Comment Formatting Tweaks

As my first real WordPress Theme I have a feeling Extraface(currently at version 0.3) is going to be a work in progress for some time. I’ve been trying out some different things in the comments section over the last week or so, and tonight I uploaded some changes the templates and stylesheet. I’m not done with the changes to that section yet but felt like seeing some outward progress.

I’m basing the current comment design around the comment style in the Micro blog theme, which I first saw in use on Michael Ivey’s blog. Micro is unfortunately not available for WordPress, but there are versions for Mephisto and Blogger.

Here’s what comments look like now:

You’ll also notice that there are now 30 x 30 icons next to commenters’ names. Those are what are called Gravatars, or globally recognized avatars. If you have set up a (free) account at, then my blog (and lots of other blogs as well) will recognize you by your email address and display the picture of your choosing next to your name. If not, it shows a default image of my choosing.

A big thanks to Judson Collier, who I hired to take a first shot at styling the comments to kick off my recent work. I was at a point where I hadn’t done much with it in a great while, and saw a Twitter message of his looking take on small internet jobs. It worked out great. Getting a fresh set of eyes on it was exactly what I needed to get myself involved with it again. He cleaned up some of my CSS, helped me think through some changes, and continues to help me move through the project.

I do hope to get the Extraface theme in decent enough shape to release for general use soon. Maybe I’ll make 0.5 the first release candidate. If nothing else, that will help motivate me to go back and clean up my own messy code, and develop better habits in the process.


  1. Looks good, my only comment is the background isn’t dark enough to make the white speech bubble noticeable without staring really close.

  2. The white on gray thing depends on what your monitor’s like. On one of my work monitors I can easily tell a difference; on the other I can’t tell a difference without really looking for it.

    Solution, then, is to make the contrast higher, so yeah, I agree w/ Rusty. :)

  3. Thanks! Now on my shortlist, along with author comment highlighting. I’m also going to play with thin borders, to see if that helps. Last night I had a fight with CSS on that very subject — having trouble outlining everything but leaving the flat part of the triangle “open”.

  4. nice job with the comment bubbles. i like the subtle use of greys and the outline, something i considered when originally designing them. here they turned out great. we’d love to produce a theme for blogger… one day.

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