The Theme That Used To Be Gwendolyn

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It’s been almost a year since I last published an article here so I thought it might be interesting to share an insights on a new part of Elevenfour which I’ve developed during the last months. We‘ll take a look at the first WordPress theme I created for Elevenfour and we‘ll also have a look at future WordPress theme development by Elevenfour.
But first of all as the title of this article already indicated: The Gwendolyn theme has a new name – it‘s now called Photogram.

The Idea

Back in July 2017 I was taking some photos for my Instagram chanel at Karl-Marx-Allee and since it was early in the morning, I was alone and almost no one at the street yet my mind went out to explore new ideas. The first thought wasn‘t new to me I thought about this several times before: What if Instagram decides to shut down its service or for whatever reason bans my account? I might need a backup solution for my photos. For sure: My photos won‘t change the world and maybe nobody might even miss them. But still I like to post them online even if hardly anyone might ever see them. And at the end of the street there was this second thought that gave the name for the site which uses the new theme: Sometimes there’s a story which the photo cannot tell – even if it’s worth a thousand words. Instagram may not be the best place to tell the story. So why not put up a photo blog?

So, when I was back at home again I headed to to see if there was any theme that would match my needs – there should be some open source theme available that would have a grid similar to what Instagram does. At least I thought so. Turned out: Back in the days there were some photo blog themes but not a single one offered something similar or was maybe close. Not to speak of design and color choices.

The Tech Stuff

So, after I already had plans to create a theme for WordPress I decided to do one more. But first I decided that I didn’t want yet another WordPress installation because that would make things a little to much for me, so I set up a multi site network with WordPress and first of all moved the Elevenfour Labs to that network (you’re looking at it right now ;) ) and then finally created the page for Elevenfour Photostories. So now I have one WordPress installation wich handles the Labs and the Photostories. And if I should need more I could easily add that, too.

The theme Photogram itself is a rather basic one: There’s the grid for that’s used on the home, categories, tags etc. showing only the image and the name the post (on Desktop you’ll see this on hover). Search results are displayed with some more information allowing you to read the excerpt of the post so you can more easily evaluate if that’s what you’re looking for. And of course there’s also the single post view showcasing the photo and the story or even more photos if available. Since this blog makes almost no use of special Gutenberg blocks (like cover, group etc.) I didn’t write code for theme and didn’t even test for them.

I created to color versions: A light one, which is the default option, and a dark one which will be automatically activated if the theme detects that the viewer’s operating system is set to dark mode – but only if the operating system and the browser support this behaviour. So iOS 13, macOS Mojave and Catatlina users with Safari, Firefox and Chrome can see this. I think the latest version of Windows 10 does this too.

The Look

Photogram home page – mix of dark and light colored version
Single post view, dark mode

So – that is it: Photogram. If you like to have the live view head over to Elevenfour Photostories. The site is available know (but it’s not yet perfect).

The future of WordPress themes by Elevenfour

Well, to put it short: I won’t make any theme available. Camelot is now canceled, too. The reason is that the Gutenberg editor grows too fast to handle it if you’re not full time working on themes and make your living of it. While I was working on Photogram and Yosemite I realised that some changes made to Gutenberg might sometimes cause the design to break. What worked yesterday might not do today and tomorrow might be different again. I’m sorry if you were waiting for this theme.

If you have been: thank you for reading this post. :)