Support » Theme: Twenty Ten » updating Twenty Ten to be responsive

  • As you have probably noticed Google downgrades sites that use Twenty Ten in search results because “Your page is not mobile-friendly,” even when you’re using the latest version (2.9) of the Twenty Ten theme.

    “Todd Halfpenny” has written the CSS to address this as both a child theme and the Responsive TwentyTen plug-in, but he hasn’t updated either for 8 years (I’m writing this in 2019). People have created fixes to the Responsive TwentyTen CSS, including Mike Matera five years ago and summarized in a support topic here by @dccharron two years ago.

    The obvious thing is for WordPress to update a theme that it still ships and incorporate these fixes. I filed Trac ticket 47451, but the response is

    Twenty Ten is the oldest theme available in core. We tend not to make major changes to the older themes for backwards compatibility reasons. I would suggest updating your site to a newer responsive theme, or use either the plugin or child theme you mentioned above.

    Fair enough. I don’t know if Todd Halfpenny is willing, and if it’s even possible, to add other maintainers to the Responsive Twenty Ten plug-in so that they can add those fixes to his plug-in and test it with later WordPress. I’m theoretically willing to do the work, though going 15 years back in time to futz around in Subversion fills me with dread.

    Another alternative would be to fork Twenty Ten as its own theme and incorporate all the changes in Responsive TwentyTen. Todd Halfpenny wrote “I’d suggest going with the plugin route as it means you’ll still be getting the TwentyTen base theme updates from WordPress as well as any updates I make to the plugin,” but it sounds as if WordPress is only making minimal updates to TwentyTen. (It’s been so long since I’ve used Subversion I can’t remember how to diff the changes between two branches to see how big recent changes have been.)

    I welcome any thoughts and suggestions.

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

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  • Hi @skierpage

    Many thanks for tracking us down. I too maintain an old website that uses TwentyTen and it’s responsive plugin. I would happily have moved to another theme but have been unable to find one with a similar flavour. In essence, I would have to rewrite dozens of pages and hundreds of posts to get the website up and running to anyone’s satisfaction.

    Like you, I haven’t used Subversion for a long long time (10+ years) and my knowledge of building a WP theme or maintaining one (or the responsive plugin) isn’t what is needed for your proposed TwentyTen fork. I agree with Todd’s assessment that using a plugin at least leverages the work being done by the WP team to the theme itself but this will come to an end some day. Once that happens we’ll all be forced to find another theme and any work done to the plugin will be a waste of time.

    Happy to correspond further on this issue.

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