16 August 2009

A quick WordPress question

Filed under: Uncategorized, WordPress — David Wood @ 8:39 pm

The comment box that is presented at the end of postings in this blog is only 36 characters wide.

That doesn’t make for easy entry of meaty comments.  I’d like to make the box wider.

I’ve had a quick look at the WordPress settings, but I don’t see anything that controls this.  Am I missing something?

I’ll be grateful for any suggestions from people who have travelled further than me down the road of learning about WordPress.

By the way, my selection process for the theme to use for this blog – “Silver is the New Black” – was conducted fairly quickly.  I liked its “flexible width” attribute, and my initial experiments with it were encouraging.  But I’m by no means wedded to it, and I’ll happily switch to another one that turns out to be more user-friendly.

PS Since I’m far from being an expert in CSS, I’d prefer (for the moment) to fix this issue without needing to overwrite the CSS from the theme designer.


  1. As far as I’m aware you’re not actually missing anything in WordPress itself; this is a theme-specific feature.

    You should, however, be able to tweak the CSS relatively easily. I’ve not tried this using a WordPress.com blog, but I believe you can do this from the ‘Appearance > Editor’ section of your WordPress Admin.

    You should find that ‘style.css’ is loaded in the editor by default.

    Look for the line:

    #commentform textarea { width: 300px; }

    Strangely this seems to be using a fixed width for the comment textarea instead of a more desireable relative sizing. I would recommend replacing it with something like:

    #commentform textarea { width: 95%; }

    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Jason Morley — 17 August 2009 @ 12:01 am

    • Thanks Jason!

      Hope this helps.

      Definitely. It gave me the courage to experiment – and the experiment turned out to be easy (once you had pointed me in the right direction).

      For the record:

      *) Anything typed in as a custom CSS is loaded after the one supplied by the theme itself, so it overwrites the settings in the theme;

      *) It’s necessary to purchase a small upgrade on the basic WordPress functionality before any custom CSS takes effect (though you can preview the effect before paying for the upgrade).

      // David W.

      Comment by David Wood — 17 August 2009 @ 12:24 am

      • Hi,

        definately this is much better. I posted a longish reply on Saturday, and the narrow area did bother a bit. Thanks for changing.

        PS. I like this silver theme. It’s calming.

        Comment by Petra S — 17 August 2009 @ 7:38 am

  2. David,

    I’ve been using a (free) theme called Atahaulpa. It’s sort of like Photoshop in that it has what seems like a steep learning curve compared to other themes, but it gives you nearly total control of what’s going on.
    It has a separate page just for styling comments, and a section where you can add your own CSS overlays as an integral part of the theme. It supports layouts from 1 to 5 columns. I can recommend it highly, it has a well-populated support forum so when I get in over my head I can yell for help, and the experts there have been quite patient as I try to scramble up the learning curve.

    I’m using on both http://richard.milewski.org and http://avwx.net with good results.

    Comment by Richard A Milewski — 17 August 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    • Richard,

      Thanks for the pointer to Atahaulpa.

      Since the two sites you mention both look very good, I’ll check it out – probably when I create my next blog (which won’t be long … I think).

      // David W.

      Comment by David Wood — 17 August 2009 @ 8:24 pm

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