Colors: A New Anchor CMS Theme

colors

A minimal theme for Anchor CMS with a splash of Color

The VPSstat.us blog has been running Anchor CMS since I launched it.

Since VPSstat.us is done and gone, I decided to release the theme for public use. It’s on GitHub. I’m no designer, so this theme looks like absolute junk compared to most other Anchor CMS themes. Anchor has some of the nicest looking themes around.

It’s not in a very usable state currently. I need to fix a lot of things, especially the logo/site name. VPSstat.us is currently hard-coded in there with no way to change it without editing the source.

The social icons in the footer also need to be removed and replaced with something dynamic that can be enabled or disabled.

There’s probably about five things I need to do before I’d feel comfortable submitting it to anchorthemes.com.

If you want to give it a try, I’d love to know what you think. If you come across problems, feel free to fix them and send a pull request. It’s really easy to do. Here’s the gist of it (pun intended):

I’m still planning to contribute more to Anchor core, specifically with importing WordPress content. The current methods for importing from WordPress are pretty unreliable. I’d love to move this site to Anchor, but waiting on a few features before I do that.

A full screenshot is below, or you can see it running on the VPSstat.us blog.
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Brick Webfonts

brick

Webfonts that actually look good

Brick is a collection of great looking fonts. It’s open source, so anyone can contribute, and can be found on GitHub.

The mission statement from the Brick site:

In the age of the Internet, we’ve found ourselves in yet another typographic battle. In an effort to speed up loading times, we’ve compressed fonts, and along the way, we’ve lost the majority of the quality of rendered type.

Let’s change that. The fonts served by Brick are clones of the original, converted without modification to WOFF format for high quality rendering and fast loading across all modern browsers.

The fonts are served from the Fastly CDN, which is backed by Linode’s infrastructure.

A list of fonts can be found here, and usage instructions can be found here.

Is Brick actually better?

I dunno. Maybe.

Brick provides a comparison, showing Brick fonts, and Google Web Fonts. Make sure to read the readme for tips on spotting the differences between the two, they may not be obvious to an untrained eye (like mine).

I’ve been a fan of Google Web Fonts, but may try Brick for my next project.

What do you prefer?

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Building a WordPress Child Theme

child-theme

Make changes to your theme the correct way

Whenever I’m using a pre-built theme and need to make changes to it, I create a child theme and then make all changes to that child theme.

A child theme inherits features from it’s parent theme. This allows you to make modifications to the child theme without affecting the code in the parent theme, which allows the parent theme to be updated as normal, without causing your modifications to be lost.

Benefits of using a child theme

  • If you modify an existing theme and it is updated, your changes will be lost. With a child theme, you can update the parent theme (which might be important for security or functionality) and still keep your changes.
  • It can speed up development time.
  • It’s a great way to get started if you are just learning WordPress theme development.

Creating the Child Theme

Only one file is required to make a child theme, style.css. The only required lines in style.css are Theme Name and Template. I typically use something like the following for my style.css file. Just set the Template value to whatever the name of your parent theme is. In my case, it’s independent-publisher.

Example Child Theme GitHub Repository

I put together a simple child theme example, it’s available on GitHub.

Feel free to use it as a base for your child themes. It’s setup to use Independent Publisher as its parent theme, but that can be easily changed. If you need help, you can ask in the comments at this post, or create an issue at the GitHub repository.