Got K2, now what do I do?

Surprise!

I’ve made some big changes to the old blog, and deliberately so. And like anything I attempt I’m in way over my head and can use some help.

Why the change?

A usability survey on the old design revealed that colour was getting in the way — not only that, but the theme I’d been using was optimized for ads, which you will never, ever see here. There were also a few minor technical annoyances, like trackbacks not displaying properly and tag searches only showing the first page of results.

Initially I was looking for a theme with two sidebars but decided instead to go minimalist with a single column display. With K2 I ended up with the best of both worlds, as this particular theme can put my two sidebars below my posts. Neat!

What else is new?

Aside from its GPL K2 has two big features that I think you’ll like:

  1. A subtle but very slick navigational thingy justĀ  below the tabs in the header. If you’re on the front page of the blog it stays with you as you scroll down. Go ahead, try it… See? Also, clicking on “older” (again, from the front page) should reveal a horizontal slider that will let you scrub through previous posts. Wonder if I can get this to work on every page…?
  2. The search field is also live — meaning that posts containing your keywords will pop up as you type them, albeit one at a time. Granted, having the search field positioned below entries isn’t optimal, which brings us to…

Stuff I need help with.

Obviously, this single column layout could stand to be a fair bit wider than its current 560 pixels. I’m not actually sure what’s going on here, but it could be that the rest of the content is taking its cues from my 560 pixel-wide header. A couple of other issues with the header: (1) When I get the blog to render as three columns the graphic is right-justified for some reason, and (2) I’m not sure how to make the graphic a clickable link back to the front page of the blog.

The other thing I can’t figure out is why a lot my posts are suddenly showing duplicate comments — though this might have nothing to do with K2 and instead be the result of me dumping Disqus, again.

Anyway if you’ve any tips and/or tricks for K2 kindly pass them on in the comments below. From my limited understanding K2 is not just a WordPress theme. Clearly I’ve a lot to learn here…

6 Responses to “Got K2, now what do I do?”


  • I was checking out your site last night. I did find it a little thin but I figured you were adapting to the modern day-and-age of mobile browsing — but then you have mippin, so I just scratched my head. Despite that, a sexy looking site.

    One of the things you could do is check the cascading style sheet via WordPress and see how the logo is placed. Perhaps remove the logo temporarily and see how your page displays and then make the appropriate changes that way.

    Alternatively, find the width of the site and configure it to something larger yourself. For example, I’ve configured mine to expand to a maximum of 1024 and shrink to a minimum of 800 so that it works from an iPad, to a netbook, all the way to a gigantic supah screen. Working on a mobile version next.

    I can’t really provide much help — instead of using ready-made products, I built my own blog from scratch and while it lacks some of the blockbuster features that WordPress and related pre-made software offers, I feel a little more secure in knowing that it’s MINE, ALL MINE! (bahahahaha!)

    Ahem.

  • Does your built-from scratch CMS have a GPL by any chance? Nothing wrong with sharing, you know… 8-)

  • There is nothing wrong with sharing; unfortunately, unlike WordPress, our software doesn’t come with a neat little install software that does everything for you. It’s more like a crate, where the assembly instructions are left up to you to figure out.

    You must just be better off polishing the already shiny website you’ve got and instead of trying to build features that existing software already has (like what we’re doing), simply concentrate on creating beautiful content, leaving the wacky world of coding to be someone else’s nightmare ;-)

  • You can make the single column wider by editing /wp-content/themes/k2/style.css.

    I like using the Edit CSS tool in the Firefox plugin “Web Developer” which lets you edit the CSS on the fly with changes showing up instantly as you type. Plus it changes a local copy so you don’t have risk messing up the live site.

    It looks like you could start by doing something like:

    .columns-one #page {
    width: 560px; <- change to, for example, 800px
    }

    #primary {
    position: relative;
    float: left;
    width: 500px; <- change to 760px
    padding: 10px;
    }

    .columns-one .secondary {
    width: 240px; <- change to 360
    border-top: 1px solid #eee;
    }

    This is just a starting point, of course. You will undoubtedly need to make other tweaks as well.

    Header images in K2 are very tricky. I think you need to have an image that's the same width as the page width you have chosen.

    When you go to add the header image K2 tells you what size image it is looking for. However, after you edit the CSS widths it will probably still say you need a 560px wide image. Try uploading one that's the size it''s asking for and then overwrite the image (using FTP) with one of the proper width.

    Disclaimer: I hack at K2 without really knowing what I'm doing plus I'm using an older version of K2, (RC2) so YMMV.

  • WAP Review is also powered by K2? I’m in good company, then — thanks for the advice!

  • AC:
    I love the new look–nice and easy to read on a laptop screen. And the unlocked comments are appreciated–I read your blog on coffee breaks and the firewalls here kept me from being able to register to make comments.
    Ed

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