WHAT KIND OF FREE WORDPRESS THEME ARE YOU? (HERE’S MY PINBOARD THEME LOOK…)
I have changed my blog’s look to the beautiful and free WordPress Pinboard theme. The transition and my custom styling are still a work in progress, so please bear with me while the blog migration process happens.
I am also a newbie to how a responsive WordPress theme functions and how best to customize it for my marketing needs.
This WordPress design is certainly a new way of working for me, and I’m still finding my feet on this project while learning the pros and cons of the Pinboard theme. But so far I’m impressed with the excellent design and features, and I look forward to a 2.0 version when it happens.
The transition to my site’s new look hasn’t been the instant and smooth process that I had anticipated. I encountered a number of design issues that I had to search the web to resolve. It’s a great grid theme, but there’s a real lack of documentation. That said, they have just started producing some simple to follow documentation.
The first design problem I encountered was with the Header. I tried my logo at different sizes and I could not get the social icons to align. It’s ok as it currently is, but for perfection I need to do some tinkering under the hood to adjust the margin or padding so they are centered vertically. But right now that’s not a priority to fix.
I also had to do a php file hack to add the html target=”_blank” to force these social icons to open links in a new window. I think that should be set by default.
Btw, the origins of my apple logo that is formed from my “OR” initials dates back to a doodle I did when I had my first Apple Mackintosh — The Macintosh Classic.
The leaf element is the shape that a paintbrush makes when loaded with medium. I made the typography of the initials fit to the shape of The Vitruvian Man drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci too. I like my little details!
The apple monogram has been used on all kinds of things and not just on corporate stationary. Back then I did have big ideas of moving into the luxury goods market because I had many leather clients and industry contacts. What if huh??? LOL
Back to the new look site…
The second problem I encountered was with the slider. To get this to appear I add a Featured image and make the post a “Sticky.” Unfortunately, with the current version of Pinboard I was not able to set a “Page” to be a Sticky. 🙁 It caused me to rethink and how to use Posts instead….and then the real headaches began! LOL
My next problem was the Stickies themselves, they were appearing at the top of my blog. In the majority of instances this is the main purpose of stickies, but I wanted to have two specific images always be first in sequence when the slider starts, and I certainly did not want these two stickies to appear elsewhere on my site. The reason being the images are not attached to any page, content or linked.
I discovered that this can be achieved if you want to sacrifice the Portfolio features. To do this you;
1) Create a new Category just for the slider, and then assign this Category to the post you only want to have appear as a Featured image in the slider.
2) Go to Theme Options/General and look under Portfolio. Select the slider Category name you just created that now appears in the Portfolio Category drop down menu.
3) Install WP Hide Posts Plugin so that before publishing a Sticky Post you can check off to hide the post everywhere except on the front page.
This solution would be fine for most bloggers needs, but I still wanted the first two images to always be at 1 & 2. My research revealed that I am able to achieve this by adjusting the post published date and go back in time.
However, as I discovered doing that meant the slider’s stickies appear in both my Archives and in the Recent Posts widget on the front page. Not what I wanted! ….and it would not be an issue if one could only make Pages stickies! Guess I’ll have to wait for Pinboard version 2.0 for that.
After some more Google I discovered that I could use the WordPress Recent Posts Plus plugin to hide these two posts…except that for me there was now a plugin conflict causing it to not work. Ugh!! Back to the drawing board!
At the time of writing, I’m still working through this issue, but I feel this will really need to be resolved with hard coding or the design idea will have to be abandoned until Pinboard 2.0.
Another issue that I am seeking answers to, is when I have a page with no sidebars and embed a video, Pinboard overrides my own 600x300px player parameters and forces the video to appear full width. Visually impressive yes, but not always desired when there are many videos on a page with text. I’m sure this can be solved with the addition of a snippet of css. I’m working on it!!
As I mentioned there is a lack of documentation for this theme, but I finally figured out how to have only one column in the sidebar.
– Remove all widgets in the “Sidebar Left” and “Sidebar Right” area.
– But put the widgets in the “Sidebar Top”.
Simple when you know how! …smart ass! 😉
What comes next?
I am still rationalizing the navigation, and simplifying my use of tags….Yes, I went a little tag crazy, but many, many people do arrive at my site searching for tag words.
My next design step is to add boxes below the slider on the home page. I intend to use this area to feature my own product with an Aweber or Mailchimp opt-in form, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will this site be!
Pinboard has a widget box built in to make setting up this area this a breeze. I just need to create some toned down graphics first to serve as a placeholder until my own product is created. I feel the addition of elements here will totally change the look and feel of my site. It will get rid of the visual tension the slider is causing with the masonry column images. Now if I can just resolve the recent posts dilemma, I can have stickies appear to transform the blog page’s look and feel too!
One last thing….Blogs are always works in progress to build. Don’t sweat the small stuff !!!
The story (and the frustration??) continues….