Welcome and thank you for visiting “Xidipity.com”. As a WordPress user, I understand adopting a theme is more than clicking the activate button and the theme preview option may not adequately describe all the nuances and options available. Xidipity.com is your chance to see the Xidipity theme in action. Please consider this page an introduction to the features and options available.
A common question on the mind of many is the level of support for the WordPress Gutenberg editor. The answer is Xidipity does not have any direct support for Gutenberg, but does offer an enhanced version of the classic editor. More on that below. 😀
When I started this adventure about six months ago I asked myself the question why would I develop a theme that wasn’t Gutenberg enabled and release it in the same time period as the anticipated Gutenberg release?
At that time, as it is today, the adoption rate of Gutenberg is unknown. My early testing of the editor left me unsatisfied. This may have been it was too big of a change or I couldn’t see the benefits at the time. In any event the WordPress eco system has thrived on diversity and giving folks choices is a good thing. Hence the decision by WordPress to continue to offer the current editor rebranded as the “classic” editor.
Xidipity ships with an enhanced version of this editor. The goal of the enhancement is to bring the writing experience to a level where content can be visually created to greatest extent possible while providing the flexibility to craft the results to meet a particular needs. A short list of features include:
- Greater control over text formatting
- Standard & enhanced colors
- Enhanced lists
- Enhanced horizontal rule
- Flexible spacing
- Enhanced tables
- Ability to embed html
- Two column support
- Custom excerpts
- Adsense support
Much of the power of Xidipity comes from the use of templates. The primary advantage of templates is they allow many advanced solutions to be implemented in a standardized consistent manner without extensive programming.
Although templates often require arguments or parameters to be set, the modification is usually simple and instructions are provided to walk through the changes.
The importance of responsive design can not be overstated. Responsive design means the theme will adjust and reformat as required to offer the user a quality experience regardless of the device they are using. In today’s world mobile is the leader. Xidipity is responsive and the tool I use to validate the user experience is Screenfly.
Key formats include.
- mobile @ 360×640
- tablet @ 800×480
- tablet @ 1024×600
- laptop @ 1200×800
- desktop @ 1440×900
For those who like to tinker under the hood, Xidipity is Tailwind enabled. According to its authors:
Tailwind is a utility-first CSS framework for rapidly building custom user interfaces.
In practice this means a robust CSS library is made available by using classes that closely map to the underlying CSS properties. For example, applying a class like “text-center” to an element means that we’re setting its text-align property to center. The big advantage of Tailwind over the style tag is Tailwind classes can target specific display sizes.
The general design language of Xidipity takes a traditional approach which includes a full width header and footer, content area left, and sidebar right. The blog post summary supports the inclusion of a featured image. Xidipity can be configured to display a static front page or a blog summary page by default. Xidipity.com uses a static front page.
A static front page begins life as a blank page and can be molded into the desired result. Often the goal of the design of this page is for it to auto update as new content is added. Xidipity has three templates which supports this goal.
This template creates an unordered list of sorted blog posts by category. As new posts are created they are automatically added to the list.
See this post for additional information.
This template creates an unordered list of sorted pages starting at an identified point in the page hierarchy. As new pages are created they are automatically added to the list.
See this post for additional information.
This template creates a sorted list of blog excerpts with associated featured images by category. As new posts are created they are automatically added to the list.
See this post for additional information.
The blog page displays a sorted list of blog excerpts with associated featured images. This page supports sticky posts, featured posts, and spotlight posts. The excerpts be the standard WordPress default or custom created. As new posts are created they are automatically added to the list.
See the Xidipity.com blog page to view this solution.
A standard width blog post or page has a full width header and footer, content left, and the sidebar right. The content area scales to the available space.
In the circumstance when the sidebar is not desired, Xidipity supports an optional full width page. The full width format for this page includes a header, footer, and a content panel which scales to the available space.
With more than 40,000 free plugins to choose from it is easy to just keep adding them on. So what is a plugin? A plugin is “php” code which extends the functionality of WordPress. The advantage of using plugins is they are theme independent although there are a few risks. The biggest being security. Unless you review the product, there is no way to know if malicious code is buried inside. Other risks include compatibility between plugin and performance.
I suggest if you need a plugin do your research and choose wisely. I like the adage “less is more“. With that said, the following are the plugins recommended by Xidipity.com.
Using the classic editor is highly recommended as it is the number one feature of Xidipity.
Experienced WordPress admins know WordPress is a spam magnetic. Unless you want to spend a lot of your time cleaning up the junk, a spam filter is an absolute requirement. Akismet, by Automattic, checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to the successful operation of a BLog and Yoast has been providing this support since 2008. There are a couple of caveats I should mention about this plugin. By default Yoast turns off the media attachment page functionality. To re-enable, go to the “Search Appearance – Yoast SEO” page. Click the “Media” tab and set the Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself to “No”. Yoast also turns off the author functionality. On the same page click the Archives tab and set the “Author archives” to “Enabled”.
The following is a list of the advanced features supported by Xidipity. All of these features are displayed on “Xidipity.com“.
- Font Awesome Icons
- Google Icons
- Two Columns
- Google Adsense
- Google Fonts
- Horizontal rule with icons and/or text
- Video Support
- Standard drop down
- Enhanced hamburger
The traditional use of categories is to apply them to blog posts. Xidipity expands this to include media library resources. This functionality is required by the image gallery template. Although creating and assigning media library images to a category is not required, it does provide organization. As a starting point, review the following structure.
- 1×1 Image
- 4×3 Image
- 6×4 Image
- 7×5 Image
- 16×9 Image
- 16×10 Image
- 21×9 Image
- Featured Image
- GIF Image
- Custom Image
- Category 1
- Category 2
- Category etc
When creating categories for blog posts remember categories are broad and tags are specific.
Important Theme Specific Categories
The archive (slug=”archive“) category is how the theme knows which posts are displayed on the archive page.
There may be a circumstance where some blog posts are displayed in a slider (see My Google Site) and do not need to be displayed in the blog summary. To exclude these posts, create and assign them to a category with the category slug “post-featured“.
The spotlight category works exactly the same as the featured post. Having a second category which removes posts from the blog page permits the creation of a static front page which contains a slider and blog posts using the blog post template and have all of this work correctly with the blog page.
The slug for this category is “post-spotlight“.
Xidipity supports the traditional “sticky post” which displays posts marked as sticky first on the blog page. The page banner for sticky posts is “featured”. This functionality is not available for archived posts.
In support of templates Xidipity.com includes a Sandbox Editor based on codemirror. The intent is to provide a work space to apply changes to a template before it is applied to content. Another choice is to apply the changes in the embed tool.
Plugins which attempt to modify the TinyMCE editor toolbar may not work. The toolbar is filled with features and is not accommodating to additional changes. If you are a TinyMCE Advanced plugin user, there is no need to add it as this functionality has been incorporated into the theme. Plugins which do not depend on adding a button to the editor toolbar should function as designed.
Full Screen Mode
The editor supports full screen editing but some care should exercised as the visual appearance in full screen mode is less likely to represent the web presentation. The assumption is most folks will perform final edits in the standard mode and reserve full screen mode for creative writing.
Syntax Highlighter Plugins
If you have the desire to display code snippets with highlighted syntax and line numbers, there is an issue with plugins designed to do so and the TinyMCE editor visual mode. This is not unique to Xidipity.
If the desire is to create a page that will print in a pleasing manner, then some though needs to be given to layout.
Black & White
Xidipity assumes print means monochrome and the values for the print palette are stored in the “blog-print-var.css“.
Xidipity exposes the monochrome palette as classes targeted to print output. If the desire is to darken some text which prints too light by default the class “print:fg-bas-???” can be added to the tag. Background color can be adjusted using the “print:bg-bas-???” classes. See the gray palette for available choices. In addition, white is supported with the “print:fg-wht/print:bg-wht” classes and black is supported by the “print:fg-blk/print:bg-blk” classes.
Xidipity includes the following additional classes to enhance print output.
- print:border : place a 1 pixel border around the content
- print:border – 1 : same as border
- print:border – 2 : place a 2 pixel border around the content
- print:border – 3 : place a 3 pixel border around the content
By default Xidipity does not try to guess which fonts are supported by any given printer. Font names are set to their defaults such as “sans-serif”, “serif”, “monospace”, or “cursive”. This can be changed in the “blog-print-var.css“.
No one wants an image or perhaps a block quote split across printed pages. This can be managed with the “page break template“. This template places a page break command to your content. The actual break will occur after the command and in the editor you will see a paragraph ( ¶ ) symbol as a visual cue.
See the “Product Gallery” page (ie. print preview) to view these features in action.
The crib notes page is a table of contents to all of the features of Xidipity. This is the page I have bookmarked and refer to when creating new blog content.