Lucian WordPress Themes

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On this page you'll find an overview of the WordPress themes currently offered by the Humanities Division. We hope this overview will help guide your decision on which theme to select for your new blog. The vast majority of the themes listed here were added in October, 2009. We encourage existing blog users to take a look and consider switching to a new look & feel for their websites.

To switch themes, goto the Dashboard's "Appearance" tab and select "Themes". Then scroll down the list of themes and click the "Activate" link under the theme of your choice. Now go to the top of the page and click on the "Visit Site" link. Repeat as often as you like - your existing posts, pages and other site content will not be lost.

Once you've added your theme, please remember to enable either the Division of the Humanities or the University of Chicago wordmark in your sidebar as appropriate using a sidebar text widget. A clearly visible wordmark on the homepage of your blog is a requirement for all Humanities hosted blogs.

BeachLand

BeachLand is a simple, two-column theme with the option to upload a custom header image. There are no other available theme options. The theme includes templates for Archives, Links and Contact pages.

Notes: The theme does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu above the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. It also has a bug that prevents it from not showing the blog title on the header image. This last issue should however not pose a problem for most users. The theme is also currently not able to wrap text around inline images. If you want to add images to a post or a page you'll need to have these appear on a separate line.

Blog.txt

Blog.txt (like Oulipo and White As Milk ) is a text centric theme with no header image, graphics or other colored elements. It's a bit reminiscent of older newspapers such as the New York Times from the pre-color photograph era.. The theme's strengths lie in its very good typography controls (who else lets you specify widths in em ?) and the ability to switch between a three or two column layout with sidebars on the left or right of the central posts section. It includes pre-built Archives, SiteMap and Links templates for pages.

Notes: The theme does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu on the side of posts/pages (it always includes what is in effect a default Pages widget). You can still show page hierarchies by using the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. The default Pages widget does not render properly with this theme.

BlueSky

BlueSky is a simple, two-column theme with the option to upload a custom header image. There are no other available theme options. The theme includes templates for Archives, Links and Contact pages.

Notes: This theme's sidebar is too narrow to accomodate the University and Humanities wordmarks. To work around this use this sample code which further reduces the size of the displayed wordmark: <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu"><img src="http://humanities.uchicago.edu/images/wordmarks/uc-wordmark-black-small.png" width="175" height="39" alt="University Wordmark" /></a>

Bluesky does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu above the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. The theme is also currently not able to wrap text around inline images. If you want to add images to a post or a page you'll need to have these appear on a separate line.

Carrington Blog

Carrington is a customizable theme with a handful of easily accessible, built-in options such as customizable colors and a user-defined header (you'll need to provide the exact dimensions - 960x200) as well as an "About" section that can be used as a brief blurb or for the University or Humanities logo. In addition the internal structure of the theme is very well documented making Carrington another good choice as a framework theme for web-developers with a knowledge of PHP who want to want to apply extensive custom modifications. Carrington is currently being used for the Humanities News and the MAPH blogs.

Notes: The theme does not have enough room to show a standard University or Humanities wordmarks in its sidebar columns. You can either work around this by using the technique described for the BlueSky theme or else make use of a special Carrington only theme option - place the wordmark link in the About box defined in the theme options. 

Carrington Mobile

Carrington Mobile is cellphone and smartphone-friendly theme for your blog. The theme is best used with the WordPress Mobile Edition plugin and Carrington as the site's main theme. It supports basic mobile browsers as well as advanced and touch-screen browsers with a display optimized for each. Carrington Mobile is currently being used for the Humanities News page. Here is a special live preview the mobile edition of the theme (also viewable w/o a mobile phone).

Notes: Although Carrington Mobile can also be used in conjunction with other (main) themes. However, given that you also have the possibility of using the very capable WordPress Mobile Pack toolkit (see below) for this purpose it's probably best to only make use of Carrington Mobile in conjunction with the regular Carrington theme.

Cleanr

Cleanr is a simple, elegant and clean 2-column theme reminscent of a Swiss or International Typographic style. Think Helvetica . Cleanr focuses on typography by employing big, easy to read type and careful attention to spacing. Cleanr features a drop down menu for Categories and Pages (very useful if you have a lot of pages which won't fit into a horizontal menu structure). There are no theme options. The theme offers a pre-built Links template for pages.

iNove

iNove is a two column, right sidebar, fixed header theme with a slew of useful options. These include the ability to have the theme's main menu show either pages or categories, an option to place a distinctively styled text (or HTML snippet) at the top of one's posts (useful for announcemnts) and a way to turn off all sidebars throughout the site. iNove's sidebar is divided up into four sections (north, west, south and east) each of which can be populated with its own set of widgets. Other options include the ability to use a Custom Google Search for the site instead of the default WordPress search, an easy way to add a link to a Twitter feed and space to insert one's own Google Analytics or related code for more comprehensive web statistics.

K2

K2 is customizable, multi-column theme. In the words of its developers, "It won't make you coffee, sing songs of sweet regret or sit at your bedside when you're ill, but it might make life just a tad bit easier for you." Among its user customizable features are single, two, three and dynamic columns, support for Asides, a custom (optionally random) header image and the ability to easily style the way post entries appear on a blog. It also offers a built-in template for Archive pages. The theme is available in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Spanish and Turkish, Latvian and German.

MistyLook

MistyLook is a popular, fixed width, two column theme with support for Asides and a large, custom image header. An additional useful option is the ability to leave off selected pages from the main menu. Please note that there is only limited space available in the horizontal menu design for listing individual pages. To work around this, you may wish to limit the pages listed in the menu to a minimum (e.g. Home, Contact Us) and make use of the Page widget instead to list the remaining pages. It offers pre-built Archives, Contact and Links page templates. If you want to run your site in a different lanaguage, MistyLook comes with language files in Dutch, Tamil, Russian, French, Chinese, Danish, Czech, Japanese and Finnish. Some examples of sites using MistyLook include the South Asian Student Graduate Conference, the CHOIRblog, and the Wittgenstein Workshop.

Notes: This theme's sidebar is too narrow to accomodate the University and Humanities wordmarks. To work around this use this sample code which further reduces the size of the displayed wordmark: <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu"><img src="http://humanities.uchicago.edu/images/wordmarks/uc-wordmark-black-small.png" width="175" height="39" alt="University Wordmark" /></a>

MistyLook also does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu above the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. 

NigaRila

NigaRilais a popular, fixed width, two column theme with support for two independent sets of Asides and a large, custom image header. Additional theme options include the ability to limit which pages appear on the main menu. It offers pre-built Archives, Contact and Links page templates. Virtual Tourist in Ancient Rome and All Things Visual, and Anscombe's Intent are examples of sites using NigaRila.

Notes: NigaRila's sidebars are too narrow to accomodate the University and Humanities wordmarks. To work around this either add specific size attributes as described above for the Blue Sky theme (170x38 works well) or else place the wordmark directly over the header image. Here's an example of this and a link to a layered Photoshop file. NigaRila also does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu above the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. It also has a bug that prevents it from not showing the blog title on the header image. This last issue should however not pose a problem for most users.

Oulipo

Oulipo employs an elegant, black and white, grid-based design with a minimalist look and an emphasis on typography. There are no theme options or page templates for Oulipo. It includes support for separately styled sticky posts.

Notes: Oulipo does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu to the side of a post or page. Nor does indicate on the parent page that children exist under it. The default Page widget or Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins do not work as expected with this theme. For this reason Oulipo is not recommended for use with child pages.

P2/Prologue

P2 is a group blog theme for short updates and messages, inspired by Twitter. Its most prominent and unique feature is the ability post new entries right from the front page: perfect for group blogging, or as a liveblog theme. Other features supporting this function include in-line editing of posts and comments and a live tag suggestions based on previously used tags and a show/hide toggle for comments.

Notes: P2/Prologue does not have its own navigation menu. You can show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. 

Panorama

Panorama is a two-column theme with a large number of customizable options (some of which, however, like custom header images, will require the assistance of your site administrator). Among the  features which can be easily customized are background colors, link colors, left or right sidebars, a custom RSS feed (useful if you've registered your blog's feed with Feedburner for example to improve its ranking in search engines) and the option to select which pages appear on the main menu.

Notes: Although it is possible to add your own custom header image this is something the Humanities Computing staff will need to do for you. Please let us know if you'd like to use this theme with a custom header image(s).

Pixel

Pixel is a techno looking, customizable theme with six pre-defined positions for sidebar widgets and an option for a site-wide greeting/notice on the home page. It also offers a full-page width template for pages.

Punchcut Pro

Punchcut is an uncluttered, highly versatile theme featuring two fonts, custom social icons, and a highly-configurable theme options page allowing you to customize your background colors, specify a custom logo, a custom alert/call-out box, multiple page templates, a sidebar image, custom footer and more. PunchCut is a so-called premium or pro theme which the Humanities Division has purchased for use on its sites.

Notes: Some features of the theme (e.g. setting the image file for the custom logo) will need to be set-up for you by Humanities Computing. Please contact us for more information.

R755

R755 is a simple, and uncluttered two-column theme with a number of useful options and three pre-set, selectable visual styles. A built-in About widget with some extra features above the other widgets in the sidebar can be turned on and off. You can also easily add your own standard footer text (or HTML), Google Analytics code and provide a custom (e.g. FeedBurner) based RSS feed. It includes a built-in Page widget, support for an Archive page template and support for separately styled sticky posts.

Notes: Although it is possible to add your own custom header image this is something the Humanities Computing staff will need to do for you. Please let us know if you'd like to use this theme with a custom header image(s).

SeaShore

SeaShore is a simple, three-column theme with the option to upload a custom header image. There are no other available theme options. The theme includes templates for Archives, Links and Contact pages.

Notes: The theme does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu above the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. It also has a bug that prevents it from not showing the blog title on the header image. This last issue should however not pose a problem for most users.

SimpleX

SimpleX is a simple, visually uncluttered, two-column theme with three selectable color styles. There is no provision for a custom header image. SimpleX is currently the default theme for the CAS Workshop blogs.

Notes: Keep in mind that the blog title text is quite large in SimpleX. If your blog has a long title the full text may not fit in the header. Either shorten your text or switch to another theme.

Suffusion (currently in testing)

Suffusion is an elegant theme with a near endless set of user options. It offers (take a deep breath..) 5 widget areas, one-column, two-column and three-column fixed-width formats, 16 pre-defined color schemes, a customizable multi-level drop-down menu for pages, categories and links, inbuilt support for featured posts, a magazine layout, a customizable tabbed sidebar, widgets for Twitter, Social Networks and Google Translator, threaded comments, several translations (French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Catalan, Danish, Arabic and Swedish) and right-to-left language support. In short, like Thesis, Suffusion is an excellent choice for those who want to carefully customize the behavior and the look and feel of their site.

Notes: The customization options for Suffusion are very rich and don't require any programming skills. However, the sheer range of options can also be overwhelming for a beginner. We recommend using this theme if you already have some prior experience with administering a WordPress site.

Tarski

Tarski is a feature rich, two column theme with a large number of selectable options including a choice of header images plus the option to turn off the header altogether. The documentation for Tarski is probably the best amongst all the free themes available for WordPress and it has an active user community to which one can turn for additional help. Tarski is also available in a wide range of languages. Early Modern Philosophy and the Chicago 2008 DHCS Colloquium are two examples of sites using Tarski.

Notes: when switching to Tarski you will lose the sidebar widgets you had selected and put in place in your previous theme.

Thesis

Thesis is a professional theme which the Humanities Division has purchased for use on its sites. It is characterized by a good balance of rich layout and typographic options coupled with an easy to use options interface and an SEO or search engine friendly internal design. Thesis is a very good choice for those who want to carefully customize the behavior and the look and feel of their site.

Notes: The customization options for Thesis are very rich and don't require CSS/PHP skills. All the same, the sheer range of options will almost certainly be overwhelming for a beginner. We only recommend using this theme if you already have extensive prior experience with administering a WordPress site.

Titan Pro

Titan is a professional two-column, no header theme which the Humanities Division has purchased for use on its sites. Titan allows you to specify a custom logo in place of a text based title for your blog, options for customizing the appearance of your header and footer areas, built-in support for Twitter, Flickr and Google Analytics and control over which pages and categories will appear in your menus. The sidebar can be set to appear on the left or right side of the page or turned off altogether using page templates. Also of note is a built-in "sticky posts" option which places some custom text in a separately styled box above the rest of your posts.

Notes: when switching to Tarski you will lose the sidebar widgets you had selected and put in place in your previous theme. By default the footer includes a link to a sample Flickr photostream. But this can easily be turned off in the theme options.

Traveller

Traveller is a simple, two-column theme with the option to upload a custom header image. There are no other available theme options. The theme includes templates for Archives, Links and Contact pages.

Notes: The theme does not allow you to view child pages (i.e. sub-pages) in the navigation menu below the header image. Instead, on the bottom of each relevant parent page you'll see links to its child pages. You can still show page hierarchies by using the default Page widget or enabling the Collapsing Pages or FlexiPages navigation plugins. Please contact Humanities Computing if you would like to have a custom logo placed in the header image on this theme. Traveller also appears to have difficulties with resizing images in a Text widget (it's not currently possible without modifying the theme to change the size of a wordmark in the Text widget by using "width" and "height" attributes).

Vigilance Pro

Vigilance is an uncluttered, highly versatile theme featuring two fonts, custom social icons, and a highly-configurable theme options page allowing you to customize your background colors, specify a custom logo, a custom alert/call-out box, multiple page templates, a sidebar image, custom footer and more. PunchCut is a so-called premium or pro theme which the Humanities Division has purchased for use on its sites.

Notes: Some features of the theme (e.g. setting the image file for the custom logo) will need to be set-up for you by Humanities Computing. Please contact us for more information.

White as Milk

White as Milk, like Blogs.txt and Oulipo, is a fixed width, two-column theme that puts focus on the content rather than the design. There are no customizable options. It includes optional page templates for an Archives and a Links page. BLING is an example of a site using White As Milk.

WordPress Mobile Pack

WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your WordPress site and blog. It includes a plugin that automatically routes visitors using cellphones or smartphones to one of a set of related mobile themes (derived from a base theme shown on the right) with custom color variations, a set of extra widgets geared towards mobile devices, and even a mobile based administration panel to allow users to edit the site or write new posts when out and about.

Notes: Unless you're already using Carrington as your main theme you'll want to use this as your alternative mobile theme in conjunction one of the other themes on this page. Don't select it as you would your main theme in the Appearances tab - first activate the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin then select either the base WordPress Mobile themes or one of its color variants in the settings for the plugin.

Writer's Blog

Writer's Blog is a very simple 2-column theme that focuses on minimalism. You have the option to add a banner via a URL and change the sidebar's position in the theme options.

Notes: Unusually, this theme comes with three fixed widgets which can't be overridden (Meta, Pages and Categories). New or custom widgets appear underneath these first three.

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