I've installed Textpattern. Now what?
I’m confused about how Textpattern organizes things
Sections, pages, forms – please explain!
Textpattern is a blank slate. Though it almost always works out-of-the-box, and includes a simple layout and structure to get you started, you’ll need to learn some basic concepts in order to shape it to your needs.
Briefly, the important concepts in Textpattern are:
Sections are the topmost divisions of your web site. A newspaper site might have sections like “Politics”, “Sport”, “Weather”, and so on. These usually correspond to URLs such as
Sections are managed in the Textpattern administration panel under presentation > sections.
Each section contains any number of articles. Sections can look the same, or each one can have a unique page layout.
A section page – like
http://example.com/sport/ – will typically display a list of recent articles in that section, much like a weblog. It doesn’t have to be a weblog, however: it might display a single article (as in a ‘static’ page like an About page), or a list of articles organized in some other fashion (as in this FAQ section).
Articles are where you store your content. Each article has a title, excerpt, body, and can contain user-submitted comments.
Each article belongs to one section (and only one).
Every article has its own unique page and URL, usually called an individual article page or permlink page. URL modes are configurable, but it often looks like
To write a new article, go to content > write in the Textpattern administration panel. To edit or remove existing articles, go to content > articles.
Page templates determine the HTML code used to display list and individual article pages. Each section has an associated page template that’s used when displaying lists or articles in that section. You can share the same page template between multiple sections, or create a unique one for each section if you wish.
Page templates contain textpattern tags, which are used to insert dynamic content into the page. For example, the
<txp:article /> tag will display the article(s) associated with the current URL.
Page templates are managed in the presentation > pages tab of the administration interface. To assign a template to a particular section, go to presentation > sections.
Forms are short snippets of HTML used to display repeated content. Each form has a type:
An article form is used by the
<txp:article /> tag to determine how to display each article on the page, for example.
Like page templates, forms can contain Textpattern tags. The article form will typically include the
<txp:title /> and
<txp:body /> tags, for example, which display the article’s title and body respectively.
You can use misc forms for snippets of HTML code you use on each page, such as a header or footer. (read how)
Forms are managed in the presentation > forms administration tab.
Styles are CSS stylesheets. Like page templates, each section has an associated style. You can use a unique style for each section, or share one between many sections.
Styles are managed in the presentation > style tab. To assign a style to a section, go to presentation > sections.
The Front Page
The front page of your Textpattern site – typically
http://example.com/ – works as a container for all sections. The front page has its own page template and style setting; just like sections, it can have a unique page template and style, or share them with other sections.
You can’t assign articles directly to the front page. Instead, each section has a setting (“On front page?”) that determines whether or not the articles in that section should be displayed on the front page.
Images and Files
Textpattern has a built in administration interface for uploading and managing images and files.
The content > images tab is used to upload and manage images that are displayed as content in a page, as elements in a layout, in an image gallery, or within an article body. Several built-in Textpattern tags are available for using images in a page template or form:
<txp:article_image />, etc.
The content > files tab is used to upload and manage files that are made available for users to download. A number of file_download template tags are available for creating file download lists.
Alternatively, you can upload and manage images or files manually using FTP and similar programs. You’ll have to use hard-coded HTML and URLs to reference these files, however. (Be careful when using relative URLs).