Customizing the Arras theme

After days of searching for a magazine-style blog theme, I chose Arras.   I liked the featured post slider, the thumbnails and a quick search of the support forums showed up answers to most of the questions I had in my mind (like whether I could upload a custom header banner).  I admit the featured slider is a bit jazzy, but I am in the mood for a little bling for my blog 🙂

But I still did have to customize the theme.  For one thing, I wanted green instead of blue.  I wanted to have my own custom header image, I wanted to change the default font and of course the colors.  It should have been simple, and it is, but it’s incredibly time-consuming.  It would be much faster if you knew exactly which shade you wanted for each area of the site, but if you go through the trial-and-error method, it takes a lot of time. As it was, I was obsessively tweaking all weekend.

This is how the theme actually looks like if you use it without any customization :


There were a few hiccups along the way, like the tabbed sidebar widget which insisted on destroying my entire layout when viewed in IE.  But most of them were resolved by digging though the forum archives, though that did take some time as well.

Most of the changes I needed could be done by editing the stylesheet, but there were some (like Sujatha’s idea of removing the text excerpt from the slideshow) which actually involved editing php files.

The customized theme, as you cannot help noticing, is green.  But is it easy on your eyes?  Would most of you rather prefer blue  (just in terms of readability) ?  I hope you will answer these and other questions in the poll below.  Please don’t limit yourself to just the poll – I’d really appreciate detailed comments /critiques.

**Polls closed.**


29 thoughts on “Customizing the Arras theme

    • You did? 🙂 I really liked Misty Look too, despite all its failings, and for a long time I never found any other theme that I liked as much. I’ve tried to keep the same color palette for this new theme as well.

  1. Nice theme 🙂 I am going through the same grueling process of redoing my blog. I can understand what you are going through. Good luck with hours of editing and can’t wait for the final product. Mine is still in the editing phase 😉

    • Your blog looks very clean and minimalistic. I see you are using Thesis. When you say “redoing”, are you changing the theme or customizing it further? And do give me a shout if you need any help – not that I’m an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express 😉

  2. I recently downloaded the Arras theme, but I’m wondering what plug-in you used to have the pages appear as the top nav (instead of the categories), or if it’s possible to have both pages and categories listed.


  3. Hi,
    I’m also using the Arras Theme and it seems complicated for me since it’s my first foray into wordpress and blogging (I’ve been living under the stones all these years).

    Anyway, I started a blog for my home province and everything seems to be working except the page navigation. It won’t show. I think I have messed up something, or failed to so something. I have no idea. Yours has a neat one “Older Entries”. How can I implement that on my blog? Please help. I have asked this in the old forum but I didn’t get an answer. Thank you very much.

    • Try reinstalling Arras. Perhaps something went wrong during the install? Or maybe it’s a plugin conflict? Try deactivating and then activating the plugins one by one to see which one could be causing the problem. Sorry I can’t help you more 😦

  4. Hi.. It’s nice finding ur blog. I was looking for some ways to customize the arras theme since i also use this. i see it works in ur blog but I still didnt have any idea of how to do that.. Would you please tell me where I can find its tutorial or something? Thanks.

  5. I just installed Arras. I have a big “About the author” box at the bottom of posts and pages. You seem to found the “magic” to avoid that and yours just has your name and the date at the top of the posts.
    Any clue as to how I make that go away?


  6. I’m new to wordpress and finding it extremely gruesome to do all this research for a blog you want as a hobby. I’m going back to blogger until there is a more friendly way and I don’t have to dig through 100000,0000 of forums for questions and answers. I

  7. All I want to do is change my arras font to arial across the board. Any idea how? I am stumped. I’ve made a bunch of simple customizations to the background and other colors etc. but something so simple as changing the default font across the board is stumping me…

  8. hi there

    you have helped already with fitting a custom header without padding… so thanks for that. BUT my big issue is that i cannot get the slider to work. its static. I have sifted through every forum and used the tips given, but nothing is working. (the most common being the “” in the sidebar.php page)

    i am using arras 1.5.0 and wordpress 3.1 and there are no plug-ins active
    any ideas.

    • If you’ve already read through the forums then you must have read that tip about limiting the number of posts in the slider to 6 or 7. Sorry I cannot help you more.

  9. Arras theme slideshow image problem

    I have a photo blog for which I want to use theme Arras.

    There is a slideshow option in this theme, the problem is that when I upload a landscape sized picture, it is almost ok but when I upload portrait size picture, it cuts it from mid, I want it to cut from top so that if that Is a human picture the face is shown there but that cut it in a way that focuses about belly area.

    Please give me some help as arras forums is down.

    +Please help me.

    Thanks & regards

  10. I’m so happy to read this. This really is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this finest doc.

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