Most missed tool: customize templates

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    One of the most annoying things I’ve found mantaining my blog is that I can’t customize the aspect of the templates. I’m not particularly interested in adding plugins, but I think that a user MUST have the chance to change the graphics of the header, to swap the menu-content columns, to change ALL the title of the widgets, etc.
    Of course, this have to be restricted (you can’t upload commercial banners or anything offensive and template credits can’t be changed) but it’s just a very little improvement to avoid users like me from switching to Blogger platform…


    I agree, I have been debating wheather to switch to blogger for them reasons. The major faught at blogger though is that annoying bar at the top of the page for all viewers.



    fabien – I think I can safely assume that you have read the FAQ and that the customization limitations come as no surpise to you. I hope you also know the correct place to direct your requests for implementation of blogging enhancements for this free multi-user platform service that is less than 1 year old is through feedback, right?

    patriotfan – I’m sure that by now you have made your customization requests through the correct channels and that you’re so busy creating content that you won’t just be tagging on every post of this nature, right?

    You see the reason I bring this up at all is that I’ve noticed when it comes to unhappiness and tagging on or if you prefer, “tail-gating” it can actually become addictive, and it can also spoil the enjoyment not only of the tail-gater but also of the happy campers like me.

    Please I ask you respectfully to consider the effect you could be having on others by choosing to become an addicted tail-gater, okay?

    What I’m asking is simply for you to be a good sport and that shouldn’t be hard for a patriotsfan to do, right?



    Most asked question at the moment despite the FAQ and the glut of posts here: Why can’t I change my template?

    I would suggest that people do their homework before signing up for a free service instead of apparently just saying “FREEEEEEE!!!!!” and then complaining.

    Blogger started in 1999.
    In 2012 you are free to do comparisons.



    I’m noticing an increased tendency among forum regulars to be… well, rude, when people ask for stuff they can’t currently have. Yes, they probably have read the FAQ. It doesn’t make them feel less frustrated. And it has never been stated outright by the PTB that we will never be able to have plugins/customise templates/print out from blogs/use adsense etc. etc., so what is wrong with politely asking them to wait and see what happens?

    This forum gets more like every day. Inevitable, perhaps, but also disappointing. If you do want to drive people to blogger, you’re going the right way about it.



    Wank, I’ve been doing tech support for nearly eight years and I can safely and comfortably say that most people do not read the information presented to them for their assistance. I see that around here on this forum quite often as well when someone posts to a thread asking for assistance or saying something doesn’t work and the answer is two or three posts above theirs. While I have also noticed that a few responses have been rather a bit over board, I have also noticed that some of the people asking for these features have been as well recently.

    You should see some of the posts I have deleted around here or edited. Had a nice one a few days ago that would have made a sailor blush if you catch my meaning.

    To be honest, I’m getting tired of repeating myself over and over again around here on this topic. Like Podz said, this is the most asked question around here. People do not understand that this is not the normal WordPress software that they themselves can download and host elsewhere. They don’t have to stay here if they don’t want to.

    Anyone else realize that this site has been up now for almost a year with a single major hiccup? Has Blogger? Has MSN’s blogs? Heck, even my servers have downtime.

    Fabien, I answered your comment here and many other places in this forum. It basically boils down to that there are very few WordPress themes where one can modify the information within a theme from the Dashboard. Hopefully, if WordPress MultiUser being used more now, more theme designers will begin to realize that this feature is needed. Until then, gives us what they can. If this is unacceptable to you, then I politely suggest (And I do politely suggest this, I’m not trying to be rude or anything) downloading WP from and finding a theme that you like and hosting your blog with a service of your choice. I know you’ve been here for 8 months but, this being your first post here, I would suggest taking a few moments to take a look thru these forums as well as the FAQ information as this subject has been covered many times before. Granted, even I would like to see this feature as well. Remember that this is a free service. Blogger may have it, but then Blogger gets hacked quite often as well.

    And when was the last time anyone ever saw an actual Blogger tech support person. I remember when the webcomic Medium Large couldn’t update for 3-4 weeks because of an issue with Blogger.

    If Fabien wants to go back to Blogger, then he or she is free to do so. Anyone is. I personally think more of WordPress though with its categories, the space to host pictures onsite, a working tech support system and are willing to listen to suggestions made from its users, it’s ability to export and input posts, and it’s uptime. Like I said in another thread yesterday, you have to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages.

    If there are features that you need and can’t live without, rent yourself some webspace and host your own blog or site. That way you can customize anything you want.

    Folks just need to realize that this being a free service, they’re not going to be handed everything to them on a free silver platter when they ask (or demand) for something.

    Edit: You will note that I have not closed this thread or any others. I agree that suggestions should be made and all that but they need to be made with an understanding of what is available here and what one can and cannot do with the software.

    If you can suggest a theme that is editable, may I suggest pointing the staff at it. That would be a better way to handle this topic instead of just complaining about the situation.




    Well said. Although, I, too would like to have more customizable templates, as I former Blogger user, I am delighted with the functionality and stability of your platform, and the excellent and courteous tech support.

    (Joke mode on now.) Now, if I could only find a template that would increase my hits a thousand-fold overnight, I’d be ecstatic! (Joke mode off now.)




    I’ve read the forums and FAQs and understand what and can and can’t be done and I’m wondering now – how do get into designing themes for Does it need skills beyond HTML and CSS? If so, I’m probably not qualified. :(

    What would be fantastic would be software to enable everyone to build their own theme and then upload it to a directory such as




    Why need we always to be better. Not that i want it to. I try to look always up ahead. But I realize it isn’t easy.

    To read this I think a lot back. About what I’ve done and what needed to be done. I love to try fauna beta 5, but I keep in mind that it isn’t possible. At least yet, but I can wait and in the mean while try to get a host and a domain. What I don’t prefer yet.

    What podz said was good and completely respectful
    The same count for drmike.
    I hoop that this would be free and good forever. It is good now and don’t please don’t put something in it what is unstable. I used blogger here for and Ge’s what I use now Why just because the thinking of its safeness and the support and the good worked out technology.

    Like I said before I just love my blog hosted by What do i want more.
    I had a complete site and give that up for wordpress. What does that mean. For me is that a good thing.

    Thanks for all the support and making this possible.
    I’m sorry iv I spelled something wrong.



    Thanks to ALL of you for your replies (and forgive my bad English). You’re absolutely right being angry with me because I haven’t read other’s posts about my topic before posting and I beg your pardon.
    BTW, I already have an account on Blogger (since 2000) and a copy of hosted on my Media Temple server. This said, I don’t like Blogger service except for the customization so I’ve created the account even here and started blogging on that I appreciate far more (especially on what’s in the 100% validated code of the pages). And it can’t be an smart option to buy a hosting plan for every single blog someone wanna try to open.
    That’s the reason because I considered myself eligible for such asking on the forum. And it was just that: a polite ask. I never wanted you to feel as I’ve told “Hey bunch of ****, now give me customization!” because I only intended to give a feedback to let you avoid people switch to Blogger.
    As I’ve told on my first post, I’m perfectly confortable with the platform and I don’t care about plugins, just a little about more flexible templates.
    I know this is a very young project and it will grow in the future. I’ll stay here waiting for your progress because I really appreciate your work.
    But now give me customization! :-p

    Really, thank you all.



    It basically boils down to that there are very few WordPress themes where one can modify the information within a theme from the Dashboard. Hopefully, if WordPress MultiUser being used more now, more theme designers will begin to realize that this feature is needed.

    Actually the recent theme competition produced several themes which utilise functions.php. None of them have been implemented here. Possibly because the theme viewer at chokes on some of the extra code and therefore they’re not being showcased, possibly because they’re too complex for a multi-user environment, but more likely because they just weren’t to Matt’s taste. There is absolutely no point nagging designers to spend their time making themes when everyone knows perfectly well that the finished product will only get installed here if Matt likes the way it looks (or thinks that girls might). The fact that they won’t publish the specs required for a theme (browser/resolution compatibility, suggested layout of functions.php, essential widgets, suggested xhtml spec, etc. etc.) suggests they’re not actually interested in getting people to design for; they’re content to take .org themes and hack them about a bit.

    Fauna has been upgraded to allow for greater customisability; but in spite of the best efforts of the designer and the community the devs are refusing to update it until it’s offically out of beta (kind of illogical seeing as how we already have an earlier beta version on here, but hey). All I’m saying here is that theme developers are making an effort to provide what’s needed, but the developers are not meeting them halfway.



    Wank, I’ll be honest. I tired some of the winners for the theme competition on my blogs. I even left one of themes up on my site for a few days.

    I’m trying to figure out why they won.

    Some of those looked horrible in certain browsers or flat out didn’t work. There was poorly nested CSS. Not all of the normal sidebar functions worked, especially the calender one.

    I really hate to be negative when it comes to open source projects and items but some of those left me shaking my head.

    I contacted two of them with suggestions and corrections and got replies from neither of them. (And, yes, I was very polite.)

    fabien, we’re not mad at you. The main problem is that we get a lot of people here who think that this is the same product as the normal version of WP and automatically assume that they have the same flexability or they don’t realize that, since it’s a shared setup, that changes made to one site are usually made to all of them. That’s actually one of the benefits of this software from a system admin point of view.

    I have a large number of WP installs for my hosting clients. Let me tell you that updating all of them is usually a 2 or 3 day project for me. *chuckle* It was a lot of fun a few days ago when phpBB rolled out a new version followed a few days later by a “Whoops, we made a mistake” update.



    [oh my gawd – don’t you get it?]
    – it’s about the horses
    – no it’s about the dead horses
    – no no it’s about the beaters of dead horses
    – no no it’s about the beaters of dead horses, who didn’t beat them politely
    – no no it’s about not being able to tell horses the truth

    [oh my gawd – don’t you get it?]
    – its really about the donkeys, not the horses
    – it’s about the donkeys that can do for themselves but insist on being stabled for free and treated politely by both the horses and the horse masters caring for the horses, who are caring for the horses because they can’t care for themselves like the donkeys can
    – no no it’s about the horses who are back-talking the donkeys
    no no it’s about not being able to tell horses the truth about the donkeys

    [oh my gawd- don’t you get it?]
    – no no – it’s about Matt’s interest in the fillies
    – no no it’s about Matt’s adversion to considering any new ways to satisfy the mis-placed donkeys in the horse stable

    [oh my gawd- don’t you get it?]
    – it’s about the he hawing about the horses
    – no it’s about the he hawing about the donkeys
    – no it’s about the he hawing about beaters of dead donkeys
    – no no it’s about the he hawing about the impolite beaters of dead donkeys
    – no no it’s about Matt – it’s always about Matt and the other little boys who are jealous of Matt

    [oh my gawd – don’t you get it?]
    – it’s those damn horses

    He Haw!!! He Haw!! He Haw!!

    Please close this thread … please



    I really hate to be negative when it comes to open source projects and items but some of those left me shaking my head.

    Oh, absolutely. Most of the people with actual skill moved on ages ago, because a) theme developers get so little support compared to plugin developers, b) they’re blackmailed into giving their work away for free under a licence which doesn’t even allow them to ask for credit and c) compared to other communities, the users are unusually demanding and ungrateful.

    Everything’s geared towards discouraging professionals, and then people wonder why they get amateur-quality themes. It really isn’t that surprising.



    wank – you know I’m a a proto-blogger trying my best to learn as quickly as I can. Truth told I’m not always clear about what you are talking about so you can see from your trackbacks to your blogg I’m trying to expand my information base and comprehension.

    Please accept the humorous entry I made above as a combination of confusion that triggered a newbie giggle fit. What has “open source” got to do with template design and customization, please? Have there been open source ponies in the stables with the horses and donkeys that I over-looked when sending in my feedback (eg. Fauna Beta 5)?

    How can we bring this blackmail situation into the light of day for newbies like me reading forum postings so we work together to find a creative solution to what I think you may be indicating is “stonewalling”?

    Forgive me if you think I’m making an ass of myself. Please be patient and explain in terms a beginner can comprehend, okay?



    Wank, I agree. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t really released any of my works that I have for my clients out into GPL land. Although I have with other sperate projects.

    I do disagree though with the statement “under a licence which doesn’t even allow them to ask for credit” The GPL does require a statement in any output of a program released under the GPL. We went through this with PHPNuke a few years back as it’s common over there for users of the program to remove credit for the program. The GPL does require it though.

    I spend a lot of time with Open Source projects. On my to do list is a “Display a page of random pictures” plugin for Gallery, my random name/ character generator that I hope to release in beta this afternoon, a fix for Andrew’s BOTD program, (well, it doesn’t work on my site for some reason, I’m still trying to track that one down) and a few more.

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