Facelift

I suppose it was only a matter of time, but I have arrived at the point where the things I want to do are not possible with the current theme, as it is too old, and no longer supported.
At one time it would have perhaps been possible to make the changes on the original site, as WordPress then allowed both FTP transfers and access to the CSS files. However, as the site has evolved, both of these facilities have been withdrawn from the free sites. If the ability to adjust the CSS is allowed for the upgraded site, I don’t know, but the loss of FTP transfers seems to affect their servers comploetely.
This also means that any new theme can only be one that is already available, or can be installed by the Instal Themes section of the Dashboard. This page also allows you to search for themes according to characteristics that you can choose – number of columns. fixed or fluid layout, colour, etc. So, if you want to do any tweaks, and have WordPress running on a separate site, (or with Wampserver or Xampp on your own computer), you can generate your own version of a theme, and upload it. This presupposes that you have the skills to make such changes, of course. I cannot include myself in this group now, as I am simply too out of touch with developments over the years.
So, exactly where is the problem?
I need Widgets, and my old theme doesn’t have them! Why do I suddenly need widgets? I want to install a “Buy me a Beer” facility, where people can reward my valiant efforts with something more tangible than a “Like” – if they so desire. (By the way, my all-time favourite beer is Guiness!)
So, I exported the complete Symphony site from WordPress. This works very well apart from pictures, which somehow got lost. I then imported the file into my own test blog, & voila – Symphony was up and running on my own computer. If you don’t feel up to doing something like this yourself, WordPress offers a service to do it for you at a price of $129.00. I recommend that you have a go yourself first, and if you don’t succeed, you have an alternative.
The old theme I was using, “Silver is the New Black” (modified), is still available for download on WordPress if anyone should ever want it. See my post “Themes – The Hard Way”. However, it is not so simple as downloading a PDF file – (its really a ZIP file, but the name had to be changed before WordPress would let me upload it). The browser quickly spots that it is not a true PDF file, and rejects it – aborting the download. In the Opera browser – I’m still running version 12.16 – you will need to go to Preferences, and change the response for a PDF file such that it saves directly to the desktop (or somewhere on the hard drive) to get the file. After you have the file down, reset the PDF handling back to normal. I don’t know if other browsers will have this facility – I am an out-and-out Opera devotee!
The new theme – Twenty Fourteen – will involve a bit more scrolling, as the font size is larger, but at least it will be a lot easier to read. Enjoy!

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