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Topic: Blog Themes

Why are some themes bigger on the page than others? Why do some themes print better than others?

Re: Blog Themes

Most if not all themes come from a theme site. Themes are submitted by users from all over the net(some good, many bad). I pick a few here and there and upload them to the STJ server.

Two words describe how the width of the content area sets up on a page, Fixed and Fluid. Fixed is just that -  a fixed number of pixels. No matter how wide the browser, the content column stays the same width. With Fluid widths the content area is a percentage of the overall width and varies with the width of the browser window.

A third option is Elastic, although it is simply a combination of Fixed and Fluid elements.

All iblog themes are built using a "stylesheet". In Safari, Window-->Activity - any files ending in .css(usually style.css) are stylesheets. They load once to the computer and don't reload as you click around the site, making the site much quicker than "inline" style (as in a Word Document).

Themes designers start with a basic layout/placement of Header, Footer, Content, and Sidebar. The stylesheet has all the information for heights, widths, fonts, colours, backgrounds, bullets, headings(3-4 sizes), indents, margins, breaks, image allignments, etc. Creating the stylesheet is where the designer shines. Good Design is no accident, many hours/years learning code, image/colour relationships etc. But the web does make it easy to share styles and learning is a steep curve at first, but easy-peezy after doing a few hundred themes.

Good Web designers follow stylesheet standards from w3c. Many new web standards emerge from centuries of print sytles. Good Designers follow standard guides for design as well. You've discovered that not all themes at STJ follow the same set of rules. Some are better than others.

With all that web deisigners put into the appearance of their designs for different web browsers for the screen, they universally forget or neglect to add a stylesheet for printing. Designing for a screen resolution is easy, 800x600 colour monitors and up. Desiging for every printer, black and white, laser, ink, and A ZILLION stylesheets would be needed to make every page perfect for every printer.

The specific conventions for printing from a Wordpress theme are ignored by almost every theme developer as well.

I have three "sandbox" themes that have nothing in the stylesheets but do demonstrate the relationship of Header, Footer, Content, and Sidebar(aka Menu): "2 Column Fixed - Menu Right", "2 Column Fluid - Menu Left", "2 Column Fluid - Menu Right".

I've added code to convert every screen stylesheet to a printer stylesheet, but many themes still look odd when printing - some sidebars are fixed, but content is fluid or vice versa and the page "oozes" out of the printer. I don't have the time to hand code a print styelsheet for every template. I just use a few favorites, anyway.

When printing any web page, do a print preview first, and if you can change to a theme that looks better for printing, do so.

Printing without a stylesheet at all is most hideous.

The only other true way to print a WYSIWYG page is to take a screen capture and print the image. But that isn't practical.

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Re: Blog Themes

Why don't some themes show the Amazon Showcase Widgets?

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Re: Blog Themes

Are you talking about the Amazon Showcase ver. 2 widget or the new version we got shown on the library blog?