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Theme Customization (8 posts)

  1. Ruthie1
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I'm a newbie. I'm going to be using WP for a blog for one of my clients and there are other projects waiting in the wings.

    I've read quite a bit including WP for Dummies but I'm a little unsure of something. It seems to make sense to download a theme rather than start from scratch but just how much customization is there and how involved. I'm not talking about CSS or header changes. I'm concerned about content. For example, if I select a template that shows an RSS feed but I want to link to Facebook as well, is this easy enough to do.

    Also, client will be heavy on images and slideshows. Shall I presume with the proper plugins (oops, you call them widgets), I can add these where/how I want them.

    And, if I don't want some of the items being offered, can I choose to delete.

    Lastly is there any way to change the word "Categories" to "Recent Places I've Been" or some such thing. We're using this as a travel blog.

    THANKS. Ruth

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

  3. Ruthie1
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Thanks. That was an interesting and helpful overview. I guess I'm still a little confused. I would want to use an existing theme but wonder if this limits which plugins can be used. THanks.

  4. Joni
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Hi, Ruthie. You will soon begin to love WP; it's very flexible and easy to design for and tweak once you learn some of the basics.

    For your question, and for your client at issue, I think the best thing to do is look for a theme that has most of the components you are looking for. While there are a lot of free themes out there (and we ourselves have released many in years past), premium themes seem to be the way to go. I've been known to buy a premium theme simply for the privilege of poring over the code.

    The risk you take with downloading a free theme is (1) you don't know the skill level of the person who created the theme unless you investigate the theme author ahead of time, and sometimes free themes end up in theme repositories (and often Base64-encoded) and it's often difficult to tell who authored the theme; and (2) there's generally no support when you run into trouble.

    There are several great premium theme developers out there, and I also recommend ThemeForest. The themes there are solidly designed so that you can be sure the foundation you build on is correct. (There's nothing worse than inadvertently picking up someone else's bad coding or design habits!)

    Once you have a few WP sites under your belt, you'll want to bone up on creating a theme from scratch or from a WP wireframe.

    Some reputable theme developers include Brian Gardner, Justin Tadlock, Chris Pearson (Thesis), Nick Roach (Elegant Themes), and Phil Moore (Graph Paper Press), to name a few.

    HTH

  5. Ruthie1
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Thank you. I'll look these over.

    Again...can I add slideshows and video (YouTube) to any theme or do some have limitations?

    Ruthie

  6. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

    you can pretty much do anything with any theme.

    Some may just look better than other. Some may have inbuilt support for certain features, video, etc.

    Some thins you'll have to do with plugins. If a plugin is made for WP, it should just work, they are not theme dependent.

    That being said, the display of certain features from a plugin or a widget may be affected by the theme.

    You may have to do some theme tweaking, like extra css rules or something, to get the exact look you are after

  7. Ruthie1
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Thanks. That clarifies it. I can tweak the CSS and introduce plugins. Great. Full speed ahead.

  8. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

    that's correct.

    I have a few plugins that didn't look great with my theme. Generally, you wouldn't want to edit the plugin directly, as the edits would be lost on a plugin update.

    But I've found that checking the source code output by the plugin in my browser, I can generally get specific enough tags to add the css rules onto my theme's style.css and get things looking just right

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