The Atahualpa Whallop

By | April 24, 2009

I’m looking to start a new blogging project online. Hopefully it’ll come together soon. I’m just in the planning stages now, but one of the things I’m considering is what the blog will look like. In tooling around the available themes for WordPress, I came across one that leapt out at me and started jumping up and down on my chest, slapping my face, shouting “Look at me! LOOK AT ME!!!”

The first thing that got my attention was the name: Atahualpa. A theme named after the last emperor of the Incan Empire. Great choice. It’s hard to ignore all those “a”s.

The next thing was the claim of customizability. It claimed to be either fixed- or flexible-width, 2 or 3 column, republican or democrat… and that you could control almost every aspect of the theme easily.

Well, I downloaded it and looked for myself. The claims are true… mostly.

You can control just about everything, to a much more granular level than I’ve seen in any other theme, right through the settings page, without opening the style.css file. It’s amazing the level of flexibility this thing affords. Check out the list of sub-pages on the Settings page…

The list of categories you can control in Atahualpa - many with multiple options each

The list of categories you can control in Atahualpa - many with multiple options each

There have got to be well over a hundred individual items you can style and control through this Settings page. It’s crazy.

The flexibility is great, but even though you don’t have to enter the style.css file, these settings aren’t for the faint of heart. Quite a few of the settings are just text boxes for you to enter CSS. There is a lot of guidance and great examples, but you gotta know CSS if you’re gonna mess with the default much. There’s no getting around it.

If you like the default, though, or there are just a couple small things you want to change, this may be a great style even for the CSS-ignorant. You just gotta ask for a little help from someone who knows what they’re looking at.

Here’s how this site would look with the default settings:

Caddickisms with the default Atahualpa look

Caddickisms with the default Atahualpa look

For me, this theme is right on the edge. I like the basic default look, but there are a lot of little things I want to change. I love to tinker, too, but this may be a time when there are just too many options. I’m almost overwhelmed and that’s making it hard to focus on exactly what I want to alter.

Still, this is the best alternative theme for Caddickisms I’ve found yet. If I can determine what to change and then find those options, this might just be the next look for the site.

I think I’m going to go with something else for the new project, though.

7 thoughts on “The Atahualpa Whallop

  1. Thomas

    Please pardon if this is a repost. Seems I’ve been having some connectivity troubles.

    Meanwhile, really appreciate the post. It seems you’re a few months ahead of me, working on some similar issues. I’m trying my damndest to get the look of my own just right. It’s a helluva thing to have confidence in your writing, in your content, and still worry people might click away because my background is too bland.
    .-= Thomas´s last blog ..“The loss of the ‘Casual Hello”-introduction =-.

  2. Jeff Post author

    Hi Thomas,

    Thanks. The nice thing about WordPress is that you can try on different themes until the cows come home with no ill-effects… and you can always go back to another one.

    I see your blog is pretty new. Welcome to the blogosphere!

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again.

  3. gilles


    I did something wrong in the settings, but I can’t remember what.
    The page buttons (here on top of your website ie: home) is shaped as the category bar (plain bar ie : COA)
    Where can I find the setting to have the same round border like yours?
    Thank you,

  4. Jeff Post author

    I use this on the HTML/CSS Inserts page:

    /* round corners for page menu bar items */
    div#menu1 ul.rMenu li, div#menu1 ul.rMenu li a {
    -webkit-border-top-left-radius: 5px;
    -webkit-border-top-right-radius: 5px;
    -moz-border-radius-topleft: 5px;
    -moz-border-radius-topright: 5px;
    border-top-left-radius: 5px;
    border-top-right-radius: 5px;

  5. Jeff Post author

    You might also need this:
    /* reset 2nd+ level */
    div#menu1 ul.rMenu li li, div#menu1 ul.rMenu li li a {
    -webkit-border-top-left-radius: 0;
    -webkit-border-top-right-radius: 0;
    -moz-border-radius-topleft: 0;
    -moz-border-radius-topright: 0;
    border-top-left-radius: 0;
    border-top-right-radius: 0;

  6. gilles

    Thank you for the quick answer. It changed a little bit, however, the page bar is still the width of the entire header. How can I just have a background behind the page title instead of the entire length?

    My goal is to have the same page bar as the one you have. (which was my previous setting as well)

    Thanks so much

  7. Jeff Post author

    It sounds like you need to make background transparent, and probably remove the borders, for the page menu.

    Try this:
    div#menu1 ul.rMenu {
    background: transparent;
    border: none;

Leave a Reply