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RS17 – Free WordPress Theme

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This WordPress theme is ported from the free CSS template of the same name by Rambling Soul. It’s a dark blog theme with a custom homepage template. It supports widgets and threaded comments. There are a few other features in the theme which will be gone over below.

RS17 screenshot


Custom Homepage Template

Included in the theme is a custom page template designed to be used for your homepage. It includes the following:

  • Gallery like post layout with optional custom thumbnails
  • Widgetized areas above and below the post area

To use this page template as your homepage, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Make a blank page called “Home” (or whatever else you want to call your homepage, doesn’t matter) and select the “Home Page Template”
  • Make a blank page called “Blog” (or whatever else you want to call your blog, doesn’t matter)
  • Go to Settings → Reading and select “Home” as your Front page, and “Blog” as your Posts page.

I used a similar technique in the Simply Minimal WordPress theme so you could have a clearly separated Home and Blog page regardless of your permalink structure.

Remember, you you don’t need a blog on your front page.

If you don’t want to use the custom homepage template, don’t worry about it. You’ll have a regular blog style layout as your homepage.

Custom Homepage Post Images

As mentioned above, there are optional custom post images you can use on the homepage template. They should be sized 185×100 (185 pixels wide, 100 pixels high).

I opted not to use something like TimThumb due to hosting compatibility issues that some hosts have. You’ll hopefully be able to easily crop the image yourself within the WordPress admin panel.

After cropping, simply input the full URL in the custom write panel on the posts page.

RS17 Post Settings

And save/publish, the custom homepage image will now appear on the post you selected.


There are four widgetized areas in this theme.

  • Two on the homepage template (top and bottom)
  • Sidebar
  • 404

RS17 Widgets

The 404 template widget area isn’t pictured.

Theme Options

Included is a simple theme options page to control which pages are excluded on header and footer menus.

Depending on the length of your blog title, you may not have a lot of room for links in the header, so just input a comma separated list of page IDs you wish you exclude.

RS17 Theme Options

To find your page ID, go to the manage pages menu and hover over a link to edit a page. You should see something like com/wp-admin/page.php?action=edit&post=XX in your browser’s status bar, where “XX” is your page ID.

Optional Plugins

This theme has support for the following plugins.

  • WP-PageNavi – For numbered pagination on index, archive, and search pages. Otherwise you get boring “Previous” and “Next” links.
  • WP125 – For 125×125 ad management, will replace the static 125×125 ad links in the current template, or you can use widgets.
  • Yoast Breadcrumbs – Adds breadcrumb navigation directly below the header. Highly recommended for SEO and user navigation purposes.

Remember, these are all optional plugins you can install for added functionality. You don’t need to add any integration code since I already included it with the theme, and the theme won’t break if you don’t have these plugins installed.


Hope you all like the theme, let me know what you think of it in the comments.

And of course, thanks once again to Roshan of Rambling Soul for the great template. You can check out all his other designs ported to WordPress on this page.

  • Clinton

    Great job, Leland! :)

    • Leland

      Thanks Clinton, glad you like it!

  • Keith

    I personally don’t find the design all that interesting, but still nice work :)

    • Leland

      Yep, it is a pretty simple design. I think the idea was to make it easy to customize. A few color changes and a custom header, and the theme could have a whole new look.

  • Brad

    Leland, if you try to do every one of Roshan’s awesome works, it’s going to be a full time job. He’s been on fire! Nice port on this one.

    • Leland

      That’s very true, Roshan has been releasing templates like crazy lately. I’m trying my best to keep up.

      • Roshan

        @brad, @leland – Lol, i am slowing down!

  • Marshal

    As always…Awesome :)

  • Lance

    I was amazed with the design, I like it but I’m having problem with the footer. Hope you could help me in how to put 4 column footer same like this: (please see the link below)

    I’m using the theme right now but still in maintenance mode because I can’t figure out in how I can put the footer.

    I already check in the widget section but I can’t find the footer widget to add some link. Hope you could help me on this one. Thank you

  • Lance

    check this link, I think the easiest to all the novice like me.. it easy to drag and attach. (I check the footer.php to this and apply to my themes from themelab but nothing happen) hope I can have this kind under widget section… need help here