First I have to decide if I want to use this theme as a basis for the start of a new theme, which is generally a bad idea unless you’re going to create a child theme.
Or create a child theme.
I am leaning towards the first item MAINLY because I want to extend this theme away from the direction it’s heading. I COULD start my own theme from scratch, but so much has been done in this theme, I don’t see the point.
Child themes have their good and bad points:
- The original theme developer can continue developing and improving the theme and keep it’s users current
- When the original developer makes those changes it won’t break any changes you’ve made
- It saves you from having to create the whole theme from scratch!
- the original developer could develop the theme AWAY from the plan you have in mind for it, resulting in you having to revert those changes in your child (basically to undo their work). Not that I think that is the case with this theme, since it was only ever designed to be the starting point for others to begin with. (I hope I’m not putting words into his mouth there :))
To me, there is an additional caveat as to why you shouldn’t create your own theme and that is, you don’t know what the original developer had in mind when they wrote the theme! You don’t know the entire underlying structure of the theme and how it’s been achieved and to what extent.
But in this case I do. For with the Simone theme by Mor10, I watched his entire course on the theme on Lynda.com (highly recommended course) and I watched him create the theme right in front of me.
So what do I want to do to improve this theme:
- Incorporate categories into pages (can be done with a plugin, but the theme needs some subtle changes to make this flow, ie referring to category items as posts for starters)
- remove the “read the article” if the full extract is shown
- make the search open within the menu area instead of sliding down below it
- change the default media queries to set custom widths before breaking out into single and double columns (and possibly add a third!)
- reduce some of the spacing (I really hate how most websites today have so much wasted white space)
- more sections for the front page and multiple footers and (maybe) headers (possibly just an over menu and under menu and or more menu options)
- use page templates even in archived view