My husband’s synthesizer website used a theme called PixelGreen which dated back to the days of WordPress 2.0 — it was a very old theme. In those days designers didn’t want to make wide themes, because the monitors couldn’t display more than 1024 pixel width at most, and many people had monitors set to display 800 pixel width. For that reason, the old theme was fairly accommodating to the narrower displays of mobile devices, but I knew he needed a fully responsive and up-to-date theme that would use WordPress’s current features. I’m a big fan of Felix Krusch’s RichWP themes, which are minimalist, attractive, fast-loading, grid-based, highly flexible, well-supported, and superbly responsive. I picked a WordPress premium theme called SolidBlog for the “Richard Brewster’s Synthesizer” website.

Before:

Old Pugix website

After:

New Pugix website

I easily made key color changes and font choices using the built-in theme customization settings. Widgets were simple. I made a few other tweaks to styles, and changed the footer. Of course I created a child theme for these changes; this is the right way to customize themes. The biggest challenge was getting the podcasting plugin, Blubrry Powerpress, to correctly display the player in the post list view, and in the individual post view, but I was very happy to see that the plugin developers had anticipated potential theme conflicts, and the plugin offered several troubleshooting settings. A+! I added some ‘featured images’ to the recent posts, to keep them looking beautiful in the post list view. I decided to use the ad widget space in the header to show random images of his synthesizer work. It took me a while to figure out why it wasn’t working in Chrome: it was being blocked by my Ad Block plugin, d’oh!

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and my client (er, husband) is happy, too, which is even more important. What do you think?