I like to think of WordPress as the gateway drug of web development. Many people who get started using the platform are initially merely looking for a comfortable (and free) way to create a simple website. Some Googling and consultation of the WordPress Codex later, it’s done and that should be it. Kind of like “I’m just going to try it once.” However, a good chunk of users don’t stop there. Instead, they get hooked. Come up with more ideas. Experiment. Try out new plugins. Discover Firebug. Boom. Soon there is no turning back. Does that sound like your story? As a WordPress user it is only natural to want more and more control over your website. To crave custom design, custom functionality, custom everything. Luckily, WordPress is built for exactly that. Its flexible structure and compartmentalized architecture allows anyone to change practically anything on their site. Among the most important tools in the quest for complete website control are page templates. They allow users to dramatically alter their website’s design and functionality. Want a customized header for your front page? Done. An additional sidebar only for your blog page? No problem. A unique 404 error page? Be. My.
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