At the general meeting of our bloggers held on 8 April 2014, we announced that the themes we use on Hypotheses – which give the blogs their overall look – would soon change. Four new themes are now available for your blogs: Twenty Eleven, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen. Below are our reasons for this choice and a guide to changing your blog’s theme. More detailed documentation will soon be published (in French) on the Maison des Carnets: http://maisondescarnets.hypotheses.org
Why change themes?
Some of the themes that have been offered on Hypotheses up until now are very complex and carry bugs, while others include coding that requires complex maintenance. Generally the coding varies from one theme to another because the themes have not been developed by the same organisation. This heterogeneity makes maintaining the platform difficult.
What’s more, some of the themes are old and no longer meet minimum requirements, notably in terms of accessibility. For example, most of our old themes are not compatible with the dozens of screen resolutions that have arisen with the development of smartphones and tablets. The plugin used to do this (wp-touch) is also dated and too rigid to allow for a truly universal user experience.
Lastly, these themes pose compatibility problems with the plugins requested by our community of bloggers, which makes testing new plugins complicated and making changes slow, if not impossible.
The decision to offer new themes is a response to the technical necessity of standardising the platform, first and foremost to ensure it is properly maintained. This operation will also ensure the future development and internationalisation of the platform. It will allow us to respond to your requests more effectively while guaranteeing that the platform is compatible with state-of-the-art technology.
The seven old themes will be progressively replaced by four new, more standardised themes developed by one organisation, WordPress, which provides the software on which Hypotheses is based. These four new themes use responsive design, which means that page display is adjusted to the size and type of screen, in particular smartphones and tablets.
The new themes are:
WordPress currently designs a new theme each year. The Hypotheses team intends to do the same by offering users an additional theme each year.
How do you change theme?
You will need to choose and configure one of the four new themes for your blog.
To change theme, simply go to the “Appearance” tab (left-hand column of your blog’s dashboard), then click on “Themes” and choose from Twenty Eleven, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen. To select the theme, click on “Activate” (displayed in the thumbnail of each theme). As you will see, you can preview how your blog will look before activating the new theme. You can then customise your theme by clicking on “Customise” in the “Appearance” tab.
If you would prefer a easy-to-read and easily configured theme, go for Twenty Eleven or Twenty Twelve. If you would prefer a theme with more configuration options – which takes a little longer to set up – Twenty Fourteen is the theme for you.
What is the schedule for the change of themes?
The Cleaker Cléo, Evolve Hypothèses.org, Magazine Basic Cléo, Magazine P Basic Hypothèses, Twenty Eleven Hypothèses.org, Twenty Ten and Photopress will be progressively withdrawn. Here is the schedule for the change of themes:
- From April 2014: the new themes Twenty Eleven, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen are available;
- From 1 July 2014, the other themes will be considered obsolete and will no longer be offered when a blogger wishes to change theme. In addition, we will no longer provide technical support for these themes. We therefore strongly encourage you to change to one of the new themes at this point, if you have not already done so;
- From 30 September 2014, the old themes will be withdrawn. Blogs that have not already changed theme will be automatically assigned a new theme. You will of course be able to change this theme.
During this transitional period, the hypocommunity is the preferred method for discussing issues, alerting us to any problems you encounter and providing feedback, both to the Hypotheses team and other bloggers.
Documentation is currently being prepared and will be published (in French) on the Maison des Carnets: http://maisondescarnets.hypotheses.org/. This, however, is no substitute for your feedback and we encourage you to continue discussing the configuration of these themes on the hypocommunity: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: New Values by Thomas Hawk (licence: Creative Commons by-nc)
This post is a translation of this one, by Helen Tomlinson.
See you soon on Hypotheses!