Well, after having fiddled a bit with my child theme, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the results, so I did some more looking for a different theme that I could adapt to suit my needs. And after a few false starts, minor frustrations and general muttering, I found something almost excessively clever.
Suffusion is a highly customisable theme by Sayontan Sinha which allows the user to set layouts (sidebars on or off, various options for headers and footers), appearance (colours, fonts), and pretty much everything you might want to fiddle with, directly from its own configuration pages, which is really nice work. This is a very good example of a developer taking the tools provided by WordPress and making something special. By choosing your own colours and options, you can create a site that’s quite distinctly yours, without having to work out which CSS selectors you need to change, which files to edit, and how hard to bang your head on your desk while sobbing whymewhymewhyme. Well, that last bit might just be my traditional approach to theme editing.
Anyway, I had a quick play with Suffusion this morning, then quickly set up a copy of Losing it for a more detailed test. As I have a few little tweaks set up in functions.php, I created a child theme and activated that. This is generally the best way to do this sort of thing – it means that if the main theme is updated, I can install the update without breaking anything I’ve edited.
I fiddled around a bit, changed a few settings here and there, and found that I could do pretty much what I wanted. So, pausing only to make a small donation to the theme author, I installed Suffusion and copied over my child theme.
Which leads me to one of the theme’s niftiest features. As it has so many settings, recreating them from one site to another would take a while. Not difficult, but certainly time-consuming. So there is an export/import function! Yes, you can save all your settings to a file, which will be downloaded by your browser. You then need to save this in a the admin/import subfolder of the theme in the new location and click one button. If you do this, make sure you create the folder in your child theme, otherwise it won’t work!
I’ll be tweaking a few settings over the next few days, but for now, I’m moderately happy with the new look.
 I’m generally happy to do this for people who make an effort to produce something useful