Theme feedback

Theme feedback time.

As you know… in the past I experimented with new themes.

I’d like to lighten the page, allow it to load faster.

I want to add some robust new features.

First, I can see that the font for the comments is smaller than I would like.  I want the font in the comments larger especially because YOU are an important aspect of this blog’s usefulness.   However, I can’t find where to edit that code yet.

In any event, some feedback about load time, etc., could be useful.


I think I fixed the combox font size.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Flambeaux says:

    I really like the new layout. Clean, inviting, and loads very fast in Firefox.

    The old design reminded me of a broadsheet layout. This suggests to me aggiornamento.


  2. Al says:

    I like the layout and colors. Pages are loading fast to me. I am a Mac user running Firefox.


  3. Woody Jones says:

    This is a big improvement.

  4. John P. says:

    Dear Father Z.

    I also agree that it is a wonderful theme, and it seems to load much faster in both Safari and Firefox. Very clean, and smooth. I think you’ve done a splendid job as usual, Father!

    John P.

  5. Peter says:

    I fully accept the validity and licitness of the new theme but demand that the extraordinary form of your blog be made available for those attached to the old form.

    (I’m joking)

  6. Timothy says:

    The page loads much faster for me too.

    And black and red….what’s not to like?

  7. Paul says:

    I guess I’ll be the lone dissenter. I like the loading time, but dislike the black and red theme. Maybe it’s just me?

  8. Load fast for me too. It runs smooth.

    I like it Fr. Z.

  9. Becka says:

    I love the new layout and think black and red is perfect for your blog. I really appreciate you having the search feature right up there at the top, too, because you have an awful lot of posts!

  10. Phil (NL) says:

    loads fast, that’s for sure.

    I must say it doesnt work too well with wide-screen monitors though, the red/black of the sides is – if both sides are put together – just as wide as the actual blog. That’s rather ‘in your face’ – the old layout scaled much better with different resolutions.

    Small final point: it takes some getting used to the links, recent comments etc being moved to the left.

  11. Joshua says:

    I also dislike the red and black. I favoured the colours of the old format. But this does load faster which is a plus.

  12. Will says:

    Fr. Z, I think it’s very quick and elegant. I like it.
    As for the comment text, I believe if you modify th following section of your starscape/style.css file, you can change the font size.

    .postcommenttext {
    border-bottom: 1px dotted gray;
    font-size: NNpx;

  13. Phil (NL) says:

    Also, comments are posted much faster, which was a big problem with the old theme.

    But could you make the wdtprs title clickable again'(to return to the main page)? makes navigating a lot easier.

  14. Felicitas says:

    I like it. It is clean and uncluttered, and the overall readability is better. Good job.

  15. Paul Stokell says:

    Very fast load time, much easier to read.

    I’d lose the scarlet and go with the more recognizable amaranthine red. And maybe two side columns.

  16. Will says:

    I will say that I don’t like the little icon in the address bar (favicon.ico). The yellow star on the red background is a little too PRC for an RC blog, if you catch my drift. Maybe someone could find a little tiny biretta for it?

  17. Pseudomodo says:

    I know it loads faster…but

    It seems to be a bit of a rupture with the old theme which we have been used to until now. I don’t know… updating websites on the pretext that we are making it more relevent to modern times…

    WHAT ABOUT TRADITION???!!! Did anyone ever think that there was nothing wrong with the older form??

    And Father what about your orientation now? You faced the blog for all this time and now you are facing the opposite direction AWAY from the blog!!!

    A cmprimise… Perhaps you can oblige the readers with two forms? A Classic form for those who prefer the old look of the blog and desire to read you blog in the traditional way and a Contemporary form for those who are more ‘progressive’ (grrrrrr…)

    Sorry Father ;) could. not. resist.

  18. Samuel J. Howard says:

    While we’re at it, one of the posts below has a video that starts playing automatically (at least in Internet Explorer). It would be preferable if it didn’t do that, especially for people who aren’t supposed to watch video at work or don’t want a big sound suprise.

  19. Matt says:

    Hi Father – some design pointers for you. Try and line up the margins a little better. The title and subtitle of the blog should line up with the blog entries.

  20. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Looks good to me. (I usually just read the RSS feed in bloglines unless compelled to comment, but this made me curious to look.)

  21. Laura says:

    Fr Z,
    I like the new blog. I still love that you have everything under headings, as it makes it much easier to navigate using my screen reader. Ah, Jaws key commands for the internet, where would I be without you. And I don’t mind the red and black at all, “what’s not to like,” as someone said.

  22. ALL: Keep in mind that the suggestions have to be doable. I have to be able to DO THEM.

  23. Cecilia says:

    I love the new face, very clean

  24. Matt Q says:

    Father Z, it’s great. I like it like it like it. KEEP IT.

    Would it be possible though to put all of your links on a separate page like a regular website, or is it just inherent in a setup like this? No matter overall. I like this setup over the original.

    keep up the good work.

    God bless.

  25. Jackie says:

    I like it a lot better than the old format. Its more streamlined. The only suggestion is one already made – to make the WDTPRS title clickable again. I see the little home button but most people are used to clicking the title. But everything else is great.

  26. Sean says:

    It is nice but I would add some religious symbols to the sides and top, like in the black and red. It is too plain to me. Think website liturgy elaboration.

  27. Loads quickly, i like it.

  28. Sean says:

    I like the theme. However, I am having issues with the video and my Google feed reader. They just start playing automatically. Kinda irritating

  29. bryan says:


    Looks good in IE, Firefox, Safari (both desktop and iPhone.)

    I like it. Clean, fast, and no-nonsense (like the good Father).

  30. Frank H says:

    Great load speed. I like the more numerous “recent comments”, and the index relocated at the bottom of the page. Consider flipping your photo so that you look into, not out of, the page.

  31. John6:54 says:

    I never had an issue with the previous load time and just like the bailout bill I don’t like this new theme. Some call it clean and fast, I call it boring and blah. Where are the visuals where are the currently reading list, where is the wish list?

    Two Thumbs Down for a blog that was way better than it currently looks.

  32. Geoffrey says:

    I will be visiting an independent, quasi-schismatic WDTPRS blog until the original is universally restored.

    Just kidding! ;-)

    I was very worried when I woke up this morning and visited the blog. I thought I did a Rip van Winkle or something!

    The site does load much faster for me and I like the overall style. At first it was a little jarring, but after reading a few posts it quickly felt like home again.

    Now, will we ever see the Z-Cam or Radio Sabina again? :-)

  33. Nora C says:

    I like the clean look and load time.

    As a matter of design, I would increase the size of the title block so that the block ends where the red meets the black in the background design. Then I would left justify the title and subtitle/author line to line up with the blog entries. That minimizes the time the eye spends trying to decide if the different indentations are supposed to convey information.

    I have a strong preference for links down the left of a page, not the right, but suspect that there are just as many with the opposite preference.

  34. Terth says:

    If only because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, it is very difficult that the video player has no stop/pause button. They play automatically in Google Reader, and play when you click it on the actual blog – but either way there’s no stopping once you start.

    On second thought, he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back…

  35. Perhaps someone can educate me about the “automatic play” of videos. Frankly, that isn’t happening to me.

  36. John6:54 says:

    Let me re-vote. For some reason the right margin is at the bottom of the page below all of the articlees so therefore I didn’t see it. If that gets fixed I will retract my previous comments.

  37. AGAIN… folks. I am not able to make lots of cosmetic changes. I simply don’t know how to do it yet with ease. It takes me a long time to figure these things out.

  38. Geoffrey: I doubt it. I got tired of people sniping at me for the length of altar cloths and why I did or didn’t do X, etc.

  39. PG says:

    Fr. Z:

    Overall, I like the new design.
    Just a few specific thoughts:

    1) the right column gets squished and it’s hard to see the search box when using 800 x 600 resolution. (I get headaches if the resolution is set any higher on this arcient 16″ monitor.) I’m sure I won’t have any probelm at home on my 19″ flat panel monitor.

    2) I’m thrilled that you have a search box but I had a hard time figuring out where to click even with higher resolution. If I click immediatly to the right of the colon nothing happens. Apparently the actual search box is several spaces to the right. Not a biggie, I suppose. I’ll get used to it.

    3) I agree with other who are annoyed by audio/video that automatically loads. I hope that can easily be changed.

  40. Terth: Squeak at me how to change that video business and I will change it.

  41. Terth says:

    Father – in Google Reader the video in the post will begin playing once the Reader is open. I’m guessing you don’t use it. (You truly should, if you’re trying to keep upon many blogs.)

    Even so, in your own blog the video has the little picture of Mighty Mouse and says “Powered by WordPress” and “Click to Play.” Once you click, the whole screen of the video is taken up by the actual video, with no room for the pause button, status bar, volume, etc. This wasn’t so in your older videos (as of a couple weeks ago, I believe).

  42. Michael Fudge says:

    I like the addition of a search feature. The categories and pages seem to be more prominent. The Sidebar is much easier to read.

    Overall, a good job. I know how difficult it is getting a WordPress Blog to work just right. I spent a lot of time working on one for a priest friend.

  43. Terth says:

    I do apologize – I don’t know how to use any of this software or technology.

    What helps me in my spiritual life is your bringing us this info and food for thought. The mechanics and aesthetics are secondary. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Signing off.

  44. Michael Fudge says:

    An update to my previous comment: I do like the search combox. I would like it better if it worked for me.

  45. PG: Tell me how to change it and I will.

  46. Memphis Aggie says:

    I like it – fast loading and clean

  47. JohnE says:

    I can’t remember for sure, but the center column is narrower now, isn’t it? I like it — makes it much easier to read. The comment box is small, but I can always cut and paste from Notepad if necessary. I also usually use Google Reader unless I want to comment or if I want to keep the story around for later reading.

  48. Jacob says:

    The white background field not wide enough. The left column of links and info are lost in the red that is behind the white.

  49. Al says:

    On my LCD monitor, the search box is the same color as the page background, so it took a few clicks to find it the first time. I suggest putting a border on it. I don’t know the specifics of WordPress, but generally, you can add a line to the CSS file for an input element (in your case, of the class “searchforminput”) like this:

    border: 1px solid black;

    or substitute any standard HTML color or hexadecimal color code for black.

  50. Bob says:

    Ack… Save the Cheerleader, save Fr. Z’s blog layout!

  51. Phil (NL) says:

    I wish I could say something about it on the technical front, but it seems the current theme needs some work to be good for both very big (1680×1050 and up) as small ones (800×600)

  52. Todd says:

    Fr. Z: You’re videos a currently not explicitly set to autoplay or not autoplay. The default action should be to not autoplay, but you can explicitly tell the videos not to play until clicked by adding &autoplay=0 to the end of the YouTube link.

    So, for example: in your Cubs post, in the embed code you would change every instance (should only be 2) of to

    That being said, for my part I don’t have a problem with the videos playing automatically, either here or in Google Reader. The browsers of the people with the problem are behaving in a non-standard way, and therefore there’s a chance that the fix may not work. Seems to be worth a shot, though.

  53. chironomo says:

    Like the Theme! Fast loading too…

  54. Mike says:

    Not to be uncharitable but


    The GLARE hurts my eyes!

    Tradition – What does it mean?

    -All the countryside gone to subdivisions
    -My grocery store remodeled and every item moved
    -The Mass – THE MASS…

    Blech Blech Blech

    Amature architects!

    Enough TURMOIL!


  55. dad29 says:

    Terrific!! Great!!!

    And at my age, much more readable!!

  56. Fr. Paul Keller, OP says:

    While the red and black may be a tad jarring at first, I do like the color scheme. Notice, too, the proportion of the colors: mostly black (as in the prayers) and a bit of red at the top. Great job, Fr.!

  57. Xpihs says:

    The Nova Forma is great.

  58. Paul says:

    Make it more showy. Put up some Catholic images, at least as a background in the banner.

  59. Emilio III says:

    I like it. Both of my suggestions have already been made (old favicon.ico and a link to the front page on the header title).

  60. Philip says:

    Fr, I am having the same issue with videos in Google Reader as previous commenters.

  61. Lucia says:


    perhaps my computer is dreaming but it looks exactly the same :)

  62. Gary says:

    Is there any way to sort the comments or have responses to previous comments be grouped under the original comment? Some sites do that and I prefer to read them in that format.

    Just a personal preference.

  63. Charivari Rob says:

    Don’t worry, Lucia, it’s not some secret eye test.

    It changed to a new format sometime this morning. Folks made comments, as you have seen, and it changed back to this familiar version sometime in the afternoon. I presume Father Z. took the new version offline to do some fine-tuning, including incorporating some folks’ comments.

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