WordPress Zen: The Morning After Theme

*NOTE* (11/30/10)

The Morning After Theme has officially moved to Woo Themes. Not only have they updated the theme, but added additional functionality. What is detailed below, is the latest version of the theme BEFORE it was moved to Woo Themes. If you’re looking for additional help with the WooThemes version, then check it out here.

After my son, Jared, was set up with his own website, we began talking about what his goals for his new URL. We started writing manual HTML and basic CSS in an effort to understand the basics of creating one’s own website. We followed that with the benefits of WordPress (or ANY Content Management System for that matter) and what it really meant to separate content from the design.

I gave Jared a list of WordPress themes to give him a idea of what was available. Less than a day later, he had decided upon Arun Kale’s “The Morning After” theme based out of themasterplan.in.

I had looked at “The Morning After” theme when I started this website some years ago, but back then I didn’t have enough PHP or WordPress experience to make a go of it. It is a fantastic-looking theme, but development has ground to a halt, the support documentation isn’t complete and spammers have taken over its forum.

It’s not a WordPress theme for the weak.

So, below I have compiled a list of issues with “The Morning After” theme. Dust off your search engine and let’s get dirty.


Don’t use the plugins that come with TMA. They are all out-of-date. These include: Lester Chan‘s WP-Print and WP-Email plugins, and the Post-Thumb Revisited plugin by Alakhnor. After installing the latest plugins, I noticed that WordPress kept complaining about a new version of Post-Thumb Revisited. No matter what I tried, WordPress would not install the latest version. This is because the version number of its library is not identical to the main plugin. I solved that by using the WordPress editor to change the version number in both the library AND the Post-Thumb widget… as of this writing the version was 2.2.1.b.

It worked, so I’m not going to complain…for now. 🙂

Oh, BTW! If you use the latest Post-Thumb Revisited plugin, you also get the benefit of allowing the plugin to work FOR you, instead of having to enter those pesky Custom Fields into each post.

Header Navigation

The next item to tackle after installing “The Morning After” will be to fix the header navigation to suite your website. You will want to create three new pages: About, Archives and Contact. The About and Contact pages use the default page.php file, while you’ll want to apply the archive.php template to the Archives page. Edit the header.php file and replace the “menu” un-ordered list with the following code.

There, now THAT’S fixed.

Sidebar Issues

You’ll notice that “The Morning After” theme hard-code’s a category widget into the right sidebar. I modified the wp_list_categories API to remove the post counts and sub-classes. What I did looks like this:

Removing Those Ads

I’m not one to market or “profit-ize” my website. Maybe. Someday…but, not now.

Those ads are not where one would think, the Sidebar. Well…you’re half right. They are also in the home.php page. You’ll see the Ad. One could delete (entirely) the ad_home.php and ad_side.php pages, but I’m not confident that’ll fix anything. I prefer to remove the source. You’ll find a reference to ad_home.php in the home.php page and here’s what I did to that:

When you locate the reference to the ad_side.php page in the Sidebar, add the necessary comment code and everything should be fixed.

I’m sure there are other issues, but for the most part; the HTML is clean and I didn’t have to do anything with the CSS. There may be more, but leave a comment and perhaps I can figure-out you problem. Any takers?

12 thoughts on “WordPress Zen: The Morning After Theme

  1. I am also using morning after theme.. I want to widen my post into 750px and have one side bar on the right side..i cannot see the code.. can you help to locate the code? thanks

    1. Which posts to you wish to widen? Home Page, Single Posts, Pages, Featured Posts? If you desire a “single” sidebar, then refrain from populating the Middle/Homepage Sidebar with widgets. I’m afraid that I need a few more specifics in order to properly give you a hand.

  2. Hi there – hope you can help. I’m using the Morning After Theme and for the life of me I can’t work out how to get images to appear alongside articles the ‘Recent Posts’ (there are five in the demo I think – all 75/65) – any advice appreciated 🙂

    1. If yours is a hosted site, rather than a WP.com site, then I may have the answer.

      I’m not sure if you are talking about ‘Recent Posts’ widget or the homepage ‘Latest Posts’. Either way, the image you want alongside the post will need to be added using the “Add Featured Image” option when you write each post. In addition, if you ARE talking about the ‘Recent Posts’ sidebar widget, you also need to be sure you are using the WooThemes ‘Recent Posts’ widget. The one that comes standard with WordPress does NOT have the hooks to display images.

      Hope this helps.

  3. Hi – Thanks for your post above. I am using the Morning After theme and would like to remove the banner image and then move the body of my page up to fill the empty space. The header function allows you to remove the image but it does not shift the page content up, resulting in an empty gap. Is there any way to get rid of this space? I don’t want to lose my navigation bar – just move more of my post above the fold. Hey, I don’t have any PHP training. When I get into the files, I’m pretty much feeling my way around in the dark but I’m not afraid to jump in. Thanks.

    1. Nathan,

      Sorry for replying so late, but I’m curious as to what EXACTLY you are having problems with.

      If I read your question correctly, you are looking to remove the empty space from the header (graphics & nav) after “removing” the graphic from that space. Am I correct? What about the other Pages? Are you wanting to remove the text “// Home” or “// Page Title” section that appears overlay-ed those graphics? From the TMA Admin area, you have the ability to remove that text by simply going into the WooThemes Admin panel and “deleting” those sections.

      So, you’ve tackled: “The Morning After -> Theme Options -> Template Headings”. And, you’ve remove all that text and what-not. Still, you have a blank space above your posts. If you are willing to DIVE into the TMA’s Template files, the here’s what you do…

      If you examine the “Page Source” from your browser: View -> Page Source … then the part you wish to remove is the following code:

      [div id="topbanner" class="column span-14" style="background-image: url("http://www.jaredlambing.com/wpblog/wp-content/themes/themorningafter/images/headers/book.png");"]

      The only way to remove this thoroughly from your site, you’ll have to “comment out” the PHP call to retrieve the “topbanner” code. You’ll have to examine the index, page, single, category and other files and “comment out” the following PHP code to look like the example below:

      global $woo_options;
      /* get_template_part( 'top-banner' ); */

      See what I’m getting at? Cool. If you have any further issues, then please let me know.


      1. Thank you very much! Sorry! Which file of the source must
        I customize to remove the text “// home” and “you’re reading …”?

        1. First, you may wish to check-out my later post of the WordPress TMA Theme here: https://dennislambing.com/2011/02/06/wordpress-zen-the-morning-after-theme-resurrected/

          To remove the “You’re reading…” from the header image, you simply need to go to the Woo Theme’s Admin section: the Morning After -> Template Headings -> Single Post… and remove the text from the associated box. In fact, you can alter/remove ANY of the header image text from here.

          Hope this helps. 🙂

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