WordPress Theme – RC2 (v1.0)

It’s been a long time since my last theme release, but I’m back with rc2, a lightweight, widget-ready, two-column theme. The design arose from the desire to break from my traditional boxy style. I’d grown tired of that design mentality and wanted to try my hand at something new.

RC2 has been tested under the following browsers. Please let me know if you run into any issues.

  • IE7 (rigorous)
  • Firefox 3 Beta 4/5 (rigorous)
  • Safari 3.1 (fairly rigorous)
  • Firefox 2
  • IE6

For those of you who want instant gratification, you can take the design for a test run on my development site, or download the theme. Update – there’s been a small change bumping the version to 1.0.1. It should now be both XHTML (Strict) as well as CSS valid. Unfortunately, the WP2.5 gallery feature produces invalid XHTML, so validation of the development site homepage won’t be indicative. Try this site’s homepage or a single post entry.


» Download

Otherwise, read on to find out a bit more about the theme.

Lightweight, but Fully Functional

The design is lightweight. It adds only 7 additional HTTP objects on top of whatever is required for your content. Total damage is in the range of 10KB for the CSS and 2KB for images.

That’s not to say it’s sparsely featured. There is support for most of the newer WordPress features and some other popular ones, including:

  1. tagging
  2. widgets
  3. gravatars (WordPress 2.5)
  4. galleries (WordPress 2.5)
  5. asides (link posts)

Navigation links at the top-right are generated from pages.


The sidebar is dynamically generated based on the type of content. More importantly, there are two widgetized sidebars. The names are pretty self-explanatory, but just in case, the Single Post Sidebar is what gets displayed for single post content, while the Front Page Sidebar is what gets displayed on the index (home/front) page. It often makes sense to have a different set of sidebar content between the front page and the individual post pages so I’ve made it easy for you to do just that.

Default Plugins

Additionally, I’ve included two integral plugins with the theme. They help populate the top-bar by default. Feel free to switch them out for whatever content you want to place there in their stead.

  1. Recent PostsNick Momrick – This displays the most recent posts to the blog. I’ve set it to show up to 6. That seems to be the sweet spot for the size of the top-bar.
  2. Brian’s Latest CommentsBrian Meidell – This shows the latest comments and their corresponding post.

Known Issues and Limitations

  1. Asides are styled differently from other, standard content on the home page. In order to do this, the query loop applies different CSS classes to certain categories. However, in order to do this, the asides category ID must be specified. Currently, the way to do this is to edit the index.php page and set the $asides_cat variable to the appropriate category ID(s). By default, this variable is assigned 0, which means all your posts should be displayed with standard styling.
  2. The blue color scheme is something I decided upon (I just love blues), but won’t appeal to everyone. Fortunately, I’ve stuck with two shades of blue. For links and headers, #0a52aa is the shade of blue used. Mouseovers and hovered links use #14272d.You should be able to do a global find and replace on those two colors and switch in whatever two-tone scheme you want. Unfortunately, the top-bar headers are images, based on #0a52aa, which means to complete the effect, you’ll have to remake your own header images, which leads me to my next point.
  3. The top-bar is not widgetized. A large part of that has to do with what the standard dynamic_sidebar function tries to output – the top-bar markup is quite a bit more complex, and the added image header makes it that much more difficult to implement. I’m working on something to get around these issues, but that didn’t make it into the first release.
  4. The WordPress 2.5 gallery will not display properly if the_excerpt_reloaded plugin is not used and the gallery appears in an excerpt on the home page. This isn’t so much an issue with this theme as it is an issue with the way the basic WordPress excerpt function operates, not parsing any HTML tags. I strongly suggest you go and get the plugin, so you can style excerpts to your heart’s content.

Future Plans

Looking down the road, there are a few key features I want to implement: localization support, a print stylesheet, and an administration page, for setting options such as the asides category.


As always, I’m open to comments and suggestions on the design. Are there certain widgets you’d like to see styled or plugins supported? Let me know.

Update: David Young wrote in the comments that the design would look a bit more consistent if the sidebar lined up with the navigation module and I agree completely. I’ve rolled the changes into the package, so go ahead and grab it. Thanks David!


64 Replies to “WordPress Theme – RC2 (v1.0)”

  1. This is the first time clean theme I have been through half a year, man!!!

    The only feedback is more styles are also needed like: Download, Info, etc.


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  3. Hi!

    This is a very nice theme, I love it. I need some help. I would like to translate to an other language. Please tell me what font type used in gifs “Recent Posts” etc. But if is possible please send me the editable graphic files. Thanks! (sorry for my english)

  4. izolis – Thanks for the interest! I’m just heading out for work, but I have the PSD for the index.php page, so I’ll send that to you when I get back home this evening.

  5. Hi… Thanks for your marvellous theme… I haked it a little bit but now i have a problem with widgets (disapeared all) that are well shown with Kubrick.

    They used to work but suddenly stop showing.
    I even tried to upload a completely new version of your theme but no way to show widgets.

    Any suggestion?



  6. vagament – I just tried out a few widgets and they seemed to work alright for me. Could you let me know what widgets you’re using that aren’t displaying? That’ll help me track down the problem. Thanks.

  7. there is a problem in the comment its required to but your information every time again and again because its not save

  8. Awesome theme, Charlie 🙂

    I modified it slightly, to align the 2nd border on the top bar, with the border of the sidebar. (I like order)

    I just changed the following CSS declarations:

    #content_wrapper {
    float: left;
    width: 581px;
    margin: 10px 0 0 0;
    padding: 0;
    display: block;

    #sidebar_container {
    float: left;
    width: 275px;
    margin: 20px 0 25px 20px;
    padding: 0 0 0 20px;
    border-left: 1px dotted #bbb;

    – David

  9. Thanks for the input again David! Don’t worry, this isn’t dead – I just need to wrap up exams and I’ll have a couple weeks off to add in some of the features/fixes on the roadmap.

  10. Hmm.. the suspicious text got chopped.. here it is again, with triangular brackets changed to square brackets:

    [meta name=”verify-v1″ content=”cACfEaWR5VfKsabia0ceOK8ilg+zGtUYTHFvB1Ex9FQ=” /]

  11. Charlie,

    This is a great theme, and I like that you created one that is light weight. Currently, I have a bunch of WP sites I created, and unknowingly brought down the server I had on a shared host. Looking forward to using this theme, as I is clean and easy to navigate.

    Any way to include the related post plugin to the template?

    thanks Matt

  12. Matt – I currently use the Similar Posts plugin, which I found was the best of the ‘related posts’ type plugins for WordPress. You can easily include it in the sidebar as I’ve done here, but I didn’t want to include it by default as I know it’s not something everyone wants. Should work fine if it’s a widget though.

  13. Hi,Charlie
    very very nice and minimal theme! I use it in my new photoblog

    I’ve a little question: is there a way to omit the “continue reading” feature from second post in home page?
    I’d like to see all my post without cut.

    many tanks

    p.s. sorry for my poor english!

  14. Hi Francesco, thanks for the kind comments! If you look in index.php (Main Index Template) about 2/3 the way down that file, you’ll see a div with a classname of “index_content”. In that div, I use the_excerpt to display only part of the post. If you want to display the entire post, replace all the excerpt code with a ‘the_content()’ php function.

  15. This is an awesome theme. I love how clean it is and that its nice and light weight. The low load it puts on the browsers is great. Outstanding work! I’ll definitely check out a demo.

  16. Very nice theme. I’m a big fan of using very clean designs (wordpress or not). About to download this one and give it a try on a few of my smaller sites.
    Thanks =)

  17. Wow, this is a cool theme. I really dig the minimalist approach. It’s very simple and doesn’t detract from the content, which is a big pet peeve of mine. i also really like the vertical headers for the Recent Posts, Recent Comments, and Search. It’s very tasteful.

  18. I like this as many blog themes are pre-built with too much fancy nonsense. Users prefer simple content to match whatever query they have, but some bloggers choose to add extra gumpf, just because they can. Thanks, i will look at including it for some of my art blogs.

  19. Why, thank you to everyone who has commented recently. 😉

    My hope is that I can update this design somewhat to meet new WordPress 2.7.x standards once I finish exams in a week.

  20. Nice work! It seems the key to this theme is placement of the various elements that construct a WordPress CMS site. You broke from the trending “over design” of many themes we see released today and kept it simple. I will keep this theme in mind for our clients.

  21. I’ll tell you what….this is the first time I’m seeing a wp theme that seems to be “by the sensible, of the sensible and for the sensible”. I’m too tired of seeing ill fitted flashy stuff on wp themes. I’ll try this theme for a prostate blog. I’m sure neat pictures against that white background would look cool.

    Thanks bro for coming up with this wonderful idea.

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