Recently, I discovered that, when it came to WordPress, I had lost my step.  I hadn’t coded anything in some time, I had largely ceased to blog, and I didn’t have any feel for the platform any longer.

Heck, I didn’t even know what was new and current.

I needed a little “warm-up” project.  Something that would get my feet wet, get the rusty WordPress gears turning again.

So I put together a child theme for the WordPress theme created by NPR, Argo.  And I called it Orpheus.

Argo was designed for single topic, long-form journalism.  In other words, it’s perfect for the sort of wordy blogging that I do.  It has some interesting features, like spotlighted posts and category navigation.  The one thing it doesn’t have is a responsive design.  Argo, out of the box, doesn’t work well on mobile devices and tablets.

Orpheus addresses that.

Argo is built on the 960 grid.  Orpheus reflows the 960 grid based on screen resolution.  On some tablets, the grid is scaled proportionately.  On phones, the grid becomes a single column.

Some features are lost, such as the related posts feature and the category navigation; these elements simply didn’t function at other widths.  (Also, they rely on hovering, something you can do with a mouse but not with with a touchscreen.)

Otherwise, Orpheus succeeds in bringing Argo up to 2014 standards.  It’s also easy to integrate with an existing Argo child theme; a plugin will add the necessary code to the header and, essentially, lets you run a second child theme.

I doubt many, if any, people are using Argo except for those NPR stations that were part of the theme’s development.  Nonetheless, Orpheus fills a need.

To download NPR’s Argo theme, go here.

To download Orpheus, go here.

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