Miklb's Mindless Ramblings

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"Blank" WordPress Theme

I’m offering up an updated, beta version here.

So, as I’ve begun designing WordPress themes, I found the tutorial over at Urban Giraffe invaluable. They walk you through the dissection of the default Kubrick theme, how to strip it down to bare bones, and start with a blank style sheet. Now that I’ve done that a couple of times, I decided it would be nice to have all the work done, and be able to have all the template files cleaned, as well as a style sheet with all the divs and classes there, simply without the style. So rather than changing an existing sheet, it’s a blank canvass or sorts, but kinda like a paint by numbers as well. Bear in mind, I may have missed a few elements, and if you discover one missing, please comment. My goal is to have as thorough a starting point as possible. Also note, numerous additional divs and classes can be added, this is simply a starting point, but covers as much of the basics as possible. One last note, this is not a theme, it is a stripped down version of the default theme, which contains all the templates necessary, as well as a style sheet that is missing the style. If you simply upload this “theme” and activate it, you will have zero styling, meaning no widths, no margins, no clearing. So please do not comment that the theme didn’t work, or does not appear properly on your site. This is solely meant for someone who wants to follow along with the tutorial, or who like me, wants some of the dirty work out of the way, and just wants to start styling a theme.

I’d love to see what people do with the Blank Theme, so please post a link to any new themes you design.

A final note, I eliminated the “narrowcolumn” and “widecolumn”, and wrapped everything in the div- wrapper, as Urban Giraffe did. I found it was much easier to create a theme that works in all browsers and platforms by following that concept.

The Blank Theme can be downloaded <here .


I was kinda working on this myself. I’m not so sure I will remove narrowcolumn and widecolumn. I’m trying to fit a blog into an existing site so I already had plenty of classes and ids.

Much of my styling work was done for me, it is mainly the sidebar that I would have to work on. Many of these classes and ids are redundant even in the Urban Giraffe guide, I wonder if there are too many for a beginner in the default theme. This is something I had to work with while I was working on GVC.Sitemaker

I agree, for a new user of CSS, the default theme can be daunting, classic would be a better start. I’ve discovered quite a few things about default and styling a standard theme. I think a v2 is on the horizon, with some additions and subtractions. Especially to the template files. I’m a fan of keeping the sidebar on all pages, except the actual “Page” feature, so thus I dropped narrow and wide. It’s definitely a work still in progress.

Yea, giraffe is what I was using before my 2.0 upgrade, I get a white screen when trying it now (see last comment their page). No answer tells me no hurry so I’m glad you’re stepping up, sounds like a great project. I gotta go thru a weeks worth of feeds and schools starts back up tomorrow but I will grab comments here for now. G/L.

Billy. This is actually an older project of mine. It is in essence, the default Kubrick theme, stripped down without any CSS. The Giraffe theme is different. This is something that you would use if you want to design a theme from scratch, but have the templates in place.

Gotcha, I was thinking you were working on something now for release… you found a good starting point though. When I get caught up, I’ll take a look at your download, thx.

I just wanted to say that this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I have just discovered WordPress so this is a bit new to me, but I love the flexibility of the templates and having a blank one saves so much trouble.

I plan to make my own themes for distribution soon, once I make my own themes for my website(s). Thanks for providing this for us. :)

This too was a great help to me. I only got WordPress the other day and as such found the editing of existing themes daunting to say the least - I hate working with other people’s code. Having the barebone basics was fantastic.

It’s all now done after a weekend of tomfoolery, and in use at my new blog (click my name for the link).


PS: One slight anomaly that I noticed was in the one of the themes, you ended an id definition with an ’ instead of a “, and as such this wrecked both the validation and layout under certain circumstances. I think it was the search template, though I’m not sure. :~

I’m glad people are still finding it useful. I really would like to create a v2 as I’ve begun coding themes without using the entire default structure. If anyone is interested in joining me on the project, let me know.

I’m interested. So far the only theme I’ve made myself is the one currently on the site. I’d much appreciate being less dependent on Kubrick.

I’m still not sure what direction to go, so I’m in a holding pattern on this project. I’ll keep anyone in mind who’s mentioned they’d like to work on it when I finally decide where to go with things.

Thank you so much for the blank template. It is just what I needed. I wanted to use WordPress but really needed it to fitinto my site. This really simplified things! Thanks a million!

BTW… http://www.ccm-online.com is where I used it. Again, thank you for the blank template!

Hi there,

I was searching for a no nonsense barebone theme and found it here. Thanks! Much easier to do stuff with…convert it to a “real” theme, that is…:-)

I figured I’d just as well translate it into Dutch…so I did…hope you don’t mind!

Download it here if you wish: http://www.sproet.com/dl/Blank_Theme_NL.zip


I used the blank theme as a starting point for one of my free Word Press themes:


It really helped to get me started.


I used your blank theme with a few modifications (mostly just adding div wrappers around some of the sidebar elements, and moving stuff around). I didn’t do anything too avant-garde with it, but it was a lot easier to modify than a copy of the default template. Cheers!


Hi. Thank you for the blank theme. It was hell trying to hack at existing themes. I found an error in your search.php file though.

should be

(notice the quotations)

I’m sorry again. Delete the other two comments. I’m stupid and it’s late.

Hi. Thank you for the blank theme. It was hell trying to hack at existing themes. I found an error in your search.php file though.

In the in the div tag with id=content, it should be id=”content”, not id=”content’

Very handy - I like to develop themes for wordpress, but always hate having to remove code from existing templates - this is a nice and simple blank canvas package

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