Customising OptimizePress 2 Blog Layout

As part of the 2014 Partnership to Success course, we are advised to use OptimizePress 2 as the theme for our blog. OptimizePress 2 is available as a theme or a plugin for an existing theme. For the purposes of the training it is recommended that you use the theme version on a new blog.

One word of caution if you are on the P2S course – do not try this at home kids! All joking aside, I’m serious about that. Especially if you do not know what you are doing with editing files. The last thing you want is to break your blog.

Responsive Web design (RWD) is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience … across a wide range of devices …
Source: Wikipedia

The first impression you get is that the blog layout is clean and simple. It has a good use of white-space, pleasing typography and, one of the most important features for me, has a responsive layout. However the back-end is fairly primitive in the range of options available. What’s even worse is that OptimizePress 2 does not support the standard child theme feature of WordPress. At first glance, this does look like you are stuck with the default layout with only the ability to change colour, typography and the side which the sidebar is on. For a modern theme this lack of customisability appears to be woeful.

Luckily OptimizePress 2 does have three sub-themes to change the look of your blog. While they are similar in appearance, there is enough distinction between them to give a twist on the base layout. This gives you a hint on how to customise the appearance of your blog.

The Why of Changing OptimizePress 2 Blog Layout

Lets say for example you wanted to modify the layout in minor ways, but this involved editing the core files. As many of you know, editing core theme files is always a no-no. The simple reason is that one day an update will be released which is likely to wipe out your customisations. Because the different layouts are not that dissimilar to each other, it is possible for all blogs using OP2 theme to look pretty much like each other.

Just so you know, the first two customisations made here was to add a breadcrumb for single posts (fantastic for Google SEO) and change the meta (author and comments details) to include the date. I like to see when a blog post was made. This gives you an idea of how active a blog is when you first visit. It also means that you do not comment on a blog which is, for all intents and purposes, abandoned by its creator. I am willing to be proven wrong, but I do not think OptimizePress 2 allows for this.

The How of Customising OptimizePress 2 Blog Layout

To make safe changes to the OP2 blog layout, follow the simple steps outlined below.

Using either a FTP program (Filezilla for example) download the contents of the OP2 provided blog layout you are currently using into a directory on your computer. Change the name of this directory to 4. In your new directory, open up config.php in a text editor like Notepad. Do not use Word or Wordpad – they will add hidden characters to the files and stop them from working. Change the following lines from:

$config['name'] = __('Theme 3', OP_SN);

To:

$config['name'] = __('New Theme Name', OP_SN);

And this from:

$config['description'] = __('Clean full width blog theme for the ultra minimal look', OP_SN);

To:

$config['description'] = __('Your new theme description', OP_SN);

Once this is done, you now need to upload the entire directory to the wpcontent/themes/optimizePressTheme/themes/ directory at your host. In the OptimizePress 2 Blog Settings -> Themes tab, switch your blog to the newly uploaded theme.

That’s pretty much it. You will need to make changes to the files in the directory you downloaded onto your computer and upload them to your host each time. Ohh, and you might need to know what you are changing and how. That’s way beyond this tutorial and into PHP, HTML, CSS & JavaScript programming territory. If you do not know how to program or make changes at the file editing level, I would suggest hiring someone to do it for you.

I hope this helps, and if you have any questions about this process (but not programming your website) please feel free to post below.

21 Comments

  1. Jennifer Saenz 19th February, 2014
  2. Fred 19th February, 2014
  3. Nigel Griffiths 4th March, 2014
    • Fred 5th March, 2014
  4. Nigel Griffiths 4th March, 2014
    • Fred 5th March, 2014
  5. Andrew 9th March, 2014
    • Fred 9th March, 2014
  6. David Bay 15th March, 2014
    • Fred 15th March, 2014
  7. Andy Bland 9th April, 2014
    • Fred 9th April, 2014
  8. Torsten Müller 1st October, 2014
    • Fred 4th October, 2014
  9. Fabrice 25th November, 2014
    • Fred 27th November, 2014
      • Fabrice 2nd December, 2014
        • Fred 3rd December, 2014
  10. Marlon 21st January, 2015
    • Fred 21st March, 2015
  11. Neo 5th August, 2015

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