School uniforms might be OK, but students definitely won’t want uniform weblogs. WordPress offers a wide range of themes, and these can be customised – if you’re hosting WordPress yourself.
With WordPress Multi-User (WPMU), things are a bit different. A range of themes can be made available, but changing any of these will affect all the blogs using that theme. So what’s the simplest way to give students the widest possible options for customising their blogs?
One solution is to provide themes which themselves include built-in, menu-driven, styling options. This blog, for example, is using the 3K2 theme. Users of this theme can choose a Style called Vader, which you can currently see here. Provision is made in that theme for addition of more options, but we’d need to make them up.
The StripedPlus theme, installed today, also offers a high degree of inbuilt user styling to WPMU users. For example, it provides for selection of header and background images, as well as fonts and colours. This one also supports sidebar widgets – in 4 sidebars ( top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) but it’s a single-column design. The “sidebars” appear at top and bottom of the blog, with the top two revealed by mousing over the Navigation link.
We’ll continue to look out for themes that offer this degree of individual styling to student bloggers.