Choosing colours for your site

Firstly, you need a good contrast between the text and the background for readability.

Secondly, colour creates mood, and (e.g.) orange is often some kind of danger sign, subliminally arousing energy and excitement, perhaps, but also tension and anxiety.

One solution is to use your strong saffron for feature areas (e.g. header image) and a much lighter version of it (e.g. #f3d3af) as the background for your main text area. Another is to make your saffron even darker and the text very light, but I think it’s going to be a bit oppressive – still not conducive to the mood you want.

You might like to try some of the colour-design tools from The 28 best tools for choosing a colour scheme at Creative Bloq.

Modifying 2016 for GP

Aqua theme on this site

The version of my Aqua theme currently [Dec 10, 2015] installed here [sandbox] replaces the site title and (optionally) description with a graphic.

In the NQCC version of it the logo sits above a header image but here a larger “logo” is used instead of a header image (technically, the logo replaces the site title via a call in the header.php file, the site description is suppressed in the same place, and the header image has been removed via the “customise” dialogue).

This version of Aqua is also using Century Gothic for headings and body text, without any tweaking of sizes and spacings, although the theme is optimised for Futura headings and Arial body text.

Twenty sixteen kitten, altered

Installed twenty sixteen kitten here [sandbox] on 5.1.16, mainly to take advantage of the modifications I have already done.

Used “Customise” to adjust site identity, header and background colours.

Fonts updated via the Editor, to Georgia, “Bitstream Charter”, serif; and Helvetica, “Helvetica Neue”, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; and site-title and entry-title weight –> normal instead of bold.

Link colours similarly updated to 2010GP colours, except that “hover” colour made less bright.

[9.1.16]

Spacings reduced in several places – mainly to half of original.

Headline font weights reduced (but prev/next posts headlines still need the same action).

Widgets reformatted, given padding and bkgnd colour while bottom margin drastically reduced, to 1.25em. (5.25em is a bottom spacing used elsewhere and should be similarly cut.)

…and further modified

This site [sandbox] is now [March 2, 2016] using the twenty-sixteen child theme developed for Green Path … except that I liked the Century Gothic look of a previous incarnation of one of my twenty-ten child themes so much that I have adopted that font here.

If you haven’t got Century Gothic on your device, the font defaults to Helvetica or Verdana … not so pretty but still pleasingly clear.

Tables in WP posts

This table is from WQ blog:

Acacia flavescens Eucalyptus tesselaris (Moreton Bay ash) Parsonsia lanceolata
Acacia flavescens Eucalyptus tesselaris (Moreton Bay ash) Parsonsia lanceolata
Acacia flavescens Eucalyptus tesselaris (Moreton Bay ash) Parsonsia lanceolata

This table is from my old site:

tck tck tck

tck tck tck brings you news from GCCA a network of more than 450 nonprofit organizations in more than 70 countries with a shared goal .

The Guardian

Alan Rusbridger explains why The Guardian is putting the climate change threat front and centre, and The Guardian’s ‘Keep it in the Ground’ campaign is a great resource.

The future of coal

As more countries turn against coal, producers face prolonged low prices, reports The Economist.

Health impacts

Studies show severe health impacts on coal miners, workers and local communities, says the Climate and Health Alliance (pdf).

The Galilee Basin

‘If Australia wants to save the Great Barrier Reef, it’s an “impossible task” to open up the massive coal reserves in the Galilee Basin,’ says Dr Terry Hughes.

Coalwire

Keep up to date with international developments in the coal industry and the efforts of groups working on coal-related issues with Coalwire.

Site maintenance

Most people seem to think of their websites as books – publish and forget – but they are much more like magazines, requiring a flow of new content and regular review of older content. If you prefer a different metaphor, they are more like gardens than buildings.

On the technical, behind-the-scenes level they require software updates. Some of these can be neglected without causing any problems but you never know which ones were security updates and which ones will solve – or cause – crashes due to conflicts between plug-ins and theme updates.

On the public level, page content goes out of date for all sorts of reasons and needs to be updated, while designs which looked fresh and new – even cutting-edge – in, say, 2004 look very dated ten years later.

Themes and appearance in WordPress

The “Theme” of a WordPress site, such as Green Path, defines a range of possible page layouts, not just one. In order down the page:

(A) All pages will have the same header “banner”. It is normally text but can be a logo, or text superimposed on an image.
(B) All pages will have a “header image” or none of them will. The header image, if used, can be (1) the same for all pages (2) a “slideshow” such this site uses or (3) a random image from a set uploaded for the purpose. I like (3) because I find (2) distracting and (1) dull, but I sometimes chose not to have a header image as such because my logo image fills that role. Like slideshow images, the random images would normally all be relevant to the site but may not always be relevant to the particular page they appear on.
(C) All pages will have the “menu”, the primary navigation tool. 

After that, we have choices:
(a) The standard page for posts has a side-bar with “widgets” which may include quick links to other posts, a search box, and (in our case) links to posts on particular topics and (e.g.) “Make a Donation”.
(b) If we want, any particular page can have full-width text and no side-bar.
(c) Or we can have a special “Front Page” layout, but only if we set that page as the “home” page of the site (which we normally don’t want to do because we want our visitors to see our latest news, not an introduction to the organisation).

Any individual pages or posts in either format can have a “featured image” if we want. In some themes (e.g. twenty fourteen) it replaces the header image and is not going to be particularly obvious; in others it appears under the header image and above the text. The featured image has to be chosen by the writer. Of course, the writer can also insert images anywhere within the post or page.

At the bottom of every page we have a “footer” which can have more widgets if we think we need them. At the moment it also has a “back to top of page” link and still includes the automatic “Proudly powered by WordPress” text (I don’t mind giving them that acknowledgement, since they give us the software – it’s all free).

Wrapped around all of this is the “background”, the unused area of the browser’s window. It can be an image (e.g. this site) or a solid colour which contrasts with the background of the page, as here, or matches it, as in the current version of Green Path (green on green).

Other old themes

This was written during the development of the first Green Path theme, back in 2011. The reference/default theme at the time was twenty-ten and I eventually modified it as twenty ten green path and used it for years. I have copy-pasted the whole page from GP, so the image links may refer there.
Screen shot Sakura theme
Sakura is pretty but the very generous spacing between its elements means there isn’t much content on the page at any one time. I do like the way the big header image underlies the Site title and description. It may be easier to adjust the spacing of this theme than to rewrite the header area of Twenty Ten.
Twenty Ten with the normal kind of contrast between ‘background’ and content background.
Screen shot Twenty Ten, ‘background’ colour blended with content background
Early in the development process I changed the background colours of both the content (i.e. the header/body/footer areas) and the waste-space outer zone which wp calls the ‘background’. I made them both the same colour (d7e7c7), which in turn is a much-lightened version of the colour of the leaf in the (then) header image. Basic strategy has stayed the same but the colour has lightened slightly.
Screen shot Europe theme
Screen shot Europe theme
Europe works okay for me but I very quickly decided I don’t like it – too bare.