Establishing this site to support Courses at Thinkific

This domain was was acquired on July 20, 2015. Today, February 28, 2020, as the SPI Team is almost ready to launch its first online course, this site is being established to support SPI courses. That first course will be offered using the online learning platform, Thinkific. Did you see this odd text feature of the Drop Cap?

This post is to record the details of what has been done initially at this site. The heading for this blog is News. Eventually it won’t be news about the site development, it will be news about the Team and the courses, and its purpose will be to serve the interested public.

The domain was acquired on June 30, 2016, when the idea of the Social Profit Institute was just a concept. A one-page site was mounted there as a place-holder while the Team explored future actions. This site, has been created this week as a sandbox for the Team to design the site that will soon move to To facilitate that move, this article details some of the arcane elements of this site.

This post, then, is the documentation for the site development.

Theme. The placeholder theme at is a dramatic one-pager that is WordPress, but uses only shortcodes and no pages or posts. As a support website for online courses, I thought that we’d be better served with a simple, elegant, almost-academic theme. One of the many themes already installed here by Dreamhost was Coraline — an old and well-known part of the WordPress-approved family. I went online to see how it was used and was astonished to find that it has been discontinued and is no longer supported. The authors recommended a more modern theme called Astra. It is capable of simplicity but has all of the current theme features. I installed Astra.

Search. Since this is a sandbox, I have checked the box to discourage the search engines… so it is not likely to be found by searching.

Logo and Typeface. I talked to Morgan, and she has been recommending that it should not be a graphic, just type. She sent me several and I chose a block shape. Astra allows for the placement of a logo. Morgan’s font was an elegant serif. I was pleased to find that Astra offers me the choice of a huge number of Google Fonts. Keeping it simple, in Customizing > Global > Base Typography, I chose the Family: Crimson Text, (Variants is blank), Size: 15, Weight: Normal 400, Transform: Default. I didn’t change line height or paragraph margin bottom. I have just used fi in the header for the fi ligature.

Footers. Since I’ve removed almost all of the sidebars, I’ve put a search box in the right-side widget in the footer. In the left-side widget box I have links to 3 sites: Sound Governance, Ballantyne & Associates, and SPI at Thinkific. In the lower footer I have a © 2020 announcement. (Lower) Footer. Customizing Footer Bar. Reduced border size to 1, Width: Content Width, Section 1: Copyright © [current_year] [site_title], Section 2: None. Layout: centred.

Header & Main Menu.

screen shot of the header showing the arrangement of pages
current menu of pages

The list of pages was derived from the existing content of the 1-page site at There is only one dropdown menu, and that is the list of the (2) team members. There is a page if the main menu Team is clicked. This page’s content is just links to the pages for the 2 principals. It is also unique because it has a sidebar. That sidebar contains the WordPress Meta, including a link to login and logout. News is the blog.

Line Spacing. I thought the default line spacing was too extravagant with white space, so I changed the line hight from 3 to 1.5, and paragraph bottom margin from 2.75 to 1.02.

2020 Mar 6.

  • Updated Astra to the current version. Edited the 8-seat boardroom image used at Thinkific to use on the home page here.
  • Experimented with transparent headers and did not like the results.
  • Added the free Yoast SEO plugin to become used to checking each page and post for elements to improve seo. Its wizard immediately spotted the fact that this site discourages search engines.

2020 Mar 7.

  • Used the Yoast fields to insert SEO snippets to the pages: Home, Social Profit, Institute, Services. When a search engine returns that page, this is what the viewer will see.
  • Yoast does not allow me to add a keyphrase. So I am going to install the plugin Meta Tag Manager. I’m hoping that MTM and Yoast will not fight.
  • See image. Will this undo the work of Yoast? enabling Meta Tag Manager
  • Looking at the source code, I see that Yoast takes over the management of a large section of the header.
Yoast code included in a page header

Note to self: when setting up at, be sure to create a child theme of Astra at the outset.

2020 Mar 8.

  • I am researching how to add a SSL certificate to — so the URL would use HTTPS. I don’t see any reason to do it for the sandbox. I should be able to set that up for the existing site, and that should survive the changes we are designing here.
  • Deleted the standard WordPress first post: Hello World.
  • Since the logo is a serif font, I thought we might try a sans serif for the headers. I’ve changed it to Chivo. I tried the variant light 300, but it did not make a noticeable difference. The author’s name and links were already blue, so I’ve made the headers blue too. With Chivo, I’ll not need the Fi ligature code — so if we stick with Chivo, I’ll remove the code. That should be better for the search engines.

2020 Mar 9. Changed the headings font to Fahkwang.

2020 Mar 10. Added the biographies from Thinkific to this site for Sherry & Robert.