Themes Archives

Sometimes we have to dive deep into some scary code to make a theme or plugin do what we want. Here are some articles that deal with such things.

Keep in mind that software evolves fast and a tweak that worked a year ago may not work anymore today.

How to enable the Author Bio Box in TwentyThirteen

The TwentyThirteen theme has a built-in option to display an Author Bio Box underneath each post. It’s nicely formatted and can be implemented very easily – if only their authors would mention that this feature even exists, let alone how to activate it. To understand how it works, we need to take a peek at … Read more

How to bring back the date on Sticky Posts in TwentyThirteen

By default, the TwentyThirteen theme suppresses the date byline when a post is marked as Sticky (in which case, it’ll always be displayed at the top of the posts list).

That’s usually great, because Sticky Posts are often timeless announcements, and the fact that they’re a year or two out of date doesn’t look as handsome as if the date byline would simply be removed. I like this as a default behaviour.

Here’s what a default sticky post looks like, without the date displayed:

But of course, every now and again you may want to break the rules and shake up the whole universe. I did this on my iOS Dev Diary recently, where an announcement post would have been very helpful with the date displayed (I didn’t intent to keep it there for long).

So how do we bring back the date on Sticky Posts in TwentyThirteen? Let’s find out!

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How to bring back the Author Byline in TwentyThirteen

I could have sworn that when I started using Automattic’s TwentyThirteen theme over five years ago, it displayed an Author Byline in the meta description. That’s the text right underneath the title of a post, the same line that displays the post date, categories and tags.

I remember this because there were many an instance on which I had to hide that Author Byline, because on single author websites, crediting yourself over and over again just leads to a cluttered reading experience. Furthermore, if you have several tags and categories to display, the meta line can easily run over into a second line, adding to more clutter than we want to see.

Turns out that over time, the WordPress team have had a lot of feedback about the Author Byline, and it turns out that nine times out of ten, people just didn’t want to see it. So they decided to invisibilise it by default.

Thanks to David Greene and P. Chandra for bringing this to my attention.

Let’s take a look at two options that can bring it back in TwentyThirteen.

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How to fix the Disappearing Mobile Header in TwentyThirteen

I’ve recently changed themes on this site, from my own development of P2 Categories to Automattic’s TwentyThirteen. P2 Categories was not mobile friendly by default, and TwentyThirteen gives all my major notebook sites a cohesive look, making maintenance easier for me.

One thing I’ve noticed about TwentyThirteen is a small bug that’s been discussed several times around the web: when no header text elements are shown (under Appearance – Customise – Site Identity), a graphical header image disappears on mobile devices. Or more accurately, when the screen width changes to anything below 767 pixels.

If a site title and description are shown, the bug does not present itself, and instead the theme resizes the header image as well as the text without issues. That’s the behaviour I’m experiencing on both my 3D Dev Diary and my iOS Dev Diary.

I did some digging and found a suitable solution for this problem. Let me share it with you here.

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P2 Categories – Version 1.6 released

  Last week I found some time to update my fork of Automattic’s P2 theme, aptly titled P2 Categories. In addition to all the greatness of P2, it’s been adding front-page category posting since 2013 (and hasn’t seen an update since then either). Here’s what’s new in the latest version: fixed the drop down menu, … Read more

How to display categories in Automattic’s P2 Theme

By default, Automattic’s phenomenal P2 theme does not support posting into categories from the front page, it only supports tags. My fork of the theme called P2 Categories does that though and lets you conveniently select a category from a drop down menu right there on the front page.

I wrote an update to it last week, and in so doing my article from 2013 came in handy that explains how to add this functionality to P2. Nothing much has changed in the source code, so it’s still relevant and accurate.

What the above article did not explain however was how to show which category a post belongs to. And because it’s still fresh in my  memory how to do this, I thought I’d better write it down for next time (and anyone who’s interested in how to do it).

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How to turn plain URLs into clickable links in WordPress

The marvellous P2 Theme has an interesting feature: write out a plain link, and it magically becomes clickable without explicitly adding the a href tag.

This may not be a big deal if you’re writing posts in the visual WordPress editor rather than HTML, but for those of us who like to write in HTML, it’s just one less thing to worry about.

I was investigating this feature recently, and it turns out WordPress has a built-in function that can do this: they call it make_clickable(), and it works with URIs, FTP, Email addresses and anything starting with www. The function is really easy to use too: it only takes one parameter (a string), and returns the clickable HTML code.

$clickableText = make_clickable($plainText);

Let’s see how to use it in context, using the TwentyThirteen theme.

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