Help me find/customize a minimal, text-based Wordpress theme
February 22, 2016 10:27 AM   Subscribe

I want a Wordpress theme like this: Cocoro (that writer is great, by the way, but the blog seems to be abandoned). Details inside.

I know simple/minimal/text themes exist, but they tend to be older. And older themes tend to break on newer WP versions, usually at the least convenient time possible. And I don't wish to use an older WP version.

First, on the off chance that something like that exists: I would love to know!

... But, that probably doesn't exist. So I am willing to do some customization to get a newer theme to look like that. Do any Wordpress experts here know any themes that can easily be stripped down to that? Change the fonts, make all backgrounds white, comment out the images, and presto?

(With the fancy modern layouts, I'm afraid that deleting one image or layer will destroy some weird chain of dependencies or whatever, leading to utter chaos.)

If I have to make my own theme, so be it--please link me places to get started on learning.

My skill levels: I have a decent grasp on HTML/CSS. I have an extremely basic grasp of PHP but am slowly learning. I can program in other languages (Python, R) that are less relevant to web. I have my own domain and a virtual host. I have seen the CSS from the Typepad blog, although I imagine it doesn't transfer.

Thanks in advance!
posted by aperturescientist to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There is a theme for Wordpress called underscores that is intended as a foundation for other themes. And here's a theme called start based on underscores that is also intended as, well, a starter, and you might like it well enough as it is. Here's another one that uses two right sidebars.

If you want to roll up your sleeves, it wouldn't be that hard to take the CSS from the cocoro blog and mash it up with an existing theme. You'd need to make a few tweaks to the theme, and redefine the selectors in the CSS, but you could probably knock it out in a weekend.
posted by adamrice at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use one called Independent Publisher, it's new and responsive but also doesn't have a lot of crap in it. You'd need to switch the fonts to serif or comment the stuff out that does fonts, but I think it's doable. A lot of places are going for a Medium-esque look and this is good news for people who hate the junky overblown look of many blogs. You can also use something like Skeleton which is super powerful but has very few design elements that can't be removed.
posted by jessamyn at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: That blog is on Typepad but the theme looks a lot to me like White As Milk. For White As Milk you can move the sidebar to the left or right-hand side, and the rest of the code is pretty simple that I'm sure you'll be able to tweak it to your needs with basic HTML. There is even a widget-ized version called Skimmed Milk.
posted by Brittanie at 11:05 AM on February 22, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks all! I know what I'll be working on my next free weekend ... :)
posted by aperturescientist at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2016

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