We're on it

We’re on it

My blog is using one of the latest WordPress themes, Rowling, the WP-hosted version (here is the self-hosted Rowling). From the start, the theme manifested a bunch of bugs, or, as they are euphemistically referred to, theme features. This apparent malfunctioning moved me to contact Support, though I usually can’t be bothered to bother them.

Threaded Comments

One of the issues was solved quite fast and was acknowledged to have been a bug. Threaded comments, advertised as a theme feature (not theme feature in its depreciative meaning here), did not work. Well, now they do, thanks to Support figuring it out. That’s the good news.

Gallery Post Format

The mixed (or outright bad) news is the gallery post format that is the theme feature (pejorative meaning intended here). As you can see in action for example in this post, the gallery format will by default display your gallery as a slider in the featured image of the post. The individual images cannot be enlarged or viewed in carousel. This can’t be overridden—unless you re-programme the theme, I imagine, which you can’t do on WP-hosted. Support tried to help me with this, but concluded that it was—yes, a theme feature.

Previous/Next Post

Another detail, on which Support probably didn’t quite see what I wanted, is the way Previous/Next Post navigation is displayed. On this WP-hosted blog, it shows under the post. Good. But—on my self-hosted private test blog, the navigation shows beautifully in the left-most column, right under the post metadata, including not only a link to the next post but also its featured image. It looks quite nice. It’s a shame that I don’t have this feature, and it’s curious that the same theme is actually not the same on WP-hosted versus self-hosted.

Mobile Menu

The last point is relevant to Rowling on mobile. If you’re particular about your menus and want to use the top header menu but not the bottom header menu (refer to theme specifications to see which is which and where), then you should check how and if the menu displays on mobile. Unless it has been fixed, the top header menu won’t show on mobile. If you have the CSS upgrade on WP-hosted or if you are self-hosted, the issue can be solved by adding a bottom header menu that will show on mobile but not on larger screens, which is achieved by adding this CSS:

@media screen and (min-width: 850px) {
 .header-wrapper .navigation {
 display: none;
 }
}

If you’re neither, bad luck.


As I’m an OCD nit-pick, these things bother me. On a more positive note, they don’t bother me so much as to make me abandon Rowling, which I think is gorgeous. That is, until a new theme is released that I’ll think is even more gorgeous.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

19 Comments

  1. Good read! I have a purchased theme which has had it’s bugs too. I’ve contacted the theme author three times now about bugs, he removed the bugs quickly.

    One instance was CSS, the other was I believe on the PHP side which we WP.com host-ers can’t get to of course. WP is very good about taking care of their users which is one reason I’ve not gone self-hosted again.

    Hope they get you straightened around.

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    1. I imagine there is good support for paid themes – after all, that’s part of what you’re paying for. I’m quite happy with WP support for premium customers – the forums for free users are not always helpful, so it’s good to be able to address the happiness engineers directly. They didn’t generate too much happiness in me concerning the Rowling theme, but they did try to help. And nothing is perfect, so why should my theme be, right…

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  2. Quite a few issues in one theme, one would think! I like the theme too, so I understand you don’t want to abandon it (yet). I think it far between new theme releases for quite some time. The latest one was ridiculous, I forget the name right now … HopScotch or something like that.

    I’ll stick with Sapor now, until something new and shiny comes up 🙂

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    1. Yes, it seems to me too that new themes are coming as fast as they should to satisfy me 😉 Some of the themes just make me wonder what the developers were thinking. I don’t know about HopScotch, but the latest <a href="https://theme.wordpress.com/themes/scratchpad/"Scratchpad made me raise my eyebrows. It might look cute to start with but I’m sure it gets old soon. I prefer less striking themes…

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      1. That was the one I meant, I mixed up the names. Do people really enjoy that much graphics nowadays?! Perhaps some, if they are new to the whole thing … I would have liked it if they had removed all graphics.

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        1. Haha, yes, I actually also liked the theme at first glance – the general layout – and then I noticed the primary school-style graphics.

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          1. It looks awful to me, and it’s a shame as I think it’s probably very good. On the other hand … there are people for everything, so probably someone will get pleased with it 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. To enlarge the individual images, you have to right click them, open in a new tab and then remove the “?w=666” (the “666” is just an example of the image size number).
    That’s in Chrome. I haven’t tried it in Firefox which I normally use.

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    1. Yes, that’s a good point, I found out the same when I tried in Chrome. The thing is how many people casually browsing a blog are willing to go through this hassle. Not me, I guess.

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      1. Me neither, but I had to try to see if it worked.

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        1. Yes, the right-click works. But it’s probably best to avoid the gallery format. I don’t quite get what the theme designer meant with this.

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  4. Alien speak 😦 I’ll stick with my freebie Gateway….

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    1. Your Gateway is actually one of my favourite themes 🙂 My theme is free too, but I pay for a WordPress bundle which adds some features and individual support via email, which I like.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Oh, I didn’t know you could do that ! Such a learning curve this blogging business 🙂

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        1. Yes, it is a great learning curve! I’m experiencing it myself 🙂

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  5. I am very picky about themes… I research very carefully what everything will look like and what I can do (I find the demo sites very handy for this reason)! I haven’t experienced too much trouble with the free themes I’ve used (which, granted, haven’t been too many). Hope everything works out to your liking in the long run!

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    1. I’m just like you, picky – and difficult to please. The demo sites are excellent! I also have a test blog where I run any theme before applying it on my main blog. Let’s see what the theme developers will surprise us with next – I’m always looking forward to new themes to try out 🙂

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      1. I am fairly resistant to change, so I don’t check out new themes frequently. Maybe I should!

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        1. Oh no, you shouldn’t if it’s not your thing! Why make it more complicated for yourself 😉 I have this pressing urge to have the latest and the best theme – best for my purpose, that is – so it’s a constant search.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply

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