The Arthemia WordPress theme, designed by Michael Jubel, is probably one of the cleanest and feature-packed free themes I’ve seen in a long time. I thought I share my experience with this theme in a review post.
And now onto the review…
Just looking at the live demo of Arthemia, I knew that this theme was designed for blogs with lots of content. Like I expressed above, I thought the layout was great which in a way reminded me of the Miniml theme. There is also ample room for advertisement space in 468×60 and 300×250 sizes.
I figured the theme would make use of custom fields for the thumbnail images, although probably not so dependent on them as the last theme I reviewed, Infinity.
Another thing which I expected is some manual configuration required. Since the theme separates content by category, there must be some way to choose which categories get displayed under Browse Categories, as well as possibly setting a “Featured” category at the top.
After uploading and activating the theme on a fresh WordPress installation, I got a site that looked like this:
As you can see, there is still content to be added and other required configurations to the theme to be made.
Top Posts Area
To get posts to display at the very top of the homepage, you’ll need to create 2 categories: Headline and Featured. As a test, I added those 2 categories to the “Hello World!” post. Here is the result:
You’ll notice the big glaring spaces where the thumbnails are supposed to be. That brings us to the next step…
This theme has built in image resizing, so you should be able to upload a large image, with smaller thumbnails automatically generated, all through your WordPress upload screen. Once you’ve uploaded, you use a custom field key called “Image” along with the image location on your base WordPress URL. You would set up the custom fields like illustrated in this image:
This will require some code editing. To get the category bar working you’ll need to gather a list of your category ID numbers and place them in the following array, comma separated.
$display_categories = array(5,6,7,8,11);
To complete it, make sure you have nice category descriptions set for each category you plan on displaying in the category bar.
Overall this is a very well-made theme. There’s not much I would change. The built-in image resizing script is a convenient touch. It would be nice if there was a theme options page so those people uncomfortable with editing code wouldn’t have to do so. Hopefully though with these detailed instructions, even a beginner would be able to use this theme without any problems.
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