Don’t Panic

I’m fiddling with themes today. Things might look different than they usually do, from time to time. No cause for alarm.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

48 replies on “Don’t Panic”

I recognize so many WordPress themes these days it frightens me. I spent waaaay too much time theme hunting.

My current theme I’m not sure if I’m ever letting go of. It’s fairly unique on the web because it came from a company that usually charges $100+ to use their themes, and this was one of the spare free ones (though you could pay $800 so that no one else can ever use it legally. Yeah).

So I got it, wondered why I hadn’t seen it before except as a screenshot on old archives, and then realized why. The theme was broken in several places.

Fortunately I can fix HTML and CSS, and added some happy adaptations to the New World of WordPress, and now I have a unique theme. Not the easiest theme in the world to tweak, though, but I have a Photoshop equivalent sitting around and have done it.

This one is a fairly nice theme. Done by a club of WP designers who release free themes from time to time, but provide a subscription (fairly cheap) to use their premium themes. Small Potato, I think. They do some of the more sensible themes out there.

Can’t recall if this one is part of their “Seven Sins” series or not. I’ve always kind of wanted Lust.

Looks good to me, colorwise, and I like the fact that the Administrivia and sundry are done as a separate tab on the side. Kinda makes you pay attention to it, rather than have it look like it’s a part of the main thread. If you’re asking for critiques, my only complaint would be the comment tab. Took me a second to realize where to go to view comments from the front page. Obviously, I figured it out, and it could be that I’m a bit slow on catching these things. If you’re not asking for critiques. . TEH PAGE LOOKS GR8!!1! U R MAD OF TEH AWESOM!

The “Mac OS X” theme is pretty keen, actually. One of the few really smart themes out there (my theme is only a little bit smart) in that readers can re-order the little widgets in the side, and minimize some of them into little bars. (Unfortunately we can’t move widgets from one column to the other.) Helps me move the “important” stuff up.

No other theme does that, that I know of.

I like the theme at 11:28 EST. I also much prefer the less busy/easier to read widgets–much better than the old boxes that all looked the same to me (and my poor vision).

It looks the same…

Only different…

Categorization. Nice. You gonna go back and categorize the archives? Hehe. Didn’t think so. Could be useful for dealing with the repetitive nature of peoples questions. Reader, where do you get your ideas? Scalzi, search under category ideas.
Just had a thought. Yesterday you were so busy you had us inventing words. Today you have so much time on your hands you are fiddling with themes.

I love how this speaks of “Humble midwestern science fiction writer.”

Not even a little piece of bacon in it, either.

I very much like the farmhouse/white theme. Crisp, clean, evokes a good sense of the Scalzi Family compound.

Only nitpick: having the comment numbers on their own separate line makes the comments feel too spaced out. If it could be something like…

35. # Devin L. Ganger on 27 Feb 2008 at 0:00 pm

…it would be a small change that would help balance the nice use of whitespace.

White cloth farmhouse theme, numbers on a separate line.

Possibly offending CSS:

#main .commentlist li .cmtinfo
margin-bottom: 5px;

It modifies stuff that looks like this:

<li id=”comment-19786″ class=”alt”>
<div class=”cmtinfo”>….

<p> …


The is, I think, what’s causing the break, in conjunction with the position: relative. Or perhaps only one or the other is causing this.

I have ideas on how to fix it in the CSS, but I would want to try them out first. Unless you would like to experiment John…

Try modifying that CSS so it looks like this:

#main .commentlist li .cmtinfo
margin-bottom: 5px;
display: inline; /* new */

This makes the div not create a newline between itself and everything else above/below.

If things still look funky, try getting rid of ‘position:relative;’ or commenting it out.

Otherwise we need to operate on the PHP code the theme is using, and that is not a nice method. :)

Well, at least the seascape is better than the one with the garish clashing concentric arcs! It is harder to read than yesterday, probably due to smaller and dimmer font.

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