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About this website

WordPress and LAMP

The purpose of this section is to satisfy the curiosity of anyone who would like to know more about how The Helford River Sailing Club website works.

The HRSC website is constructed using WordPress, an Open Source publishing platform that relies upon a scripting language called PHP and uses a MySQL database.  The site is hosted at on a Linux platform with an Apache server.  This combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, often referred to as LAMP, is the preferred choice of web developers who prefer to keep out of the clutches of Microsoft and use ‘open source’, and therefore free, solutions.

WordPress is primarily a blogging system but it can be quite readily adapted to content management by using an appropriately constructed theme and some well chosen plugins. The WordPress theme system allows a developer to create custom page templates and stylesheets that determine how the site operates and how it looks, all without modifying the core of the system.  Our theme is called Sail Bag.

The Sail Bag theme was developed specially for HRSC.  It includes a number of custom templates and relies on a handful of helpful plugins.

Pages, Posts and Categories

WordPress makes a distinction between pages, which are intended for the relatively static parts of a website, and posts, which are dated and intended as news items. Posts must be assigned to a category and are usually listed in reverse date order with the most recently filed posts at the top.

Pages are listed in the menu bar at the top of the site. When a page has children these are shown in a drop down. Custom templates control the way individual pages are displayed.

Templates, Sidebars and Widgets

Posts are all formatted using a default template, which on our site consists of a single wide content area with a narrow sidebar to the right. The default template for pages is the same. The page you’re viewing now uses the default template.

Code blocks called widgets can be inserted from a widget control panel available to the website administrator. Widget logic determines which widgets are displayed on individual pages.


Date and time can be added to turn normal posts into events. These are shown on the front page in date order and are automatically removed when the event has occurred. The RS EVENT multiday plugin which provides this feature is no longer supported by its developer but it continues to function well.

Our Theme Templates

Header Template

Contains the site title banner; the menu bar, and a full width image slider. If individual pages have a featured image this replaces the slider. Images must be 1200 x 800 px.

Default Pages Template

Displays the main page content on the left with a sidebar on the right. When the viewport is less than 960px the main page content occupies the full viewport width and the sidebar is shown beneath. Sidebar and other supplementary content is provided using widgets.

Conditional code within the default template causes parent pages to show links to their children in a grid. If the children have featured images these are shown here too.

Single posts use a similar default template. Category pages show posts in a grid.

Wide Pages Template

A full width page containing the main page content.

Front Page Template

The front page template displays content in a masonry grid where successive items fit into the available space like bricks in a wall.