Theme Updates (Parole 2018)

A while ago I mentioned switching to the Parole 2015 theme and ended the post saying I made a child theme and should probably put it on GitHub. At that point the child theme didn’t have much changes, but one of the things I wanted to change was made the content section wider and move the sidebar more to the left. I prefer having a wider area for the content – it’s just one of my simple requirements.

Some days ago I updated to WordPress 5.6 and that broke integration with the outdated syntax highlighter I use and love. Luckily someone’s forked it and I switched to that, so hopefully I can continue using this syntax highlighter. It is still broken since 5.6 though in that the toolbar icon to insert code doesn’t always appear in a new post. Weird. I’ve opened an issue with the maintainer for now.

This in turn got me thinking if I should leave WordPress for good. It seems to be the trend nowadays and while I love WordPress I am slowly getting the feeling it is more for people who design grand websites and such, not for a simple blogger. Back when I started with WordPress it was good for blogging but it has gradually outgrown those roots I think. Or maybe not, I dunno. I don’t like the new Gutenberg editor for one, it just makes editing super slow. And I am generally happy with how WordPress is and wish they’d just have a “no frills” branch which stays as it is with security updates, so all the cool kids can go to the new “latest and flashiest” branch. Anyhoo, wishful thinking!

I have no intention of moving to something like Hugo (or any other Static Site Generator) even though they are all the rage as I enjoy creating blog posts via a web UI and I am not too fussed about entering in MarkDown etc. Neither am I into maintaining or tweaking the blog much – like I said, I want it to just work and I am cool with a simple theme, I don’t care much about comments or SEO or Ads or anything else. Just gimme a box to type in, gimme some Syntax Highlighting, and I am good. I even considered switching to coz I came across this blog as part of an earlier post and it’s simple and just along the lines of what I want… but is itself a beast. When I tried to make a new site it gave me a bunch of theme options that were complex looking, and I didn’t feel too great about forking out £7 per month for a Premium plan. Moreover, migration from to seems to require a Business plan – crazy!

Anyways, I did read up a bit on Hugo and Gatsby etc., felt depressed, then decided to see if I could just improve the current theme so I am happy with the blog as it is and be able to convince myself it’s ok to stick on even though Syntax Highlighting is a bit of an inconvenience. That’s what I did today evening and the result is this slightly updated theme that you now see. I call the theme Parole 2018 – it’s based on Parole 2015 and I brought it forward a few years, but it is by no way modern or flashy or anything and that’s why I didn’t go with a year number 2020. The theme in itself isn’t all what makes this blog pretty; I also use many Google Fonts and that’s not captured in the theme as I set that via a separate plugin.

I’ve put the theme on GitHub in case anyone’s interested. If you do decide to check it out please keep in mind I am no CSS expert so keep your hopes low. :)