Theme for an Encyclopedia

Cyclops screenshot

Cyclops screenshotEverybody loves Wikipedia. It might have its drawbacks, but it is still a very convenient place to start research on a topic, even if you never want to quote the actual Wikipedia entry.

Wikipedia uses a content management system called MediaWiki. Anyone can download this system, and build a site based on it. There are several examples out there – such as the LibreOffice Help system. However, MediaWiki is notoriously difficult to administer, configure, and, most of all, make secure. I was using MediaWiki for a site called Malacandra, which was intended to be an encyclopedia about C.S. Lewis. But the site was so easy to damage, and very difficult to secure. At one stage, that site was causing four times more “traffic” than all my other websites combined, despite being a minor part of my operations – really just a hobby. So the MediaWiki site had to go.

I am much more familiar with WordPress – and its better cousin ClassicPress – than I am with MediaWiki. So I thought that it would be good to create an encyclopedia site based on a ClassicPress installation. I soon found an excellent plugin called Encyclopedia Lite (and there is a paid-for Pro version, to which I might well upgrade). A little practice determined that this was the plugin that I needed, but my current interfaces did not suit the material. So I decided I needed to make a new theme.

I soon found the Basic Bootstrap4 theme, which has been designed as a “starter theme”, for developers to amend as they wished. I love it when developers do something useful like that! So I got hold of it, and started tweaking it, to make it work as a front end for my encyclopedia. It did not need a lot of amending, I can tell you. So the new theme is called Cyclops, and it works really well with the Encyclopedia Lite plugin. So this is the combination that I am using to build a whole new Malacandra website. Enjoy!

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