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Blank Theme

  1. I've finally abandoned all hope of getting Coraline theme to behave in a rational way - at least my idea of rational. Instead I've adopted Toolbox theme since it's supposed to work better with CSS.

    Wishful thinking perhaps but wouldn't it be great if newcomers to WordPress.com could simply choose whether they want a) website, or b) blog?

    If they chose website, then they might have an option to choose from a theme to their liking (of which there are a great many choices), or a blank template which lends itself to HTML and CSS customisation.

    No doubt I will be directed from here WordPress.org but really I want wordpress.com hosting and simplicity. What I don't want is to have to spend hours trying to deconstruct a prefab theme only to find it's not really possible and even if I do partially succeed then I have someone else's credit at the bottom of my hard work.

    The blog I need help with is brinded.wordpress.com.

  2. All themes lend themselves to CSS customization. Toolbox isn't "supposed to work better with CSS", it's a blank template for real experts who can style everything from scratch. For the average user, modifying a well selected regular theme is easier. You "abandoned all hope of getting Coraline theme to behave" because you have no experience in CSS editing - see short reply here:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/position-of-float?replies=3#post-1151773

    "Someone else's credit at the bottom" is always there because a theme is lots more than its appearance: you can change the appearance, but you don't design how the theme works.

  3. justpi,

    Thanks for your response. True enough, I'm new to CSS editing, still working my way through tutorials, and to a great extent reliant upon the kindness of strangers for help. I have managed to make a halfway decent site on Google Apps a few years back, so am not entirely devoid of capability. Current frustration stems from amount of steps involved in getting rid of blog aspects to make a simple site. I just don't think it needs to be as difficult as it is. And judging by others on forum, I'm not alone.

    As for themes which lend themselves to CSS, my limited understanding is derived from a timethief post dated Nov 5, 2011:

    There are two free themes, Sandbox and Toolbox designed to allow maximum flexibility for CSS editing and creating new “skins”. Toolbox is more modern and includes a lot of support for CSS3 and HTML5, so it is really only limited by your skills and knowledge.

  4. You're welcome.
    1) I'm sure you're capable: it shows by your willingness to work with CSS (in contrast to most users who are simply intimidated by coding). I only meant you don't know enough yet.
    2) Except the kindness of strangers, you should keep in mind that users who've bought the CD upgrade are entitled to staff support. The only problem is that staff may take ages to reply.
    (By the way, staff support is the reason why my own kindness is limited: staff support is the bait WP offered when they doubled the price of the upgrade.)
    3) The "amount of steps involved in getting rid of blog aspects to make a simple site" is very small: you just publish pages instead of posts, and set the blog front to display a static page instead of the latest posts. But your idea with the bg image and the text blocks that should fall in front of specific areas of that image doesn't fall under "simple site".
    (By the way 2, since you don't know how to do that with CSS, the simplest solution would be to use Photoshop and turn everything into one image.)
    4) Timethief doesn't know CSS, and she specializes in stock replies that often contain excerpts from support docs or other experienced volunteers' replies (mine included). As I said in my previous reply, Toolbox is for those who are experienced enough to work out the entire styling of a theme themselves. Your problem with the h2 headings shows that you're nowhere near that yet, so I would strongly suggest you use a 'normal' theme.

  5. justpi,

    Thanks again. Points taken. I will heed your advice and head back to a normal theme.

    The photoshop single image sounds like a good idea, but I'd really like to hone my CSS skills, and this project, albeit challenging for a neophyte, is of strictly limited scope, so I'm determined to see it through.

  6. Fine! In that case try following the suggestions I made in the other thread.
    One piece of advice: if you're using Firefox, install the Firebug add-on; it will help you examine your page and identify elements, selectors etc.

  7. done.

    btw

    2) ... you should keep in mind that users who've bought the CD upgrade are entitled to staff support.
    ...staff support is the bait WP offered when they doubled the price of the upgrade.

    As I've now learned, 'staff support' is hardly supportive. One Jonathan P. (putative Systems Wrangler) politely suggested, "refer to our forums for support." Thanks a lot JP.

  8. That's what staff support is supposed to be: users post in the CSS forum, and a staff member (username "designsimply") answers most questions.

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