In the early days of HTML web development, you could create a whole series of web pages and save them in any directory you wanted. All you had to do was make sure your links pointed to the right places. The same system works today for anyone who still builds websites using basic HTML. But if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, things do not work this way.
Let’s say you created a custom page you entitled ‘Landing Page’. You could search your main WordPress directory all day long and never find it. Why? Because content management systems are built on databases rather than traditional HTML file structures.
The WordPress Database
Everything you see displayed on a WordPress site relies on two things: a database and style sheets. The database contains all of the information you enter as the website administrator. So every time you write a new blog post or add a new picture, the information is stored in the WordPress database.
Style sheets are used to tell web browsers how to display your data. Theme developers use style sheets to control page layout, colour choices, fonts, header and footer contents, sidebars, widgets, and so forth. That’s why changing themes only changes what your content looks like and not the content itself.
With all of that said, we are led back to the question of where custom WordPress pages are stored. The answer requires defining what you mean by ‘custom WordPress pages’.
Style Sheet or Content?
If your custom WordPress page is simply a page containing customized content you created using the content editor, that information is stored in the WordPress database just like any other page. You would have to use a piece of software capable of reading database content to access it. By the way, that is all the WordPress content editor does. It gives you access to database information using a GUI that you’re already comfortable with.
If your custom WordPress page is one that uses a completely different style, then you’re talking about a style sheet. You should be advanced enough in your WordPress knowledge to understand this if you know style sheets well enough to create your own. You can find your customized style sheet in the same directory with the other files that control the WordPress theme.
Though the database system may be confusing to you as a WordPress user, the platform’s developers chose this system for a couple of important reasons. First and foremost, it’s incredibly efficient. Rather than having to create individual pages for every piece of new content, it is more efficient to utilize a single style sheet for display purposes while actually storing the data in a database.
Second, the database system allows for manipulation of presentation without harming the data itself. This makes the system harder to break. Even more importantly, it makes building websites a lot easier. Website owners no longer have to be trained in HTML and other languages to create beautiful, modern websites.