On Fiddling with WordPress

Wednesday I decided it was time.

WordPress 2.5 wasn’t officially released, but there was a release candidate available. The WordPress Podcast said that, as best they could tell, it was stable and probably good to go.

And I’m a tinkerer. Even if that means taking my blog’s sanity into my own hands.

I upgraded to the 2.5 Release Candidate.

I’ve decided. I have too many plugins. Deactivating them in one fell swoop? Not a problem. Reactivating them one at a time? Major problem. Such is life.

Once the plugins were reactivated — and a code edit made to one plugin — I made a test post.

But all wasn’t yet good with the world.

I decided I needed to make another change.

When I changed to the Hemingway theme two months ago, the custom stylesheet I cobbled together was based heavily on the color scheme of the Vertigo Blue theme. (And now that Brian Gardner, the designer of Vertigo, has released a new version of Vertigo, I find that I’m tempted to switch back.) But as it’s spring, and as we’ve just passed St. Patrick’s Day, I decided it was time for spring colors.

Hence. everything that was blue? Now it’s green.

It’s all the power of stylesheets. 🙂

Finding the right shade of green for various functions was… difficult. Green just doesn’t seem to look good on monitors when used for text, and many shades don’t make for a good contrast against white text. Using a dark green background was obvious, and then it was some experimentation to find the right hover shade. Finding a legible green for hyperlinked text was yet more experimentation. I like the choices I made — seriously, I could play with the hover effects in the footer for hours at a time, which is clearly a sign of my need for hobbies — though I’m tempted to fiddle with the text hyperlink color. It does what I need it to do. It stands out. For now I’ll leave it.

(But wait! Why not the old standard underline effect for hyperlinks? Umm, because I don’t like the way that looks? Isn’t that reason enough?)

Now that I’m working with WordPress 2.5, even if it’s not the “final” version, I’m going to say it — I like it.

I’d heard grumblings that the new administration panels were garish in their redesign, yet I like the more muted colors, and the layout looks quite good in Opera.

I also find that things load faster. The WordPress Dashboard, for instance, loads very quickly now. One of the plugins I had installed was to disable the various feeds that it pulls, as it would take literally a minute or three for all the feeds to come up, so that I could then actually do something. I don’t need that plugin now; the feeds load much quicker and render better.

One plugin I’m not giving up on, though, is the Gravatar plugin. Gravatars are little images that are displayed when people leave comments, and anyone can sign up for their own Gravatar. (LiveJournal users, think of Gravatars as a universal user icon.) While the functionality is now built into WordPress directly, without need for a plugin, I find that I like the way I can use class attributes with the Gravatar plugin for styling and positioning purposes, which I cannot do with WordPress’ new get_avatar function.

For now, I think I’m done with adjusting my WordPress install. Until the final release of 2.5 drops, of course.

There are no fancy bells-and-whistles to install. I like the look and feel of the Hemingway theme, even if it hasn’t entirely satisfied my goals with using it. (Essentially, I’ve seen a drop in activity since changing to Hemingway. I’m trying to figure out why. It’s rather significant, actually.)

Nothing’s final in this world, but this is probably as final as things will be for some time to come. 🙂

2 thoughts on “On Fiddling with WordPress

  1. The green is relaxing and easy on the eyes. It’s a very nice green (and I’m not a big “green” fan, ironic being an Eagles fan).

    And tweaking WordPress? You know I’ll be doing it come 2.5 final (I don’t know, I’m just not comfortable with running non-final versions on my sites).

  2. Y’know, it never occurred to me, but that “field of green” in the footer looks danged close to Eagles Green. (I’m sure it has an official color, but “Eagles Green” works.)

    One thing I’ve discovered is that, with Simple Tags installed, WordPress isn’t saving my tags when I write a post.

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