Last year, I released a Christmas theme, and I wanted to create a holiday theme this year as well. While I was considering a name for my new theme, I found a theme in the WordPress.org theme directory called Spooky, that had not been updated since 2009. I thought this was a great name for Halloween, and that it would be fun to see if I could revive it.
So I found the contact information to the themes creator, Esther, from webmatter.de in the themes readme file, and to my surprise, she soon replied back and said yes, I could adopt the theme!
To adopt a theme, you need to change the username of the author in the back end of the WordPress.org theme directory. So In order to do that, I contacted the Team Leads of the WordPress.org Theme Review Team who quickly transferred the theme over to my account.
When testing the original theme, I discovered a lot of PHP warnings, because of course it did not have any of the functions that have been added to WordPress in the last 9 years, that we take for granted today.
Because I only had a few days to spare before the holiday, I decide I would not be able to keep any of the original code and rewrite it, so instead, I started over with a fresh copy of underscores.
But I definitely wanted to keep the theme in the same style, with the black background, grey text colors with orange details, a castle in the footer, and a moon at the top.
I already had the moon that I could borrow from the Bunny theme, and I went through many of the Halloween themed images on pixabay before I chose this image for the footer:
I edited out the second moon behind the castle and also added some gradients to the themes footer and header area. In the end, I opted out of the sidebar so that it would be easier to use the wide and full width alignments in Gutenberg.
I tested a large number of menus with different spider animations, until I chose the narrower drop down menu with the cobwebs.
I am still struggling with getting the animations to work on Ipad, so if you have any tips, please e-mail me 🙂
For the screenshot, I choose The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe.
For 3 days of developing and testing, I am still pretty happy with how it turned out.
The downside to adopting a theme is that if the theme was already live, -as was the case for Spooky; it wont be on the latest themes list on WordPress.org.
If you want to dress up your blog for Halloween, you can download the theme here.
The theme as one menu, a footer widget area, support for full width images with the Gutenberg editor, and an orange and yellow color palette. There is also a color option in the customizer where you can replace the orange accent color.