New Blog Theme

Seemed like it was about time, so I’ve finally gotten around to doing a little housecleaning on the blog, and installed a new theme for Orchard, called Wise Words, by Shovel & Rake. I’ve done a fair amount of tweaking to the theme to get it the way I wanted it, and while I was at it, I’ve cleared away a few of the less important sidebar items.

While I was at it, I took Scott Hanselman‘s advice and did a run-through of all the PNGs on my site (after downloading the code and assets locally), and ran them all through PNGOut via powershell. A few of the largest images, I pulled into Paint.NET and saved in 8-bit format, which makes a HUGE difference in filesize, and with reasonable dithering levels, didn’t make that big a difference in quality.

So hopefully, things will be a little easier to read, and to find, and with luck the site will load a little faster, too. And since the new theme is designed to be responsive, it should hopefully also be more friendly for mobile device users.

I’ve still got a few things to tweak here and there. For example, the code samples in my posts came out a little wonky with the new theme. But I’ve updated most of the images and videos that were hanging over past the sidebar, and tweaked other issues that I ran across.

If you see something that’s clearly not right, please drop me a note and let me know, or simply post a comment here.

Customize Orchard CMS with the Designer Tools Module

UPDATE: I was informed by Sebastien Ros from the Orchard team that some of the code below exposed an Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability by writing out the raw value of t.TagName to the markup to be rendered by the alternate template. I’ve updated the listings (and my blog) with some code/markup suggested by Sebastien that both simplifies the code and takes advantage of Razor’s built-in HTML encoding when using the @ block syntax. While the risk of an XSS attack on the tags is relatively small, it’s always a good idea to apply HTML encoding to your strings before rendering them. My thanks to Sebastien for catching that.


One of the first things folks typically want to do after they install Orchard CMS is start customizing the look and feel of their site or blog. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to install one of the themes available from the Orchard Gallery. One theme in particular, The Theme Machine, is designed to facilitate customization, and in fact there’s a whole section of the Orchard documentation devoted to the subject of customization based on The Theme Machine. There are also customizable themes that you can purchase from the folks at (my theme is a custom version of one of theirs).

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Enabling RSS Site-wide in Orchard


When publishing a blog with Orchard CMS, the blog module includes default RSS feeds for the items as well as for comments. One limitation of the default implementation is that the feeds only show up when you navigate to the main blog page, or to a post within the blog. Other pages in your site will not make the feed url(s) available.

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