Developing the WordPress Theme: Making Changes to TwentyTwelve

So last week, I posted about making an accessible child theme of TwentyTwelve, but left out the details on why I chose to make some of the layout and aesthetic changes.

Link Style

For aesthetic purposes, I removed the underline from links, but of course, while it makes the text look nicer, and possibly easier to read, it also removes the queue that that portion of text is a link.

Moving the Header Image

Honestly, I’ve never seen the header image used as anything except as a replacement for the site title, so it made sense to me to move the header next to the site title and tagline so that it can be used to insert a logo.

wp theme 2012 dev headerWhile the code isn’t the way I want it to be right now, the idea is that if someone chooses not to display the site title and tagline, then they can use the full width. The major difference would be that it sits above the menu.


In the TwentyTwelve theme, you have the standard “powered by WordPress” message, but most people I know want the ability to change it.

I added a simple textarea box for flexibility. The input does get put through the kses filter to strip anything that isn’t just plain text or allowed HTML. The default message (when the textbox is empty) is the ‘powered by’ message.

For the site I’m working on, I’m just putting in the usual contact information.

Compacting the Page

One last thing I did mostly for layout purposes was to decrease a bunch of the margins. I thought there was a bit too much white space such that certain things (such as widget titles) seemed disconnected from related elements.

While it’s a matter of preference, I found it matter of usability to be able to fit more of the content itself (the important stuff!) on a screen without losing the look of the design.

Short Term Future Changes

I didn’t make a lot of changes, but the more I think about it, the more I consider taking out what I can and moving what I need to the site level. Of course, some things like the footer can’t be moved, but the text decoration can be.

Feel free to provide feedback on the Github project.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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