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
Although untested, other editor plugins such as Elementor should work as designed.
One of the technologies found in Xidipity is support for the relatively new web page flexbox feature. The result of using a flexbox layout is the display is responsive. In today’s world, your site must display well on a variety of devices. Visualize the technology as note cards on a table which are sized and arranged to the available space. This is a common design language found on many websites and it is supported by most browsers (browser list).
If your anticipated audience uses a browser not on the list, Xidipity is not a good choice.
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.
In my experience, Tailwind is most useful for screen enhancements. I am unclear how to implement this solution for print.
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 card optionally supports the inclusion of a featured image.
Common to Xidipity as with all WordPress themes is the ability to have visitors land on a static front page or a page which scrolls blog posts by date. Xidipity supports and Xidipity.com uses an enhanced static front page which includes dynamic links to posts and pages. Dynamic means posts and pages are added automatically. The static front page is a very popular WordPress trend as it can be whatever it needs to be.
By clicking the Xidipity “Blog” menu selection, the scrolling blog summary page becomes visible and this is the page displayed if the choice is selected.
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 which scales to the available space.
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. The tool I use to validate responsiveness is Screenfly.
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.
- Akismet Anti-Spam
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.
- Simple Social Buttons
If a visitor to your site likes what they see you certainly want them to share their enthusiasm through social media.
- Yoast SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to the successful operation of a BLog and Yoast has been providing this support since 2008.
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
templates & shortcodes
Xidipity is very functional without the use of advanced features but some will want to take it to the next level. To do so will require the use of some combination of templates and short codes.
A template demands the HTML be modified for it to work property. The modification is usually simple and does not require extensive knowledge of HTML or CSS. Instructions are provided with each template to walk you through the changes.
A shortcode calls native functionality of the theme and is activated using a command in parentheses. The “Xidipity Gallery” uses a shortcode which is a command followed by one or more parameters. As with the Template, the instructions will walk you through setting the parameters.
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. Another choice is to apply the changes in the embed tool.
Here are my lessons learned as the Xidipity theme was being developed.
- Editor Toolbar
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.
- 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.
- Xidipity assumes print means monochrome. There are some challenges to printing which are difficult to manage. The page break being the most notorious. Xidipity will not split images so in the event an image lands on a page break it will be printed on the next page. Xidipity or any WordPress theme will not manage plugins. If a plugin adds content to the page it prints however it prints. Other challenges include videos, ads, and galleries. With all of that said, Xidipity does a reasonably good job printing.
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