Trying to make a windowed custom post type while I develop a child theme for my site. Not sure what direction to take.

Hello and TIA for any help!

I finally did the long awaited thing of migrating my site to a local environment to develop a child theme. I’ve been able to look up most of what I wanted to do no problem. It’s close to ready for publishing visually. I’m just having a hard time figuring out how to do the main feature I started all this for. I would like to avoid 3rd party plug-ins if possible.

It’s an art site with my work split up in gallery blocks between years/groups of years depending on how active I was. Right now I just use the standard lightbox thing where it shows a larger size of the image and you can arrow between its gallery neighbors.

What I *want* to be able to do is have a little popup window that may darken or brighten the negative space around it for visibility. The image will be on the left. The title is going to be above it or to the right. Its year and some commentary or artist statement will be to the right of the image. Much like Woo I’d have little slide-in-on-hover thumbnails of its neighbors to easily flip between them, and an exit button in the upper right corner to go back to the main display of the gallery page. There’d be some Woo listings at the bottom of the window, possibly randomly aggregated from matching the artwork title or tags.

I’ve been able to make a new custom post type called “Artwork” that shows in the +New menu, but I’m having a hard time finding a straightforward answer on how to really customize the page as described above and add taxonomy. I think I read I have to make a “custom\_post\_name.php” in the main folder of my child theme to create the fields, not show the header/footer, etc. Some things are saying I may need to create a tiny custom plug-in to get the more technical parts done. I had to scrap the code I used to try to make a custom taxonomy, which I wanted to use to categorize my art by if it came from a story I’m working on or if it’s a standalone work. I think it may even be possible to create a dropdown to select from that will automatically generate a link to that story project for me.

I’m fairly efficient in HTML and CSS, and I have been generally okay with following the PHP tutorials and identifying where I can change labels and such despite no formal training in it. I’ve looked at a tutorial on Hostinger, White Pixel, WP itself, and WP Beginner. Some of them have different create custom post code from the tutorial I used at on WP Beginner.

I’m willing to put the work in, but I’m just lost without a clear roadmap of what to do. I feel like if I had digestible steps I’d be able to take it from there. I can post images or a link to a YT video I made from InVision kinda showcasing what I had in mind if that helps.

I’ll keep working on it on my end, but open to suggestions or inspiration.


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