



    jivany is right — unless someone has a modicum of experience with HTML and stylesheets, a smattering of PHP, and some knowledge of how WP works in terms of theme structure and templating, it’s going to be quite difficult for them to do much but use Buddypress out of the box or with child themes that are designed to work with the current version.

    It’s not impossible, but some above-novice level of knowledge and comfort with coding and website architecture has to be pretty much assumed. Take it as a challenge!



    Thanks Jivany and Stwc. You’ve been a great help.

    I finally figured out that it isn’t a theme problem, but something more basic, so I’m starting a new topic. I have used WP successfully on at least a dozen sites, and have a reasonable familiarity with HTML, stylesheets, a tiny bit of PHP.

    I did take it wrong at first, Jivany, but decided not to be a total idiot and snap at people who are trying to help. ;-)



    @cpentleton & @xiv-studios: Sorry if I offended either of you.

    BuddyPress has the unfortunate (and fortunate) ability to be installed via the plugin installer built into WordPress. Out of the box it is fantastic and very complex. This can create a very confusing and quite steep learning curve for anyone starting out.

    @cpentleton: I look forward to your new topic. Hopefully it’s something I can give you a hand with. If not, I’m sure there will be a BP community member who can.

    Re: Step 3 – customizing theme for BP.
    There has been dozens, if not hundreds of posts regarding this issue, is there anyone here that can edit my files, or provide a full tutorial on how to do this.
    I have created my theme using Artisteer, and no matter how many times I have tried to correct the alignment it just will not work!!
    I have a good understanding of CSS, and HTML but when it comes to PHP I am pretty much beat.
    The files are all local, I am working on this locally on the Mac, using MAMP so I don’t have a URL to give, but can give a location where I have a zip file of the required files.
    Hopefully someone with a bit of know-how will create either a plugin to correct this, or a fully explained tutorial that covers this properly.

    There have been dozens if not hundreds of posts on this issue due to the fact that this step requires – as I believe it does pretty clearly state – a basic knowledge of CSS/HTML and of how themes are structured and from that point on requires some manual work.

    There comes a point where a little coding knowledge is required BP is not a simple application and the requirement to have it use a WP theme not a standard one jivany makes some vaild points about this earlier in the thread. That said it isn’t actually that difficult only requiring basic level knowledge and you do state I have a good understanding of CSS, and HTML but when it comes to PHP I am pretty much beat. a good knowledge is more than is required and as for PHP at this stage it isn’t really relevant.

    In some of those posts you allude to there are further explanations of what needs doing , I know as I’ve responded to a few, but a basic pointer in the right direction is about all that can be given the rest is up to the individual, call it if you will the price of admission? Checking those threads carefully might help? Usually it’s only a case of comparing two files and ensuring that the structure matches i.e elements and names they are given page.php is a possible starting point to compare against one of the BP directory index files?

    Please note this isn’t meaning to be unhelpful but to ask that members take this further is possibly asking too? much of them. An absolute and definitive guide to the template process is never going to be that easy to do as themes will vary and the steps required change accordingly.

    Providing a zip file suggests you hope that someone will take the files and do the work for you this isn’t appropriate to expect of anyone, but maybe someone with time on their hands will, if not as suggested earlier in the thread you might need to hire someone for a few hours to do this for you?

    I have no problem in hiring someone to help out with this issue….
    As for the CSS / HTML awareness…. neither of these help when the problem is within PHP…. I can clearly see in the PHP where the CSS is pulled in, but it still does not fix the problem.
    If I had more time to spare a few days trawling this or other sites, I might as well go do a course in PHP, might be quicker too.
    Right now I have too much on to spend time doing either trawling or a course, I need a quick fix, whether that’s hiring someone to show me on just one of the files, or all of them, I don’t care I just want it fixed… is this wrong??

    This aspect shouldn’t really have anything to do with PHP it’s a markup issue or markup and CSS in respect to matching class or id names, however I’m not familiar with the theme you reference.

    I don’t care I just want it fixed… is this wrong??

    Not wrong but one has to be careful of the tenor of ones comments/requests, obviously no one is under an obligation to help being that this is a volunteer support forum.

    As per my previous suggestion have you tried opening the two files I suggested and comparing the structure? Looking at such elements as say

    <div id=”content”> in the BP file and comparing that to your chosen themes file if they differ you need to adjust the BP file to match also look for other elements that may be in your chosen theme file but not present in the BP one. It’s this structure that you need to get to match for the BP files to work, it’s markup/ specific not PHP even though the files might be typed as .php

    If this still proves too difficult or demands on your time not permitting (most of us have huge demands on our time ) then I suggest posting in the jobs board group for some hired help.

    Lastly The theme Artisteer might just possibly create themes in a manner that is simply not possible to work into a BP theme or at least that presents additional difficulties over more static themes, that is speculation though but I would say that there are a fair few themes that would never work well with BP due to flaws in their construction.

    Artisteer – see
    It’s a theme generator, if you like. I generally use it to quickly create a theme, then tidy things up in the CSS.

    Re the Jobs board, I didn’t know one existed – will head over there later today if I don’t sort something first.

    Ah hmm, red rag to a web developer :)

    No need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML or other technologies

    Well there you go thanks arseseer , makes me redundant :)

    I can’t see that that automated web site creator will present any huge issues as long s it creates standard type static theme files it will simply be a case of identifying those elements and class names existing in one file but not the other.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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