Each theme that is released for Publii can potentially have many unique options along with basic settings that should be included with every theme. To reach the theme settings section, click on the Theme option in the left-sidebar.
The first block of options in this section, Basic Settings, covers the general options that apply to all Publii themes.
The basic settings available in Publii's themes are:
- Posts Per Page - Sets the number of posts that should appear on the frontpage and each archive page; if set to 0, no posts are displayed. If set to -1, all posts are displayed.
- Tag Posts Per Page - Like the above option, but sets the number of posts displayed on Tag listing pages.
- Author Posts Per Page - Same as above, but this time for the Author page.
- Excerpt Length - Sets the length in words of the preview snippet of text that is displayed in each post preview on the frontpage/tag pages etc...
- Website Logo - Any image added here will be used as your site's logo; to upload an image, either drag & drop the file into the box, or click on the Choose file button to open the file explorer.
- Custom CSS - By clicking on the text in this section you can open the CSS editor to add your own CSS code to the theme; this code is stored in a file that overrides the base CSS, rather than overwriting the existing code.
Under the Basic Settings is another block; Custom Settings. This section is reserved for theme-specific settings that can provide a host of theme customization options and quality-of-life improvements. For example, your chosen theme may include color pickers to quickly change theme styles, font and layout settings, or even include a cookie banner that will help you meet European law! Exactly which options are made available in each theme is up to the theme developer, but we'll cover the scope of each tabbed section here, starting with the Layout tab:
This section controls the basic look of your site; depending on the theme, the number of options available may be very small, or run into double-figures! Common settings found in this section would include page width settings to set the max width of the theme, frontpage/tag page/author page layout options that let you set the number of columns of post previews should be displayed on the specified page, and options unique to the particular theme's frontpage or post pages, such as column width, slideshow animation speed and other visual controls.
The colors section allows users to define the color scheme for their site without diving into the CSS code. The number of possible areas that can be customized will depend on the theme, but generally you should expect to at least find a Primary Color option, which sets the main color for the key elements in the theme. Beyond this, you are likely to find color options for secondary elements, on-hover text link colors, plus heading, text or link colors.
Selecting a color for each option is easy; each field includes the color hexadecimal code, and a circle with the color displayed, so you don't need to be familiar with hex notation for colors to make a decision! Clicking on any of the color fields will automatically open a color picker. The first slider selects the color, while the larger window sets the intensity of the color; whether it is light, dark, saturated etc...Finally, the second slider controls the transparency of the color; useful for backgrounds or if there are text elements over the colored area.
This section includes options for managing fonts. Since Publii is a content-focused app it pays particular attention to how text content is displayed on your site; theme layouts rely on vertical rhythm to provide an orderly, readable design. Publii themes support Fluid typography, which automatically resizes fonts dynamically to the window or screen size; this feature is combined with a modular scale to perfectly manage the text size to enhance readability across devices and avoids nasty 'jumps' in font size when resizing or adjusting windows on your desktop.
Publii also includes support for Google Fonts, allowing you to pick from a huge range of fonts and apply them to your website; the options for doing so will be found in this section. As well as the font selection options, you'll also find settings for defining a minimum and maximum font sizes to prevent your text resizing to extreme levels on very small or very large screen sizes!
This area controls visual elements relating to the menu, rather than the content. This will usually consist of color options to define menu text and on-hover colors, and settings to define menu and submenu widths.
This section includes settings for configuring search functionality via Google Custom Search in your theme if supported. For more information on configuring Google Custom Search, check the Google Custom Search section of this guide.
Here you'll find controls that set whether particular social media share buttons are included on your posts; which buttons are available is dependent on the theme developer, but you should expect the standards of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest et al to be included.
A comment system is a great way to connect to your community, so Publii includes support for Disqus, which is included in its standard themes. This section allows you to add your Disqus shortname, which is required to activate comments on your site. You may also need to enable comments in the Post Options section, detailed later.
Here you can set the copyright text that appears in the footer of your theme; depending on the theme there may also be additional controls so as options to enable/disable social media follow buttons.
This section is purely for elements that do not fit into any of the other categories; in this section you may find controls such as whether Lazy Load is enabled or not, or date formatting options.
The Post Options section allows for management of which elements are enabled in all posts; things such as the social media buttons, author bio, date, tags and comments can all be enabled and disabled in this section. The settings here will be applied to all posts, however individual posts have their own options accessible via the Edit Post screen, so if you globally enable comments, for example, and you have one new post where you don't want comments, you can control that within the post edit screen.
You may also reset the theme settings back to their default values by clicking the Reset Theme Settings button at the bottom of the section; useful if you've made a few mistakes!
So whenever you test-drive a new theme, make sure to check the Custom Settings section and check out what additional options there are to play with!