Penscratch 2

This is one of the simplest themes in WordPress’ with all possible features and clean interface. However, It’s a little bit ugly. For me, CSS customization is a must in order to use it.


I’ve been using Penscratch 2 on this site for the whole last week. Probably, you haven’t noticed that as I customize the same CSS on all themes I use. I’m back now to Twenty Twelve again – my best theme.

Here is the full CSS customization to generate the current design of my site:

Download the TXT file

The good:

  • Simplicity.
  • Cropping featured images.
  • The navigation links.
  • Flexible page width. Personally, I don’t like this. It required me extra CSS work to adjust it.

The bad:

  • Cropping images is on for all pages. That’s, the featured images are cropped on home page and on post page. I wish it shows the full image (not the cropped one) on post page.
  • No top or side ads. It could have better performance though.
  • Transition effect needs more work.
  • The author images are not displaying well. However, this can be solved by CSS as follow:

.comment-author img, .author-avatar {
-ms-transform: scale(0.87,0.87);
-webkit-transform: scale(0.87,0.87);
transform: scale(0.87,0.87);

31 thoughts on “Penscratch 2”

  1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I too, enjoy customizing themes with CSS, though I’m a self-taught novice. I think all of the WP themes can be improved with a bit of CSS to make them reflect one’s personal style. I also think appearance is as important as the content itself.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Totally agree. A website reflects one’s style. Thank you, Melissa. You have beautiful blog too. Learning on a live website is much easier and educating than just reading… Glad to hear you’re enjoy it. No every one does

    • Thank you dear. It’s a great thing in, isn’t it! However, only Premium users can do it. It’s not really needed though unless you want to change in the design. It’s limited to the design only not the components of the theme. Changing components requires self hosting (

  2. I made my blog a long time ago and never really did anything with it. Over the last year I’ve been trying to have a better blog. Honestly, I just took the set up that was provided by default. I’ve signed up for two online classes with and haven’t taken the time to work with either of them. Thanks for the post about customization.

    • Thank you Darlene. Customizing isn’t really needed. Most themes are doing the same job and some of which are really beautiful. For me, as I used to have my own website before coming to WordPress, I tried to have the same design here too. People used to visit my old website haven’t noticed that I moved to WordPress because I have almost the same design as before. Good luck in your classes. It’s good to learn about such things after all.

      • Yes is a wonderful online learning center. Sometimes the classes are as low at $10 USA and you can have lifetime access to most of them. They offer a wide variety of courses on just about everything. You should check them out sometime.

  3. Hi Mohamad,

    Hoping you are well… J

    I’ve been experiencing a rather unusual and disturbing condition the past few weeks whenever I visit your blog; a window appears stating the certificate for your site is invalid. Regardless of whether I click the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ window stating I do or do not wish to continue, or click the cancel window; my PC freezes. This morning I had to force stop my PC by holding the start up button for a few seconds. I’m hoping you may have an answer for this anomaly. I really enjoy your site; however, as you can imagine; I now am not finding this a pleasant situation…. It’s preventing me from reading and or commenting. I wonder if others are experiencing this too?

    Hoping this is only a temporary thing… By the way: This is only happening with your blog!

    Do you understand why this may be happening?

    Hope you can help.

    Kind Regards,

    Carolyn Page

    ABC of Spirit Talk

    • Thank you Carolyn for reporting this. I haven’t been reported such issue before. Are you navigating my site directly on or through WordPress reader at:

      It’s strange as things seem to be OK from my side; WP Tech support confirmed it and they confirmed that my https certificate is valid too. Furthermore, have you checked your PC for any infections (virus) as I’m noticing that your words have strange characters! Meanwhile, I’d suggest that you make sure that you’re using the latest version of your browser. It could be because of outdated browser or weird add-on.

      P.S., this could be faced on Internet Explorer but it can be fixed through settings as explained here:

      • Hi Mohamad,
        I’ve just tried connecting directly and, unfortunately, had the same situation ~ Certificate Issue/Freezing.
        So here I am using the read/feed connection and, voila; all is okay!
        I will investigate the advice you’ve given regarding IE settings when I get the chance.
        By the way: My first communication was via my mail as a reply to the email advice of your post. This may have something to do with the characters going awry… Here’s hoping… 🙂
        As you no doubt can tell, my IT knowledge is rather minimal. I’ll leave all the fancy foot tapping to people like you who know what they’re are doing! I’ll just enjoy the results. And, I’m quite happy with my blogs; they are both user friendly, and the themes/designs I quite like.

      • Thank you Carolyn. I’ll do my best to help my friends here. I could understand that you’re using IE. Hopefully, the link I provided will help. I prefer Firefox and Chrome over IE. I hope things will be ok for you as your engaging with my blog means a lot to me and I’m always honored by your visits. By the way, you have very beautiful sites – as wonderful as their owner 🙂

  4. Thank you for your review on this theme, which your reviews furnish clearer information than what is offered by WordPress. I’ve tried several themes and finally found one that I really like. My only hassle with it is the categories and tags don’t show up well because I use a dark color for my background. However, I can live with that since the other features of the theme work well.

    • You’re most welcome, Franci. That is the problem with themes. I tried many and no one is totally perfect. There should be something missing! Anyway, to find a theme that satisfys most of our needs is a success.

  5. Hi Mohamed, I’m a newbie who has recently created my blog. I am using Penscratch 2 on platform and found this post. I wonder how I can add these CSS customization into my blog? I’m really new with coding. Thank you and have a great one!


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