For Homebrew Website Club Wednesday, even though I didn’t make it to an in-person meetup I did manage to make some reasonable visible progress on my website.

I hacked together some tweaks to add the following:

  • Improved support in my theme for time related microformats including dt-published and dt-updated
  • Because I post so frequently, I added a visible timestamp next to the date so it’s easier to follow my timeline of posts.
  • I removed the data for my location, weather, and syndication links from the_body of my posts and appended it to my post meta data. This should prevent it from showing up in Webmentions to others’ websites or in syndicated copies, but still be available to parsers to attach that data to my posts in readers and other services.
  • I modified my CSS so that the text in the Simple Location and Syndication Links plugins matches that of the rest in its section.
  • I added a cute little bullhorn icon in front of my Syndication Links so that it has some parallelism with the rest of the meta data on my site.
  • I’d always liked the idea of adding in related posts data on my site, but didn’t like how it had worked in the past. Things were even worse with replying to other people’s posts as my markup (and far too many others I’ve seen in the WordPress world) was hacky and caused the related posts data to show up in their Webmentions sent to other sites. I looked through some of Jetpack’s documentation and figured out how to remove their Related Posts functionality from the_body, where it defaults, and append it instead to the post meta section of my posts. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s much closer to how I’d like it. Best of all, that data shouldn’t show up in my replies to other sites now either! I had disabled the functionality ages ago because it made me feel like a rude-IndieWebber.

With IndieWebCamp Online 2020 coming up this weekend, I hope to fix a few outstanding issues and roll these changes up into my open sourced IndieWeb Twenty Fifteen WordPress theme as my hackday project. If you’re using it on your own site, do let me know. Not that I can promise to fix it if it’s broken in places, but I’d at least like to know how it’s working out for you or where it could be improved.

Things left over to fix:

  • Simple Location data still needs some CSS help to display the way I want it to.
  • I need to target the Simple Location icon so I can have its color match that of the other icons.
  • Because so many of my posts don’t have titles, I’ll need to tweak something there so that the Jetpack related posts will pick up better meta data as a pseudo-title instead of displaying the relatively context-less commentary that appears in the_body
  • It may take a day or two for the related posts to populate properly, but I should make sure that it’s putting out relevant/interesting results.
  • Is it worth adding a default featured photo for the related posts that don’t have one? Could I pull one from other meta fields for some classes of posts?

Reply to More IndieWeb compatible themes #2

Replied to More indieweb compatible themes · Issue #2 · indieweb/wordpress-feature-requests (GitHub)
Currently SemPress is listed as the only theme that is fully microformats2 compliant, but its style is very distinct and will not appeal to everyone. Many indieweb WP sites use twentysixteen or Independent Publisher. I have tried many combinations of the last 2 with the mf2 plugin, and ended up having to edit the theme code to get everything working. Would be great to have more options for themes that "just work". :)
A few random tips/pointers:

@GWG has put out a very customized version of his Twenty Sixteen Theme on Github. For those who have some development skills or are willing to look at examples to try changes themselves, the commit history of this particular theme is very enlightening and does a reasonable step-by-step job of providing snapshots of what he changed in Twenty Sixteen to make it more IndieWeb-friendly. For most themes, one may not want to go as far as he did to remove Post Formats in favor of Post Kinds for greater flexibility, but most of the rest is pretty useful and solid as an example if one is converting/forking other popular themes to make them more IndieWeb friendly.

There are a number of very IndieWeb-friendly themes and even child themes listed on the Themes page of the wiki. Most of these should “just work” though a few may have small bugs which could be filed to their respective repositories to improve them.

It’s generally recommended not to use the mf2 plugin with themes which are already very IndieWeb-friendly as it can cause issues or have unintended consequences. That plugin is generally better used when themes only have the minimal microformats v1 code which is added by WordPress core.

There are also lots of details and brainstorming for improving themes in general on the wiki page for WordPress/Development/#Themes.