All posts tagged themes

Literally, not figuratively: more WordPress themes for writers in 2016

It’s been a good couple of years or so since I summed up themes for writers, and since I’m still a writer, I think it’s time to do it again. If you’re a writer, a publisher, or just someone with an idea for an online magazine, these themes could help make your site look a little more like ink on page.

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Literally speaking: the best WordPress themes for the text obsessed

As a writer, I have this obsession with text and letters and sentences and words.

This happens possible because I do this whole writing thing day in – at work, where I write technology journalism at – and day out – when I go home and write books and other pieces of nonsense that spill out of my head and onto the page.

This obsession with writing makes me want to have a webpage that speaks more in words than playful designs, so much that the big words become the playful designs.

A few years ago, I attempted this style with what is my current WordPress theme, a modification and severe customisation that I later called “Spontaneous Box.” This theme relies heavily on Ozh’s Random Words, a plugin that pulls various lines out of a file and shows them on specific parts of the page.

To date, there are well over 50 in the system, and I want this to still be a feature in my new site, in a redesign of my page.

In fact, an upcoming redesign is exactly why I’ve written this, to show some of the themes out there that point speak in text and showcase big shiny words that yell loud and clear to the reader.

So here we are, reader, with a list that might be helpful to you. If you’re a writer that wants a WordPress theme that says “hell yes, I’m a writer,” this list is for you.

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The idea behind “Spontaneous Box”

One of the things I’ve been trying to do for a while is blend a Tumblr-style blog and a regular WordPress blog.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Tumblr is a short-form blog service designed for you to post single bursts of information in one hit easily.

Imagine if you saw a poster and you just suddenly wanted to put that online for everyone to see. You’re out and about with your phone and web savvy person that you are decides you’d like to take a picture of it and post it online for the world to see. You can always put it to Twitter and use a service like TwitPic or YFrog, or you can put it to your own site.

Tumblr is that sort of setup.

WordPress can do that too, but most of the templates you see are designed to show words better than images. There are some truly excellent Photoblog templates out there, including the stuff GraphPaperPress do and the wonderful (and free) Duotone theme, but these are generally designed for photos or galleries.

I wanted something that would let me post a combination of words and images, a showcase of what was going through my mind, so to speak.

For months, I’ve experimented with an MU installation that housed three blogs: one for words, one for Tumblr-style blogs, and one that collected the best of both and published it in a collected place. That “collected place” would have been my main domain.

However, the main problem I had come across was that you’d have to login individually. Despite WordPress MU (and WP3 with the integrated MU core) having a unified login setup, it was still a pain in the ass.

And then I found this.

Justin Marcus’s “New York, New York” is an excellent theme, and it suited my needs quite well. I found it the other day and knew instantly how I wanted to modify it.  He’s got some great code there, but I have a few things I’ve done differently…. as you’ll see in the coming post.