Less – a free super minimal WordPress Theme

less free minimal wordpress theme 2013 design 600x456 Less   a free super minimal WordPress Theme

Spent a few hours over my holiday break to work on a free WordPress theme for 2013 to go along side Min I wanted to take a break from building larger sites and themes and see what I could get away with NOT doing. Therefore Less only uses the index.php, style.css and a function.php file (to import the style and add a custom menu). Update  I did add a /js folder with fitvids.js to give a better experience with video embeds.

wordpress minimal theme requirements1 600x329 Less   a free super minimal WordPress Theme

I also wanted to sharpen my LESS CSS skills and try a few new things If you have used LESS for compiling your CSS you will find a /dev folder that you can play around with. I actually created a few variables to adjust the look of the theme without digging in to deep. This was not necessary.. and probably not worth my time… but it was either that or another game of Hero Academy.

less screen code 600x470 Less   a free super minimal WordPress Theme

gravatar in wordpress theme header 600x306 Less   a free super minimal WordPress Theme


Download | Demo OR Fork it on github

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180 Responses

  1. Beautiful. Thank you! This might be just what I need as a basis for a new, minimal project.

  2. andowrites says:

    Already downloaded and tested. Just going to tweak the fonts, menu and footer, and find it a home…

  3. Download and tested, as well. I already used Min for my personal blog, and it probably works better for me than Less, but I will keep it here, just in case.

    Thanx for sharing, Jared.

  4. Robert says:

    I’ll be using this. Wondering about RSS tho?

  5. Japh says:

    I plan to get this going on one of my blogs tomorrow!

    For now though… Clash of Clans is a great iOS game 😉

  6. cjt says:

    Hi Jared. Nice work. Thank you for this wonderful theme.
    I’m using it after some minor tweaks and it works fine: light and fast.
    I have a question: how to insert post tags on the category line, preserving the same design?
    I’m sure that must be simple… you know… 🙂

    Thanx, my wishes of a wonderful 2013 for you and everyone reading.

    • Jared says:

      Hey Cjt!

      thanks for checking it out, your site is looking great! i just added tags in the meta area of the post. Since, you already customized yours you can check out the code i added in and duplicate that to your site.

      you can check out the commit here. specifically in the index.php on line 87-90 and 145-148. you will also have to add a few styles

      • cjt says:

        Thanx Jared! My site looks great only because of your work…

        This is it!
        I was looking for the correct place on css to do it… Should I add them under ‘article-meta’, as ‘post-tags’, or do you think it will work only with the html under ‘meta clearfix’?
        Sorry, I’m a pain, I know…

        Thanks again!

  7. Robert Williams says:

    For some reason it’s not pulling my gravatar…

  8. Nimsrules says:

    Thanks Jared, you’ve released this beauty at the exact time when I decided to jump into WP development. Kudos for the lovely minimalism that you’ve incorporated in it.

  9. Jimmi says:

    what about multisites? work fine?

  10. Ando Perez says:

    Any chance of you offering the them mod you use of Standard Theme on this site, as a child theme any time soon, as you’ve mentioned previously? Would love that!

  11. Topuz says:

    I love your theme! The problem with most minimal WordPress themes I’ve tried is that they are minimal, but also bland. Your theme has a perfect mix of minimalism, thoughtful design and just enough punch to stand out and not be forgettable. A bit of inspiration from Svtble perhaps?

    My new blog will be up soon, and I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to your theme. Arial will have to go tough, it looks hideous at 18pt on low-dpi Windows machines.

    P.S. Maybe you could add some sort of search? Without a widget-enabled area to add archive links, and no search bar whatsoever, it can be kinda hard for visitors to find and access older posts.

    • Jared Erickson says:

      Thanks Topuz, love to see if you stick it out with it.

      that’s funny about Arial, because thats 3 levels later in the font stack (“Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif)…

      you can easily add an archive to any of your categories in the menu 😉 i’ll think about putting a search in there somewhere.

  12. Anthony says:

    I really like your theme! I’ve set it up on a blog part of my site where I tire peoples’ eyes with my words about photography.
    I am sure there’s an obvious answer, but I couldn’t find a 404 function or page.
    All that happens is a page without content.

    This will be a facepalm if I’m missing something obvious but if not, how may I do this?

    • Jared Erickson says:

      Thanks Anothony! looks great btw.

      looks like i didnt test the 404 functionality, it is built into the index.php after the else { } statement. let me check that out and push an update. Thanks for the feedback!

  13. Paul Hoy says:

    Love this theme, and I’m now using it on my poetry site. All I need to do is adjust the fonts a bit to set a more literary tone. Not being a designer, I’m open to suggestions : ) Thanks again.

    • Jared Erickson says:

      your site looks great man 😉

      • Paul Hoy says:

        Thanks, Jared. Still loving the design after four months. During that period, I reverted to your default font styles. Seems obvious, I guess, but they seem like an integral part of your design. Curious, any plans for updates in the future?

        • Martin von den Driesch says:

          Jared, how to I include my avatar pic into the less theme? I understand that I need to include me email address. Does it work with Gmail only? Thanks.

  14. Nathan Liu says:

    I love this!

    Is there anyway to replace the gravatar pic with a custom one. It’s a nice feature, but not what I’m looking for.


  15. Designer says:

    on hover there opacity effect instead of underline, just curious why you designed like that. 😉

  16. Till says:

    Hi and thank you for sharing “Less”.
    I was wondering what was the easiest way to add a date field near the post title.
    Thank you.

  17. Hi! thanks for a nice theme. I would love to use the css.less to cutomize my site. but when i change things in css.less nothing changes on my site. what is wrong? do i need to set it as primary css instead of style.css?

  18. Artem says:

    How to create a page with the archive?

    • Jared Erickson says:

      you create a custom menu and use the category you want as the menu item. there is no archive page currently.. but feel free to make one and submit it to github 😉

  19. Hi Jared, I’m trying to get 404 page functionality, but struggling to get it working. Not used to working with Less css, and the simplicity of this theme is foxing me. Any tips would be most welcome. The usual WordPress method to add 404 page is failing me. Thanks!

  20. I’m also looking to add an archive page, and wondering if I’m going to hit further stumbling blocks. I’m loving the simplicity of this theme, but finding it’s different format confusing, I’m so used to standard WordPress formats. Any pointers most welcome.

  21. Martin says:

    Jared, thanks for sharing the Less theme. I would like to use it for a photography-themed blog I am currently creating. Can you give advise which image size (width) I should use for optimal quality? Tnx.

  22. Anthony says:

    I’ve come up for a loss which is frustrating because I remember modifying the labels for the contact form.
    I recently installed Jetpack. Would that have anything to do with why I can’t find how to edit this and make some clever labels for the contact form?
    I’ve dug around other files like wp-comments-post.php and a couple possibly related files in the wp-includes folder.
    Ideally though I like your form here. It is much more compact.
    Thanks if you have some guidance!

  23. I love your theme. Thanks for sharing, it is exactly the perfect mix of typographic approach and content centric view that I was looking for.

  24. Jonas says:

    hey jared, very nice theme. in chrome and firefox it looks amazing, but whats the problem with internet explorer?

  25. Be says:

    Hey Jared, love the theme – looks great and has sped up my WP site no end!

    Having trouble getting the admin photo to show though – any idea why?


    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Jared Erickson says:

      looks great man! do you have a gravatar.com account that your admin email address is linked with?

      • Ben says:

        Thanks for the quick reply!

        Yes, have a gravatar – shows up in the admin dashboard, so should be there…

        • Jared Erickson says:

          strange man looks like gravatar is not finding the image… double check that it’s your Admin email address that’s in your settings section

          • Ben Matthews says:

            Yep, double checked. Resent confirmation email just to check. Refreshed caches to see if that made a difference. Still no success 🙁

            Thanks for trying to help…

  26. Candice Lin says:

    Thank you thank you! I searched to no end for an efficient, clean, minimal single column theme but I’m so glad to have found this. I modified the theme somewhat but I’ve left you a credit/link in my about page. Cheers!

  27. Awesome theme, Jared! I installed it on my blog, it’s simply awesome.

    I have a few suggestions for you, things that I’d like (and probably) will change myself, but maybe could be useful for everyone.

    Actually, there are three things I’d like do improve/modify. First, the way fonts render on Windows. On Android and iOS, typography is sharp, gorgeous, but on Windows it feels quite ugly, I don’t know why.

    Other thing is how the theme deals with images when scaled down. It’s responsive, indeed, but images don’t follow window/screen resizing, which leads us to having horizontal scrollbars. I’m not that into web development, but I guess there’s some library or js that scales down images as well.

    Finally, the footer on posts. I think info like category and tags shouldn’t appear on home, only in permalinks. And I miss a lot having a date somewhere.

    Anyway, congrats and thanks for Less. It’s an astonishing theme.


    • Jared Erickson says:

      Thanks Rodrigo!

      unforutunily I can’t help windows setup’s not look bad… but that’s why I have this up on Github love for any submissions to be included

      • I’m using Segoe UI right now for the theme on Windows. Not good as on Android/iOS, but better than Arial.

        About image sizes, I noticed that images with captions break the responsive design. Searching for a solution, I found with this post on WordPress forums. Marco Chiesi (the last guy) has the solution, it worked like a charm.


        • Dario says:

          Hi there, an easier solution:
          1) Change media “medium” or “large” size of the thumbnails to 720 width x 0 height.
          2) Reupload your images or install “Regenerate Thumbnails” plugin and do it automatically!

          Excelente theme!


  28. markusvesoen says:

    Any chance anyone would add a foldable side bar like medium.com and big image on top of site and article?
    Would easily pay for it.

  29. Hi, I love this theme and use for my portfolio. The thing is my portfolio is in swedish and I would like to change all text to swedish. But I cant find where to change the comment text (Name, email, etc). Help is very much appreciated!

    Keep up the good work!

  30. Good morning! It is possible to build a gallery in Less? I’ve tried a few different things and was wondering if you had a trick. I’d be grateful for any help or advise.

  31. James says:

    Hi Jared,

    Love the “Less” theme but is there any way I can replace the site title with an image instead of text? Also take the dash out of there?

    Would you ever consider adding an infinite scroll?


    • Jared Erickson says:

      Hey james, you will have to look at the “header” section in the index.php delete where it says

      delete that and add your image in there

      • James says:

        sorry can’t read what you wrote after “delete where it says…”
        can you re-type it?


        • Evan says:

          To follow up on James’ question, I’d also like to remove the dash between site-title and tagline. What section of index.php applies to this?

          Thanks, looking so forward to using this for my portfolio site!

          • Jared Erickson says:

            Even, if you do a search for “—” (without quotes) and delete that in the index.php you will be good 🙂

  32. Nickdrewe says:

    Hey Jared, This is just the type of theme I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Hello Jared, thank you for this marvellous minimalist theme ! It was just what I need to reboot my blog – http://www.frankless.com/blog/ – Could you just let me know where I have to go to descrease the size of the text in the article ? it’s a bit too high for me 😉 Tx.

  34. Finally found a solid use for this awesome theme. Jared, will this eventually support the different post formats in WP 3.6 ?

  35. tpelluz says:

    Writing from Berlin, Germany. Wonderful theme, thanks so much! However I just keep getting this error: Notice: Theme without comments.php is deprecated since version 3.0 with no alternative available. Please include a comments.php template in your theme. in /home/pelluz/webapps/pelluz_wp/wp-includes/functions.php on line 2881


  36. Hey Jared, I’m still confused why I can’t get the nice comment box from Jetpack to work on my site. Currently it seems to be the default boring one from WP.
    How do I activate the nice one that I just used here on your site?
    I’m using your theme for my Words section, and I’d love to make the comments form minimal, because it’s a really nice theme!
    FYI I had installed Jetpack well after beginning to use your theme, if that makes a difference.

  37. Serioque says:

    Hi, Jared! Great theme! But can you hint me, how to localize that? Editing file theme.po in /lang with Poedit and uploading it to /lang doesn’t change anything(( Thanks a lot!

  38. Anthony says:

    Hey Jared, Did you get my reply about the comment form? If I switch to the default WP theme, the Jetpack form appears.
    When I switch back to Less, it is that old style WP form.
    I eve uninstalled the Less theme and brought it back to the original install, in case any edits I made might have interfered.
    I guess a next step would be to install WP on a new directory and see if that brings the Jetpack comment form to life on Less?

  39. mogita says:

    Hello Jared,

    I’m loving this theme so much, it gives a really neat look and feel. Thank you for the nice work!

    Just one little problem I met with lightbox. The lightbox will display at a downward place on the page, not in the center of the browser visible area.

    Two plugins were tried, Fancybox for WordPress, and Lightbox Plus ColorBox, they had the same wrong appearance.

    All of my wordpress programs and plugins are latest version. And this doesn’t happen in other themes. Hope it can be fixed. 🙂

    • Jared Erickson says:

      Hey Mogita, I will take a look at this when i get the chance, the purpose of the theme was to be as simple as possible so I never planned things like lightboxes to be used 🙂 but they should… so i will take a look into it 🙂

      • mogita says:

        Thank you for the reply Jared!
        Maybe it’s even somehow weird to use pictures in such a clean theme.
        Anyway I just turned lightbox off, and readers will jump forward and backward in their browsers when click on the pictures. Let them jump. I like this theme. XD

  40. ginobona says:

    Hey Jared. I want to thank you for designing the Less theme. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    I would like to know if there’s a way I can modify the title bar of my site’s home page. It’s currently “Gino Bona |”. I would love for it to match the site title and tagline (Gino Bona | Writer + Marketer).

    My site is located at ginobona.com.

    I appreciate any advice you can lend. Thank you.

    • Jared Erickson says:

      Hey Gino, that is taking from the sites description. In your WordPress admin go to Settings > General and input the description

  41. blabroots1 says:

    Dope theme! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being awesome. I’m not certain if you answered this question already, but how do you add the post categories to the header (as shown in your demo) and do you have any tips on adding the gravatar? I already set it up and it shows in my admin, but not on my site. Thanks in advance.

    • Jared Erickson says:

      create a menu, choose the category you want in the menu bar.
      make sure your gravetar email is the same one you have setup as your WordPress admin email. (settings > general)

  42. Trying Less out for size right now – looking great so far. 🙂

    Do you have plans to support retina-style gravatars in the site header?

    • admin says:

      thanks! no plans on doing that.. but its not hard to do.. just bump up the size that is pulled in.. in the index.php in the “header” section

      • Sorry to hear – then I’ll actually have to do something on my own. 😉

        I tried ‘bumping’ the size, though, and it pulls in the larger image all right, but it only shows a quarter of it. So bumping the size alone doesn’t work…

  43. Robert says:


    I just came across your theme after a long search.

    LESS is more. None of visual traffic jam that occurs on almost all wordpress templates, and no width limitation, so I can post 1000px images.

    One question: How do I exchange the placeholder avatar to the top right with an image? Do I have to make a child theme for this and link to an image?

    This is actually the second theme of you that I came across, and this is the one I’m going to use for my photography blog.

    I’ll probably play around with typography in a child theme, but it’s great as it is.



    • admin says:

      thanks Robert, you can edit the area in the index.php file in between the div with the class=”gravater” just insert an image in there instead.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks, Jared. So, basically I up load an image to my blog folder, and then create relative path to it, and place that link into the place where now is the link to “gravatar”.

  44. Robert says:

    PS: I also love the theme of this blog. Is this theme also available, or do you want to keep it a unique theme for your own site?



  45. Terry says:

    Hi Jared, is there anyway to add a date stamp to the posts?

  46. AJ says:

    Great theme. I loved it.

    Is there a fix for older version of Internet Explorer as well?

  47. Hey Jared,
    Thanks for sharing the theme…it’s pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for. I tried coding my own template earlier this year, but fell off the project because I hit some roadblocks and haven’t had a chance to get back around to it. I do have one question…

    I’m currently using Disqus for my comments. In the live preview when I install Less, there is a huge break between the bottom of the post and the comment section. Is this something easy I can fix in my config files?

  48. Thanks for the reply. I got it figured out the other night. I’m working on rounding it out by adding an archive page that includes the category listing and a search. But, I can’t get my categories to link properly…the URL’s are correct, it isn’t loading the correct template. I’ve searched through the php and (although, I’m not great in php) I can’t seem to find the problem because even your demo site has it loading properly. Thoughts?

  49. romeromjulio says:

    thank you, love your theme

  50. Malik says:

    Thanks Jared! I used border radius on the comment avatars and It looks very nice.

  51. PG says:

    Hi Jared,

    Is there a way to hide submenus from showing all the time?



  52. Nice, I like the simplicity 🙂

    I’d like to make a few changes but I am not sure how to make the changes to LESS file apply? I haven’t touched LESS before but it looks really cool.


  53. Ana Pascual says:

    Thanks Jared!
    I’ve created a child theme with a style.css containing the “@import url(“../Less/style.css”);” as a first declaration.
    I’ve activated theme succesfully but style.css of the child theme is not overriding style.css of the parent theme.
    Is it necessary to modify anything else to override parent theme styles?

    • Carl Joseph says:

      Hi Ana. I’m having the same problem. The child theme I created, when activated in WP still shows the link to the original style.css in the head and no reference to the child stylesheet is found.

      Jared, is there some tricky overriding/scripting this happening here perhaps?

    • Carl Joseph says:

      Probably has something to do with this line in the functions.php file:

      wp_enqueue_style( ‘less-style’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/style.css’, ‘10000’, ‘all’ );

      • Carl Joseph says:

        Figured it out. In the functions.php file, this line:

        wp_enqueue_style( ‘less-style’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/style.css’, ‘10000’, ‘all’ );

        Should read:
        wp_enqueue_style( ‘less-style’, get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . ‘/style.css’, ‘10000’, ‘all’ );

        You can put a copy of the functions.php file into your child theme directory and change the above reference from get_template_directory_uri() to get_stylesheet_directory_uri(), OR you can just edit the original file.

  54. For some reason it’s not pulling my gravatar…

    It works on my localhost though….

  55. Forget my last comment. In fact, my gravatar does not appear in the WP back-end neither.
    I guess this comes from the host…

    Thanks anyway for this great theme

  56. nmrandall says:

    Hi Jared I really this theme, but I would like to know how you have abbreviated the first post in your demo with the “continue” link?

    Thanks very much.

  57. Matthew says:

    I absolutely love this wordpress theme. Thank you so much!

  58. juliussky says:

    Love the simiplicity.

  59. Jonas Rachner says:

    Hey Jared, many thanks for this awesome theme. I really love it. However there`s one little thing i miss: the widgets. Is it possible to add any widgets to the theme? Especially i would like to add a small banner (about 200×200) for little advertising for the main homepage. If it’s not possible to add widget do you think there’s another way to add this kind of banner to every page?

  60. Molen says:

    See you again! I’m Molen. I’ve translated your theme Min. And now I would like to translate this theme Less. I LOVE this simple style and want to introduce this theme to Chinese user. Just like that time, I will use the licence CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 to share the work.And I will state the theme is made by you. I know this theme is free, but out of politeness and respect, I still want to have your permission.
    I’ve translated this page to Chinese(Although my English is a bit weak). But something which I am not very sure about it. So I ask you for some help.The post said “Images are full width”.That is mean that the picture is upload to 560px?
    Besides, I have a presumptuous request. I want to have a demo Page in http://lessmade.com/themes/less/.If you can set up a author account and a Page link like /themes/less/chinese-page. And I know this request is so inordinate. So you can just ignore it.
    My English is a bit weak. But I want to you can understand what I write. Wait for your reply. Thank you!
    Have a nice day! Hope you can design more wonderful work and theme!

  61. Hey Jared,
    I’m trying to figure out if I can change the width of the images. I’d really like to be able to have images fit across the entire screen rather than be confined to the “the-content” div width. I’d like to add a class to the CSS file, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get the image outside the parent sizing. Any thoughts?

  62. Arto says:

    Thanks for this super clean theme, great work!

  63. Thank you for this theme! I’ve modified this one to use it on my personal blog.

  64. Jan says:

    Hey Jared, I really love your theme. I recently started a personal blog and while drafting my posts I notices that embedding iframes does not work. Can you please tell how I can make them work with the less theme?
    Thanks so much!

  65. Thank you, Jared, for your hard work!!

  66. Sam Wight says:

    Is this theme released under the GPLv2 license?

  67. cjt says:

    Hei Jared. It’s me… again.
    Well… I decided to take LESS once more and turn it on a even more minimal blog. So, I made some changes on the front page and single post.
    There’s one thing I can’t solve, however. The image and video width. The paragraph is 500px max-width, but I want images and videos 100% width.
    If you have some time to visit a post like this one (http://semiose.net/kult/long-play-laurie-anderson-at-luminato-festival-133.html) you will see the solution I adopted. It’s a stupid solution, really, but I’m a bit tired (or drunk, I can’t say for sure) to find any other. What I do is to insert a div tag on images and video…
    So, can you help me… again? 🙂
    Again, thanks for the excellent work.

  68. Jorge Nova says:

    It’s a beautiful and minimal theme, i love it…

    i’ll ask you when i have a doubt

    Regards from Chile!

  69. Maggie says:

    Hi Jared,
    I love your theme. Currently, the site I am using “Less” on needs to use small photos. Is there a way to make it, so small photos can be placed on the site? (If I had larger file sized photos, I’d use them.) I would hate to switch to a different theme.

    Thanks, Maggie

  70. Sean says:

    I’d just like to thank you for this theme, it’s beautiful.

  71. Gavin says:

    Hi, nice theme. Is it possible to add my logo to this theme?


  72. Anurag says:

    Awesome minimalistic theme. I am using it for my personal blog now.

    For the people who could not get their gravatar to work (I have removed it from source completely) –

    there are 2 places where you need to enter your gravatar email correctly:
    1) Settings -> General
    2) Users -> Your profile

    I figured that out after a while !

  73. Mattia says:

    Hi Jared,

    weel done!

    Just a question: I think the max image width of the theme is 720px, right?
    So why in the DEMO you use an image 1000×1000?


  74. Christopher says:


    Wonderful theme! Thank you. I had the same question as Maggie
    article .the-content img { width: auto; height auto; } works for floated images but breaks responsiveness. Any thoughts on what to do? I too have some smaller images I would like to right-align so the text is to the left.

  75. Alexander says:

    Hi Jared. Love your theme! I really want to use it but I’m having a bit of a problem with the images.
    As you know, the original styles.css file said:
    article .the-content img { width: 100%; height auto; }
    and you suggested using this in alternative:
    article .the-content img { width: auto; height auto; }

    What ends up happening is now the image is displayed as whatever the original width is. If I use a large one it pops out of the column. The real problem is that it completely ignores the image settings in the post editor, for example they might look like this:

    What I’m saying is it completely ignores the width and height and goes with the auto in CSS.

    Again, I’d really want to use Less but I am unable to fix this. I am on the latest version of WP, I haven’t read about anyone reporting this so I don’t know if it’s just me.

    P.S. Maybe by removing the article .the-content img { width: auto; height auto; } completely it will follow the post settings for images? 🙂

  76. xay says:

    Hey Jared, thanks for the theme!

    Can you please explain how do I get rid of the ” —” at the top of the page where it says “site title —tagline”? thank you.

  77. John voce says:

    How do I pull in the gravatar image for site admin, please?

    it’s probaly obvious, but I have misssed it!



  78. victor says:

    Thank you Jared. Awesome minimalism!

  79. Adam says:

    Many thanks for creating & sharing such a clear theme 🙂

  80. Leo says:

    I was able to port this to my Ghost blog. Thanks for making a great design. The comments you make on the code was very helpful.

  81. Martin says:

    Hi Jared,
    I’d like to adapt your theme to Blogless, my minimalistic publishing system. Could you please be so kind to tell me, if this is possible? I couln’t find an information about licensing. Well, for shure, I’d honor the original author. 🙂

    Ciao, Martin

  82. colin says:

    how can i get less theme to pull in my gravatar image, I have used the right email address for the admin email but i can only get the theme to use one of my standard avatars

  83. Chris says:

    Thanks for this theme Jared. Perfect for a no-nonsense developer blog 🙂

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