Alphabetize Category Posts Using ‘pre_get_posts’ Action

Occasionally you want to have a different sort order in some of the category archives, for example, you want to output the posts of a specific category in alphabetical order.
Instead of having to create a category template for each of those categories and to add a custom query to change the query parameters, WordPress providdes the ‘pre_get_posts’ action where you can add a corresponding function:

function category_archive_sort_alphabetical( $query ) {
    if ( is_admin() || ! $query->is_main_query() )

    if ( is_category( array( 'Category One', 'category-two', 'Another Cat' ) ) ) {
		$query->set( 'orderby', 'title' );
		$query->set( 'order', 'ASC' );
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'category_archive_sort_alphabetical', 1 );


WordPress Changing Pluggable Functions Without Child Theme

A new concept (?) – to change a pluggable function of a WordPress theme without creating a child theme.

Example – to remove the  post tags output from the posts of Twenty Twelve.

Often, these things can be done by editing the styles of the theme, however in this case, CSS would not work as the tags don’t have their own CSS class.

Creating a child theme is usually recommended as the easiest option; but this might be over the top if the only changed paremeters are from some pluggable functions.

The alternative way would be to create a plugin to alter (in this example) the post-meta-data output, which is done through the function ‘twentytwelve_entry_meta()’.

How to:
use FTP to create a file, for example with the file name twentytwelve-entry-meta-modified.php, in the /wp-content/plugins/ folder; and add this example code (

Plugin Name: Entry Meta Twenty Twelve Modified
Plugin URI: n/a
Description: personalization of the entry meta of Twenty Twelve without child theme; in this particular example the removal of the tags.
Version: 1.0
Author: alchymyth
Author URI:
License: GPL2

add_action( 'setup_theme', 'modify_pluggable_theme_functions' );

function modify_pluggable_theme_functions() {

if( wp_get_theme() == 'Twenty Twelve' && get_stylesheet_directory() == get_template_directory() ) :
//check for the right theme and that no child theme is used
function twentytwelve_entry_meta() {
// Translators: used between list items, there is a space after the comma.
$categories_list = get_the_category_list( __( ', ', 'twentytwelve' ) );

$date = sprintf( '<a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" rel="bookmark"><time datetime="%3$s">%4$s</time></a>',
esc_url( get_permalink() ),
esc_attr( get_the_time() ),
esc_attr( get_the_date( 'c' ) ),
esc_html( get_the_date() )

$author = sprintf( '<span><a href="%1$s" title="%2$s" rel="author">%3$s</a></span>',
esc_url( get_author_posts_url( get_the_author_meta( 'ID' ) ) ),
esc_attr( sprintf( __( 'View all posts by %s', 'twentytwelve' ), get_the_author() ) ),

if ( $categories_list ) {
$utility_text = 'This entry was posted in %1$s on %2$s<span> by %3$s</span>.';
} else {
$utility_text = 'This entry was posted on %2$s<span> by %3$s</span>.';


The code checks that Twenty Twelve is the active theme, and that no child theme is activated.

Activate the plugin ‘Entry Meta Twenty Twelve Modified’ as usual from within dashboard – plugins.

Twenty Eleven – Sidebar on Single Posts and Pages

The new default theme of WP3.2 – Twenty Eleven – is a very versatile theme.
However, the ‘missing’ sidebar on single posts or pages is quite disturbing for some users, loosing their advertising space or the main navigation.
To get the sidebar back is not that simple – style.css is quite complex, and the layout of a single post or page is done with a clever use of a specially introduced css class in the body tag.

First step

Create a child theme.

– create a new sub-folder under the /wp-content/themes folder, for instance: twentyelevenchild;
– add a style.css file to that folder; content:

Theme Name: Twenty Eleven Child
Author: alchymyth
Description: a child theme, based on the 2011 theme for WordPress
Author URI:
Template: twentyeleven

@import url(../twentyeleven/style.css);

– add a functions.php file to that folder; to be used later;
– optional: add a screenshot.jpg image to that folder, depicting the design of your child theme.

Second step

Add the call of the sidebar back.

Edit single.php and/or page.php and add

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

before the line

<?php get_footer(); ?>

Third step

Suppress the .singular body_class from the single post or page.

To achieve this, add a filter to your new functions.php in your child theme folder.

add_filter('body_class', 'blacklist_body_class', 20, 2);
function blacklist_body_class($wp_classes, $extra_classes) {
if( is_single() || is_page() ) :
// List of the classes to remove from the WP generated classes
$blacklist = array('singular');
// Filter the body classes
  foreach( $blacklist as $val ) {
    if (!in_array($val, $wp_classes)) : continue;
	  foreach($wp_classes as $key => $value) {
	  if ($value == $val) unset($wp_classes[$key]);
endif;   // Add the extra classes back untouched
return array_merge($wp_classes, (array) $extra_classes);

(resources: )

Fourth step

Fine-tuning of style.css

For instance:

.single #author-info {
	background: #f9f9f9;
	border-top: 1px solid #ddd;
	border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd;
	margin: 2.2em 0% 0 0%;
	padding: 20px 35.4%;

There might be some more details which can be changed while customizing the styles of the child theme.

edit: thanks to member smijos of the wordpress support forum:
some more styles, for the comment section, to make the theme look good:

#respond {
width: auto;
.commentlist {
width: auto;
.commentlist > li.comment {
margin: 0px 0px 20px 102px;
width: auto;

PS: A Few Different Cases

(updated and expanded)

this all concerns this line of code:

if( is_single() || is_page() ) :

1) if you rather use the sidebar-page template that comes with the theme, to control if and when to show a sidebar on a static page, simply don’t edit page.php, and remove

|| is_page()

from that line.

2) Zeaks pointed out that the code also effects single attachment pages.

if you want the sidebar in these pages, edit image.php and add

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

before the ‘get_footer’ line; also adapt the style of

.image-attachment div.attachment


if you want your single attachment pages without sidebar, change to:

if( (is_single() && !is_attachment()) || is_page() ) :


If you don’t like coding, please do still create the child theme; however, for the rest, there is a plugin available:
‘Twenty Eleven Theme Extensions’