In 2012, I chose to use Zbench as my theme for the my then revised blog. I used it for a number of years until I migrated the blog to Nulis. I documented some aspects of the move on a wiki article, which now holds some history as comments. In 2023, I transferred some main section comments from another article which I then deleted.

The two initial problems I have are using the heading tags, and their code style.

I also would like to have the pages having individual comment closure dates, so that I can create an always open guest book, which i believe is possible on this wiki.

I need to check out Child Themes. This will make preserving customisations much easier.

Further Customisation notes

The following paragraphs were originally published on another post, I document the header.php, front pages, read more and category and tag lists.

This section of this page talks about customisations I have undertaken or am in the process of implementing. It includes stuff about header images, the front page, (mainly full articles vs. snippets) and favicons.

Header Images

The theme editor panel allows one to assign an image file to the header. Since this was one of the motives for moving the blog to wordpress, I really should get on with it.

Front Page

The default front-page is implemented using index.php.

For the wiki, I should make a new front page, maybe, this page at themelab explains how to do this simply.

This article Corporate Blogs: Front Page Structure, recommends the use of summaries on the front page, as opposed to the full articles. During July, I wrote some exceptionally long articles, and published them out of order  which really made finding content really hard, and even following the story hard.

This wiki also uses the read more  features of WordPress. I researched this, with help at the wordpress community forums, I started a thread called, use of Insert More with zbench, which discuss the use of ‘insert break’ button and the dashboard settings. This page at the wordpress codex, called, Customizing the Read More explains how to use the read more features.

In October 2013, I decided to revise the Read More functionality, I installed the advanced-excerpt plugin in order to have some say on length of the the excerpt. This gives some issues around the hypertext link and decoration for the hypertext link. The rendering of the » symbol varies, and for the default look in zbench it is managed via a css class rule which is quite pretty.

I also installed the featured picture widget and set up a CSS rule to force the pictures to aligh left.

I decided to emulate the comments page by having horizontal lists detailing the catagories and tags for each entry.

I get them using the following functions,

<!--- entry customisation code by dfl  16 Oct 2013 --->
   <span class="post-info-bottom">
   <span class="post-info-category">
       <?php echo get_the_category_list(','); ?>
   <span class="post-info-tags"><?php echo get_the_tag_list(' ',', '); ?></span>

The post-info-* classes are part of zbench, the use of get_the_category_list realises a class called .post-categories. I have defined the following CSS rule

    .post-categories ul li {list-style-type: none; display: inline; }

which makes the category list behave properly.

On a header photo

I finally got round to experimenting with a photo banner for the site. This is a standard feature in most themes  and cropped a picture and uploaded it via the Appearance -> Header dialogue panel. The look is as above. Not what I wanted; it takes too much vertical space. I was hoping for the header to be above the tabs in the black area. Perhaps I can experiment with it, or maybe take a vertical slice through the picture and experiment with three column themes, with the photo banner on the left, like the Vin Rouge theme at CSS Zengarden, or maybe I should look at using backgrounds rather than headers.

On the footer

Originally posted in it’s own snip, when written the zbench theme’s footer text was

Copyright © 2013 | Powered by zBench and WordPress

This isn’t what I want.

There follows an extract from footer.php in the zbench theme.  The rest of the article discusses how to change it.

<?php _e(‘Copyright’, ‘zbench’); ?> &copy; <?php echo date(“Y”); ?> <?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?>
| <?php printf(__(‘Powered by %1$s and %2$s’, ‘zbench’),
‘<a href=””>zBench</a>’, ‘<a href=””>WordPress</a>’); ?>

_e is a translation function. It is part of wordpress, in ${WP_HOME}/wp-includes/l10n.php. As you can see I have now changed the footer text. I did so using the _e function, but maybe should have just replaced it with hard coded html. I also removed the &copy; string, which is HTML and renders as ©. I have copied footer.php to the custom child theme folder which is where I made the changes. I have a community forum article here.

Fav Icons

I have used the HTML editor in the dashboard to insert the favicon code lines. I used this page, as a guide which also points at a favicon maker.

One Comment

  1. I have today, moved these comments, written between July 2012, to July ’18 to this comment as they have been superceded, mainly by Jetpack I have been experimenting with rating and installed and uninstalled the following plugins comment rating field plugin, comment rating widget, rate, rate this page, rating widget I finally settled on Vote-it-Up, see also its plugin site, which I comment on at this article on this wiki. It supports up and down, it contains a widget for both voting and displaying popular scores. I am currently experimenting with tweet-button, which I’ll probably keep and Add This, which I probably won’t this time; I reckon Vote it Up and Tweet are what I want. (I’ll drop addthis because in order to tune it to do what I want, will involve a shit load of programming in languages I don’t know. It used to be easier, but integrating the vote-this-up, particularly given that it may be abandonware, is not something I want to take on. I am interested in offering twitter, delicious, mail, bookmark and vote this up.)

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