Free Minimal WordPress Theme: Gaunt

I have been using some form of WordPress for years. Usually I just hack the default theme that comes with the download. Sometimes I don’t even rename the theme, and sometimes I do this every few months. But right now (April 3, 2015 *Updated – v1.5 – June 2, 2015*) the theme is available at the bottom of this post. And I’m giving it away for free. View the Demo Site for more info.

Lately I felt compelled to create a minimalist theme that I’d feel comfortable sharing with other people, with as little customization as possible. I started with underscores.me and took it from there. But here’s some important theme info before you download and install:

  • The Home page shows the latest post (not page). If you use a featured image in the post, that will show, otherwise, a beautiful gradient will be the circle background.
  • For best results, set your media sizes as: Thumbnail- 300  x 300 (crop to exact), Medium- 1000 x 2000, Large 2000 x 3200. No worries if you’ve already sized things differently, update your media settings, install the Regenerate Thumbnail Plugin and batch resize them all.
  • Install Jetpack (wordpress awesomeness). That’ll give you access to cool things and allow you to add your logo via appearance > customize.
  • There are no post types, other than a standard post (like this one).
  • The “sidebar” is shown before the footer on this site (gray background area, below). You can customize this via “appearance>widgets” in WordPress.
  • If a page has children, they will show on the parent page ONLY if you select the “show children” page template (example: Dear Jonah). If you use a “featured image” (not required) it will show as a page thumbnail, otherwise a gray circle will appear.
  • If want to use a featured image JUST for the sake of a thumbnail choose the page template “minimal” (this will hide the featured image on the actual page, and also hide the sidebar).
  • There’s only so much room: by using the custom menu you can put as many things in as you want, but I’d suggest limiting it to five. This is a philosophy AND design decision. It’ll force you to be brief.
  • Here’s an example of a page with a featured image (if no featured image is chosen, no big deal, page content will just start below the title)
  • Gaunt is very responsive!  Jetpack + Photon could make it even snappier on a mobile view, as could a lazy load plugin. Those are easily installable, so I’ll leave it up to you.
  • There are no plugins required to make Gaunt work. I am using the Fluid Video Embed plugin for responsive video, but you don’t need that if you’re not embedding video.
  • There are no dropdowns/submenus. You can make them all you want in the back end (Appearance: Menu) but they won’t show up.
  • Comments will not show, ever.
  • If you have questions or comments, contact me or send a tweet to @finck. Please don’t host this theme on your site/blog/whatever. I’ll open source it when it is ready.
Go to the Gaunt Demo Site