Plugins and themes and stuff

Okay so the vanilla WordPress, it just was rather lacking. There are two fundamental features I needed – RTA Label and a better theme because the default themes all sucked donkey balls.

Southern Desert Horned LizardBefore I do anything else, there needs to be a picture of a horned lizard. Everybody loves horned lizards.

The image is CC0 so I don’t have to credit the photographer, but well, it’s the right thing to do – so feel free to go to pixabay and send the photographer some love, buy him some coffee or whatever – – the photographer may have to sell his camera gear due to the shitty economy if something doesn’t come up for him, and that would be sad.

Anyway, okay I had to post the lizard first because it seems there is no way to tell the OpenGraph plugin *which* image to use with the OpenGraph data, which kind of sucks.

Back on topic, I wanted a plugin and a theme. The plugin I wanted was one that sends the RTA header. Really just a few lines of code.

I found a plugin that says it did it, but fucking WordPress, it’s installer wanted me to give it my ftp username and password.


I don’t use ftp, but even if I did, who the fuck does WordPress think they are encouraging something as stupid as giving a login password to a third party?

And people wonder I don’t like WordPress.

If you do use WordPress I’m guessing that’s not news to you, but if you don’t, I shit you not. WordPress actually wanted me to give them my password.

I wasn’t going to do that so I just wrote a plugin to send the RTA header myself – if you want it, it’s a single file, I put it on github as a gist: – just put the file (download the raw version) in your plugins directory. Activate it and your site sends the RTA header.

I could get fancy and make one that ads the RTA logo to your page footer, I’m guessing the plugin in the WordPress repository does that, but the header and meta tag are the only things that matter and some people may not want the logo which means I’d have to make an admin interface to let people choose and, well, just wasn’t worth my time.

Theme, same issue. And for that I took a screenshot.

Screenshot of WordPress asking for a password
Excuse me while I vomit…

Not only did it suggest I give them my FTP password, but it defaults to regular FTP without SSL which is plain text.

And people wonder why WordPress sites get hacked. The developers just have no sense of what is safe.

Anywhoo – writing a theme isn’t a file thing like sending a header is, so I went to the WordPress site and downloaded the zip file.

The result was better than the default WordPress themes but still, the avatars on comments were just too fucking small.

I did some searching, and it seems WordPress is really screwy in that respect.

There literally isn’t a setting one can change, you have to edit one or more files within the WordPress install itself.

You can apparently edit a CSS file, but if the avatar is a bitmap image, the result will look bad because what then happens is a small image is still fetched and then stretched. So you have to edit the comments.php file in your theme and set the size there, which likely means it gets undone every time you update the theme.

This is the change I made to that file:

--- comments.php.orig   2018-04-25 21:32:46.038696297 +0000
+++ comments.php        2018-04-25 21:37:32.062194077 +0000
@@ -52,6 +52,7 @@
                                wp_list_comments( array(
                                        'style'      => 'ol',
                                        'short_ping' => true,
+                                       'avatar_size' => 130,
                                ) );

I added the line with the +.

Apparently some themes already have that line and you just need to change the value, but the gtl-multipurpose theme did not have the value. I set it, and seems to work – sort of.

screen shot of comment avatars There are a couple issues. First of all the theme uses an avatar for the person who made the post. Changing that setting only impacted the size of the avatar on the comment.

The theme also does that bullsh*t circle crop thing on the avatar of the person who made the post.

I probably am going to have to dig into the theme source to change that.

The second issue – the CSS for the comments sucks.

The name should be left and above the avatar. The avatar then should float left, so the date and the comment wrap around it.

I’ll have to find where to fix that in the CSS as well.

I really do not understand why WordPress just does not have a standard place to set that stuff.

PHP – the programming language WordPress is written in – has a feature called an interface. For things like Avatar size, WordPress could have a defined interface that themes and plugins could use to get the user’s desired setting.

This is not a difficult concept.

Oh well.

2 thoughts on “Plugins and themes and stuff

  1. Well here’s why it was asking for my ftp password – – Apparantly WordPress is rather stupid.
    I gave the web server write permission to the plugins and themes directories. That all it needs to install plugins and themes.

    But when checking to see if it can write, it checks the root directory – where it is STUPID to give the web server write permission because config files are there.

    Why it checks for write permission in the root level to install plugins is a mystery. But it seems there is a setting to tell it to just try and not check.

    Still idiotic that it asks for a ftp password even if it mistakenly thinks it can’t write to the plugins directory.

  2. I use this CSS on – I think I will do something similar with the avatars on comment replies if I modify the theme:
    #bio figure.catimage img:hover {
    position: absolute;
    width: 600px;
    border: 4px solid cadetblue;
    z-index: 500;
    What it does, when the mouse is over the avatar it causes it to expand to give a larger view.

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