This site is hosted by WordPress.com using the Ixion theme, one of the newer WordPress themes with lots of options.  The Ixion theme has two unique features that are important for this site:

  • Displays featured images at the top of posts and pages
  • Includes tags for tags for post and pages

Alignment, spacing, and color were personalized by adding the following CSS to the theme code.

Size and style of the”Continue Reading” link after excerpts are automatically displayed:

.more-link {
font-style: italic;
text-transform: lowercase;
font-size: 12px;
font-weight: normal;
}

Title of a post displayed using shortcode is made bold:

.display-posts-listing a:link {
font-weight: bold;
}

The shading of the header and three featured pages below it is lightened:

.header-overlay::before {
opacity: .5;
}

.featured-content .hentry .post-thumbnail {
opacity: .7;
}

Turn off automatic display of recent posts in the home page

.recent-posts-header {
display: none;
}

.recent-posts {
display: none;
}

Display blocks are aligned center:

.aligncenter,
div.aligncenter {
display: block;
margin: 5px auto;
}

Images are automatically centered

a img.aligncenter {
display: block;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
}

The space between posts that are displayed is increased

.display-posts-listing .listing-item {
padding-bottom: 20px;
}

The color and size of the fonts in the titles of the footer widgest are changed

.home h2.widget-title {.home h2.widget-title { text-align: left; color: #b64600; font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold !important;}

The padding space between widgets in the sidebar is removed

.widget { margin-bottom: 0;}
.widget { padding-bottom: 0; border-bottom: 0x; margin-bottom: 0;}

Shortcodes

I use WordPress.com shortcodes to create pages displaying posts and or pages with specific categories, tags, or parent pages. For additional shortcodes, go to support.wordpress.com/shortcodes/

Display specific pages:  In the example below I use xxxxx, yyyyy, and zzzzz in place of actual page numbers. The  page or post number can be found in the URL line when editing the page or post. Specify whether you want to display a “page” or a “post.” Post is default. The featured image is set to fill the width of the display.

Display child pages of the current page: You can make any page a child of another page when editing that page.  In the instruction below, the parent is the “current” page, the order descends, I display 10 child pages, display an excerpt, and display the featured image as medium, automatically on the left.

Display excerpts of any posts or pages with specific tags or categories. In the example below, I am displaying any post tagged XXX, limiting to 40 posts. The page will display excerpts and featured images for each post.

Excerpts

WordPress automatically displays truncated excerpts starting from the beginning of a page or post. Using the new editor, you can create a better excerpt by clicking on More Options. I limit mine to about 40 words so that they do not wrap around the medium size featured image.

Widgets

You can choose from dozens of widgets  to be displayed in the right column.  Cusstom CSS can be used to modify how the widgets display. On this site I use the following:

  • Search widget
  • Custom html or text widget
  • Image (with link)
  • Display WordPress posts from any WordPress site. (I use this widget to display posts from this site)
  • Follow (Subscribe to receive email notifications of new posts)
  • Top posts and pages (displays the day’s most popular posts and pages)
  • The three columns of featured image links at the bottom of the home page are created using three of the four available footer widgets. To make all featured images on pages and posts the same shape, crop them to 1080 x 609 px for full width, or 710×400 to fit the main column. This also makes columns of featured images that are displayed using shortcodde to line up properly.