Tweaking a WordPress Theme

When I first set up a WordPress site, I will typically choose an initial theme for the site, instead of creating my own theme from scratch. Then once the design and layout for the site is established, I either totally discard the original theme because it so far from what the site requires or I leave the site with the theme (and leave the credit to the theme designer) with some changes.

Here is a list of some themes I have used to set up sites:

First let’s discuss Atahualpa. My main complaint about this theme is it is difficult to spell. Otherwise, it’s a great theme; it includes a lot of tools for tweaking in its set up.


One of the best features of the Atahualpa theme is one can adjust the settings easily within the administration panel. One can adjust the numbers of columns, change the header, add extra CSS styles and widgets. Two sites that feature this theme are NJPlaygrounds and Ascender Rises Above. If you look at Recent Comments on the Atahualpa site, you will see lots of praise for this theme.

I have also worked a bit with Thematic and Hybrid. Both are more challenging to change than other themes. But one can learn a lot about theme development by using one of these two themes. Child themes have been created from both of these themes; here’s a post that explains how to create a child theme (and why one can be so useful).

Finally, I found Panorama on a list, after I had tried some magazine themes and decided they had too many bells and whistles for my liking. I found Panorama easy to tweak; it also let’s you add just a bit of personalization by including your own long and narrow photos or images in the header. Much of the initial tweaking was just making a few changes to the style.css file. I plan to discuss the details of tweaking Panorama in a future post.

Have you tweaked any themes? Any themes that you would recommend in particular?

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