Magazeen Theme Modified

THoughts leaving faster than a speeding train or is that a bullet?

Thoughts leaving faster than a speeding train or is that a bullet?

It seems the best of intentions are once again thwarted by the passage of time. I realized this yesterday while driving from Tucson to El Paso and exchanging emails with lab rat about the modifications to the Magazeen theme.

I have forgotten to much to provide the detailed look at theme modification I had intended on this theme.

I made a lot of them. Some so fast I’ve now forgotten. The flurry of exchanges with Paul Fedorov over how I got the images to appear above but not in the posts themselves was a stroll down memory lane, (More like pulling you poor donkey out of quicksand). Paul kept asking a question to which I gave the same answer which wasn’t working.

Paul wouldn’t give up and sent code snap shots of what the lab single.php file was displaying and what the original theme displayed. That triggered the memory of what I did. I didn’t like the way the theme automatically included the top graphic in the post and always did a right justify. I found the div id where that was taking place and did a simple div id extraction.

It was one of those things I would have put in this post, had I actually written it before the time expired.

Memory like writing with disappearing ink

This was how the lab was born, it was buy design, but more by necessity than anything.   The lab are my notes on what I did, so the next time I have to do it (which is often for most things) I can refer to the Lab post about the topic to run me through the process.   My mind is like a steal trap.   But not in the usual sense.   My mind traps all thoughts and encases them in steal sealed for all eternity (at least it seems that way, especially when I’m trying to remember one of the 10 grand kids names)   But I digress.

I’ve modified two themes since Magazeen.   Both for clients I’ve taken on lately.   Both had different needs but similar processes.   Heavy theme modifications were required to get the site to look the way the owners wanted them to look.

The end result for Magazeen being, it is old news.

The latest theme I’ve been working with is called Gears.   It is intriging and very different.   But filled with SEO landmines and traps.   I’ve made my way out of most but honestly, IMO, don’t mess with Gears unless you don’t care about SEO or tweaking the theme.   Because of the non-standard approach to the code, I’ve heard some users are finding many of their favorite plugins DON’T WORK.   This is the risk when a theme designer starts to “Hack” together a theme with special functions.   It looses the ability to function in a “normal” WP environment.   This sadly is the case with Gears.

Where does this leave the Magazeen Theme user?

If you have specific questions I’ll find out what I did.   For instance,

  • I changed the color scheme,
  • changed the size of the thumbnails, at the top,
  • changed the way images are displayed,
  • made the search results and category displays use excerpts instead of full posts.
  • took out the default display of images in the post when imported for the top thumbs
  • changed the featured post and news widget code (but I don’t remember what I changed)
  • changed the width of the theme and the width of the post area
  • Size of the header and footer
  • Colors of links, background colors for comments reported on the post
  • size and font families for almost every aspect of the theme
  • discovered last night that if there is no excerpt entered in the excerpt field the theme displays the full post.   (not nice)
  • changed the width and height of the top navigation.

And so much CSS that it is hard to remember, since many of those changes involved change it, try it, change it some more till I liked it.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste (away) so I keep using mine even though it runs off with my thoughts sometimes even before I can finish them.   Now where was I?


  1. How about you package up the theme as you have modified it and let others have access to the files?

  2. Thanks for that final list of upgrades that you’ve made. I think after that I’m still going to be leaning towards the studiopress for my next upgrade.

  3. You had me chuckling there at the end; nothing can be more frustrating than to go in and make changes, save it, view it, make more, continue the cycle, and then completely forget what it was you changed and where to get what it now looks like. I finally just had to have some pro’s make my site all lovely.

  4. Mark,

    I’ll zip you up a copy if you would like. I think everything is inside the theme itself I’ve changed. Let me know if you want it.


  5. Mark Madsen says

    Dave, that this awesome, thank you very much for the offer. I’ve got a meeting with my web guy today and I’ll see how far he is on our new design.

    My vision for the new platform has several moving parts with these main objectives:

    1. Improve SEO
    2. Enhance navigation and search components for viewers
    3. Strategically promote my authors on and off the site

    Main purpose – capture and convert mortgage clients online

    We’re also going to be testing Ratewindow this month, as well as some CRM tools. Basically, I’m going to beat this mortgage blogging thing up until I can figure out a way to be successful online without having to be online much.


  6. Scott has a great idea.

  7. Also check my modification of magazeen 🙂

  8. I see one bug right off hand you missed. All your comment dates are the same. Under theme functions you need to replace the time code the author has there with ?php comment_date('M j, Y') ?

    Then you will see the right comment date. I’ll take another look around when I get more time.

  9. I need serious help. I know this is an easy theme, but Im having troubles. My thumnails arent working. I uploaded a pic to the post and used the properties on the image to get the url. My page is missing features. Am I missing some plug in’s? Please Help lol

  10. Jennifer,

    I see you aren’t using images in your posts. Are you uploading the images to the site from inside the posts using the media button. If so are you then pasting the url for the location of the image into the custom field for the magazeen thumbnails at the bottom of the post? You can open each post in edit mode and see if the image url is in that field, if it isn’t click the media button, find the image in your library and copy the url for the image. You don’t have to put the image in the post. Once you have copied the url paste it into the magazeen thumbnail field below the post and save. That should put the thumb in the top and side navigation.

  11. Hey Dave,
    You have done amazing work with this theme. I have also been evaluating this theme, and am interested in lot of modifications that you have done (especially the size changes). It would be great if you could share your modified code.


  12. Hey, love the changes you made to the theme. I’d love to get a hold of the modified code as well! Anyway that’s possible?

  13. Hey Dave, regarding the comment dates bug, you wrote ‘Under theme functions you need to replace the time code the author has there with.(blank)….’ Any chance you letting us know what that tht might be? Cheers

  14. Paulos,

    Sometimes it just gets wiped out when saved. Here it is again ?php comment_date('M j, Y') ?

  15. Hi Dave, i want to change de background color, it ´s possible?
    thanks a lot.
    Very good theme.

  16. Martin,

    Yes, it is possible. Where depends on what background color you want to change, using firebug you can quickly find and test it.

  17. Hi Dave, great job yours.
    I ask one question:
    Any chance to display the comments just below the post? on the home page.
    Thank you very much.

  18. Martin,

    Magazine style themes don’t display comments on the homepage. It is one of the characteristics of this type of theme.


  19. Hey Dave,

    Great work modifying this beast. I have been doing the same as well. Had a question though, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get the Magazeen “Recent Posts” to display more like a “Random Post”. It just seems a little redundant to me when I have posts on the main page, and right next to it on the side bar, there’s the Recent Posts – which show the exact same posts right next to each other…. I’ve tried separate random post widgets and plugins but I just like the styling of the Recent Posts that comes with the Magazeen theme. Have you ever thought, or possibly have any idea, of how to modify the Recent posts to act like a random post widget?

  20. Ken,

    I’m not that big a fan of Random Posts. I’ve never understood why someone would want to randomly start reading something. I do pick a category for the Featured Posts that isn’t one I post to all the time.

    I’ve even bumped these sections down the page to give more eye appeal to the sidebar as people scroll down the page.

    Too much work to modify for Random Posts. Keep Trying 🙂


  21. Hello Dave,

    Would you mind sharing your zip file with me (like you did for Dave)? I’m so very frustrated with Magazeen’s glitches and have exhausted so many CSS mods with it =/ But I’m also so stubborn, won’t give up. I’d really appreciate it.


  22. Hi Dave,

    amazing modification with the magazeen theme…like many here and other fans of this theme…I’m having problems on how to:

    • changing the size of the thumbnails, at the dock
    • Video Embeding in post and not displaying in dock
    • make image post to be shown in the single post page when clicked

    I’ve read that you shared your knowledge with some readers here? Would you be kind to email me the modification or at least give me tips regarding the 3 points mentioned above?


  23. I would like to know how to either stop the theme from cropping my images in the post or how to stop the images linked to for the thumnail dock from showing up in the post automatically. I use a lot of images when I blog and this “feature” of randomly cropping my images isn’t working for me at all. I’d like to solve that problem before I transfer all of my posts over again. Thanks so much for your time I appreciate it
    .-= Jenny K´s last blog ..broon test =-.

  24. Agnelo

    The size of the thunbnails are changed in the tinythumb.php file. You control the size and cropping of the thumbs there. You might have to change the style.css sheet for the dock if you make them too big.

    The image displayed in the dock is default unless you fill in the url in the custom field in the post editor. This is what I do for every post. I never let the them pick the image. Sometimes I have a custom size for the dock since it displays landscape and some images will be portrait. I create a custom image and link it to the post in the custom field to keep cropping to a minimum. You can also set the amount of crop in the tinythumb.php file (This is available in the theme editor)

    I’m not sure what you mean by “make image post to be shown in the single page when clicked. If you can clarify that one I’ll be glad to try and answer it as well.


  25. Jenny,

    I”m not sure what you mean by random cropping of your images in the post. I’ve been to your new site but without knowing what the original images look like I can’t tell what is cropped and what isn’t.

    There are so many different ways to bring images into WP and even into a post. How an image is added to WP and to the post also determines the size.

    The controlling the image in the dock is by filling in the image url in the custom field in the post editor you want displayed in the dock. (That image does not have to be in the post) But if you don’t provide an image for the dock it will pick one.


  26. I am uploading the image into wordpress and then using the link to put into the box for the dock. It is making all of my images that I use for the dock appear in the blog post even if I don’t insert it into the post. It has made both of the images (one in each post) the same size. It hasn’t resized the image relatively, it has just cropped off parts to make them the same size. Thanks so much for responding btw! I wish the author of the original template was so good about answering questions!
    .-= Jenny K´s last blog ..broon test =-.

  27. Jenny,

    I just sent you a copy of my modified Magazeen theme. Try replacing the single.php file or try the entire theme. If you want to keep the styling be sure to copy your existing style.css file to the copy I’ve sent.

    Let me know if this helps.


  28. thanks so much! I thnk I might have it fixed I replaced 225 and 246 with auto in this line of single post

    ?>&w=auto&h=auto&zc=0″ alt=”” /> and it seems to have stopped cropping the images down, they are still showing up in the posts even though they aren’t in the posts when I am in the edit window, but that isn’t really a big problem! I was a wiz with html, then they went to CSS and I am totally lost! You have no idea how much I appreciate the help!
    .-= Jenny K´s last blog ..broon test =-.

  29. Jenny,

    Remove that section all together and it will quit inserting the images in the post. Take a look at the single.php file I sent you.


  30. Hi Dave thanks for the feedback…I managed to resize the images in the dock through the header.php and also customized the css. I also solved the problem with the images in single page page by setting a max-width: 521px; Height: auto; That way the images don’t show up 100% and thus displaying outside the boundaries.

    Now, to my other question: How do I insert videos in posts without them appearing in the dock? Whenever I insert a video, theme as usual include a thumbnail in the dock, but only as a caption with Alt text. Is there a way to either exclude video embeding in the dock, or to crop video thumbnails to show properly in the dock?

    Thank you once again for your support and I’l join Jenny by saying that I also wish that the author of theme would be this supportive.

    Cheers 😉

  31. Angelo,

    Like I said before, you can override the default image in the dock by putting an image url in the custom field below the post editor “Magazeen post options” where it says:

    “Using the “Add an Image” button, upload an image and paste the URL here. Images will be resized. This is the Article’s main image and will automatically be sized. Visit the README for more information.”

    The process would be:

    1. insert the video into the post where you want it to appear.
    2. create an image for the dock
    3. upload that image and use the url to that image for the magazine post options.

    You don’t have to insert the image into the post. It will appear in the dock for the post.


  32. I replaces the single.php and it is working great now! Thank you so much, really!
    .-= Jenny K´s last blog ..broon test =-.

  33. Hello Dave,

    Thank you for all of your outstanding information. Regarding the automatic thumbnail within each post, have you found a way to conditionally hide this thumbnail within the body of a specified post? I do like the way that this theme consistently places the image with the same size, location etc but sometimes would rather hide this when making a post that contains video because I just want the video window and text, no additional thumbnail image. Have you found a way somehow hide this image in some posts and not others or did you remove the code to display the image in the body of all posts? Optimally I would like to add a checkbox to the actual post interface under “Magazeen Post Options” that would be titled something like “Hide Image in Post Body.” This checkbox could add a flag to the posts database table such as a 1 for hidden or a 0 to leave as default. When the post actually renders on the page, WordPress could then look to that flag and display the post if the value in the database is a 0 and hide it if its a 1. That way we keep the intended functionality of the automatic thumbnail and can hide it on a case by case basis. Unfortunately I am not too good with php and mysql and don’t know how to actually make this happen from a programming standpoint.


  34. Michael,

    There is no need for any more code. It is already built into the theme. If you notice most of my images up top are not in the posts they are attached to. Getting an image above without putting it in the post is simple. Down at the bottom of the post editor there is a place to put the image link for the post. There you place the link to the image you want to appear above. I always use that custom field to generate the images above. Even if the image is in the post I fill in the link in that field. Simple.