*NOTE* (11/30/10) The Morning After Theme has officially moved to Woo Themes. Not only have they updated the theme, but added additional functionality. What is detailed below, is the latest version of the theme BEFORE it was moved to Woo Themes. If you’re looking for additional help with the WooThemes version, then check it out here.

After my son, Jared, was set up with his own website, we began talking about what his goals for his new URL. We started writing manual HTML and basic CSS in an effort to understand the basics of creating one’s own website. We followed that with the benefits of WordPress (or ANY Content Management System for that matter) and what it really meant to separate content from the design.

I gave Jared a list of WordPress themes to give him a idea of what was available. Less than a day later, he had decided upon Arun Kale’s “The Morning After” theme based out of themasterplan.in.

I had looked at “The Morning After” theme when I started this website some years ago, but back then I didn’t have enough PHP or WordPress experience to make a go of it. It is a fantastic-looking theme, but development has ground to a halt, the support documentation isn’t complete and spammers have taken over its forum.

It’s not a WordPress theme for the weak.

So, below I have compiled a list of issues with “The Morning After” theme. Dust off your search engine and let’s get dirty.

Plugins

Don’t use the plugins that come with TMA. They are all out-of-date. These include: Lester Chan‘s WP-Print and WP-Email plugins, and the Post-Thumb Revisited plugin by Alakhnor. After installing the latest plugins, I noticed that WordPress kept complaining about a new version of Post-Thumb Revisited. No matter what I tried, WordPress would not install the latest version. This is because the version number of its library is not identical to the main plugin. I solved that by using the WordPress editor to change the version number in both the library AND the Post-Thumb widget… as of this writing the version was 2.2.1.b.

It worked, so I’m not going to complain…for now. 🙂

Oh, BTW! If you use the latest Post-Thumb Revisited plugin, you also get the benefit of allowing the plugin to work FOR you, instead of having to enter those pesky Custom Fields into each post.

Header Navigation

The next item to tackle after installing “The Morning After” will be to fix the header navigation to suite your website. You will want to create three new pages: About, Archives and Contact. The About and Contact pages use the default page.php file, while you’ll want to apply the archive.php template to the Archives page. Edit the header.php file and replace the “menu” un-ordered list with the following code.

<ul id="menu">
<li><span class="home"><a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>">Home</a></span></li>
<li><span class="about"><a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/About">About</a></span></li>
<li><span class="archives"><a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/Archives">Archives</a></span></li>
<li><span class="subscribe"><a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/feed">Subscribe</a></span></li>
<li><span class="contact"><a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/Contact">Contact</a></span></li>
</ul>

There, now THAT’S fixed.

Sidebar Issues

You’ll notice that “The Morning After” theme hard-code’s a category widget into the right sidebar. I modified the wp_list_categories API to remove the post counts and sub-classes. What I did looks like this:

<?php wp_list_categories('title_li=&sort_column=name&show_count=0&depth=1&show_last_updated=1&use_desc_for_title=1&exclude=' .$catid. ',' .$catid2. '') ?>

Removing Those Ads

I’m not one to market or “profit-ize” my website. Maybe. Someday…but, not now.

Those ads are not where one would think, the Sidebar. Well…you’re half right. They are also in the home.php page. You’ll see the Ad. One could delete (entirely) the ad_home.php and ad_side.php pages, but I’m not confident that’ll fix anything. I prefer to remove the source. You’ll find a reference to ad_home.php in the home.php page and here’s what I did to that:

<?php /* include('ad_home.php'); */ ?>

When you locate the reference to the ad_side.php page in the Sidebar, add the necessary comment code and everything should be fixed.

I’m sure there are other issues, but for the most part; the HTML is clean and I didn’t have to do anything with the CSS. There may be more, but leave a comment and perhaps I can figure-out you problem. Any takers?