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WordPress theme wrangling

I’m still working on a WordPress theme to call my own. I haven’t done any work coding it per se as I’m currently looking at various themes trying to figure out how I want to accomplish what I want to accomplish. As I mentioned before, I’m not proficient in HTML and CSS and I will have to get a little more comfortable with both before I start putting my own theme together.

Aside from looking at creations by prominent WordPress theme designers, I’m also learning by modding the theme I’m currently using on this site, Blue Zinfandel. Among other things, I’ve altered the colours a little and messed with the fonts a little. Baby steps.

I then attempted to fix the theme’s one glaring flaw. For reasons I couldn’t fathom at first, the comments form textarea looked like this in Firefox:
WordPress Blue Zinfandel comments box
But it looked like this in Opera:
WordPress Blue Zinfandel comments box

I was aware of this issue when I first installed the theme — the same problem plagues Vertigo, another theme by the same author — but I figured it would be a quick easy fix. When it quickly became apparent that it would be neither quick nor easy to fix, I simply shrugged and decided to let it be. It only looked screwy in Opera and functionally, the comments form worked just fine.

It did bug me a little, though, and I came to the realisation I would face cross browser compatibility issues like this when I was creating my own theme. This would be a good a place as any to start theme wrangling so I set about fixing it.

Troubleshooting this was all kinds of pain and frustration — so much so I’m going to spare you the gory details — but I finally managed to fix it yesterday. At least, I think I did. The comments form textarea looks all right in Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Opera 9.25.

I’d be really chuffed about this but the funny thing is I have only the vaguest of ideas why my hack works.

Clearly, I have some way to go before I’m ready to start coding my own theme.

Still, baby steps before giant leaps, eh?

Posted in WordPress.