Monza Mod: a child theme

As I’ve mentioned, this site uses the Monza theme (version 1.0.5). For the most part, I really like it, and it’s better behaved than another theme that I tried, which didn’t quite want to cooperate with Google Fonts. Still, I saw a few nits to pick with the styling, and I’ve packaged my fixes for them up into a child theme, called Monza Mod, for lack of greater inspiration.

Search Pages

On the Monza demo, I didn’t notice a search bar to test out, but fortunately, I know that you can just add “?s=keyword” to a WordPress site url to perform a search for “keyword.” When I try this, I notice a couple of things about the results page:

Full-width search results

First, the results page takes up the full width of the page; no sidebar to the right and no margins or padding to the left. This looks out of place compared to the rest of the theme, especially since I planned to have a search bar in my sidebar, so you’d perform a search and end up on a different style of page (and I like a nice margin, anyway).

There’s the sidebar…at the bottom

Second, the sidebar does appear, but it appears after the search results, all the way at the bottom, and the widgets also take up the full width of the page. That doesn’t seem right.

Search Results

As for the results themselves, the details that appear below the excerpt—the categories, tags, and “leave a comment” link—all appear on the same line, with no spacing:

I also didn’t especially like the byline appearing on search results (it doesn’t, elsewhere, besides which I’m the only one posting on my site), but that’s a personal preference, not a bug. Similar with “Posted on” by the date—you could argue Strunk was a bit overzealous, but his dictum “Omit needless words” strikes a chord with me.


Lastly, the dashed style for blockquotes is a bit “louder” than I want, especially since a large portion of my site, once I import from my older sites, will be a section in which every post comprises a blockquote and little or nothing else. Dashed lines look a bit cheesy to me, and I want to be able to represent emphasis in quotes accurately, so no italics.

Blockquote style in Monza theme

After installing it, I modified the theme to fix or change these styles; then I read that you’re not supposed to modify your theme itself, in case it gets an update that wipes out your changes. Good point, that. So I made a copy of everything I changed and bundled it into a child theme. It has other changes that you, reader, probably don’t want, owing again to my quotes section, which I wanted to separate and treat as a thing unto itself. But you can find the theme over on Github, if you’re interested. Here are a couple screenshots of the modified styles:

Monza Mod search results
Monza Mod blockquote

After posting this, I noticed the lack of styling on images. That works well for many images, but since these are screenshots of more or less the same theme as the page they’re on, and I’ve changed its background color but little, they wanted to melt into the page. I added a hint of a border, as well as a little bit of styling to distinguish captions from body text.

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