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Small Studio – Free WordPress Theme

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Today we have an interesting free WordPress theme, based on a design by Solucija. This theme does not have a standard blog layout by default, as you can see from the demo. It is designed for a more CMS look, and has a few features you wouldn’t expect to see in a normal WordPress blog theme. More info on how to use the theme will be gone over below.

Small Studio screenshot
Live Demo | Download

And now more information on how to use the Small Studio theme…

Small Studio Theme Default Settings

  • Pages and categories are displayed on the left sidebar.
  • Homepage text can be controlled in the “Header Text” and “Footer Text” widget area, or in about.php (header) and downbox.php (footer) manually.
  • Sidebar text can be controlled in the “Side Text” widget area by placing a text widget there.
  • 1 featured article excerpt displayed on the homepage.
  • 8 more recent articles displayed on the homepage.

If you’re not good at reading lists, I’ve also made this diagram to better understand the areas of the theme. Click the image to enlarge.

Small Studio Diagram

Tips on using this theme

  • If you don’t want comments, simply disable them in WordPress or on specific pages/posts and nothing will show up.
  • If you want to manage a few pages but still maintain a blog section, use a single category called “Blog” (or similar) to store all of your blog posts. Remove the /category/ base for added effect.
  • Delete the home.php if you’d rather have a standard blog layout.

This theme is not for everyone

This theme is not really for huge blogs with tons of posts and categories, but rather for business sites looking to manage a few pages and blog posts within the WordPress system. Since categories and pages are both displayed on the sidebar, it probably won’t look good if you have too many listed there.


I know this isn’t the standard style blog theme, but hopefully you’ll like it anyway. Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you’d be interested in more of these “CMS style” themes. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  • Andrea_R

    Very nice – I’ve actually been looking for more themes like this.

  • Nick Berlette

    Ah, so it’s finally done :-)! Glad to see you worked out the issue with the paging. Definitely a unique style of theme here, I haven’t seen any with a home page structured like this one.

  • Pangeran

    Ah, this theme is great!
    I’ve for long time looking for something like this…

    Looking forward for more like this!


  • Susanna

    Thank you so very much for this theme. I had this design in an HTML site and I’ve been looking for similar CMS style WP theme for my small site. (small studio :))

    Imagine my delight when I see you have jumped in and reworked it to a WP theme.

  • IndieLab

    Very nice theme, and a fitting name. It makes me want to develop another site just so I can have an excuse to use it!

  • Pete

    Great to see some non-blog type themes – especially now that wordpress is firmly entrenched as a top notch cms not just a blog.

    Can we look forward to seeing more non-blog type themes?

  • PLiu

    Like it. WordPress is not just for blog, it is for cms too. Great job.

  • Leland

    Thanks for the awesome feedback everyone. I’ll try to code more themes like this in the future!

  • Khan

    This is a good theme. Have you thought of making it SEO friendly and Adsense Ready?

  • XIII

    Nice to see something different.

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  • Steve

    I *love* this theme and I’m trying to mod it to work on my website as a CMS. I do have a very active blog and I’ve managed to fix all but one thing to get Small Studio to work for me.

    The thing that’s got me stuck is: How do get the contents of the “page” (in other words, what I typed into the page editor when I created the page) to show up in the left column (“lijeva rubrika”) instead of the most recent blog post? Is this even possible with this theme? I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be but I’ve been trying everything I can think of and nothing is working.

    I’m assuming it’s something on the page template related to the lijeva rubrika, but I can’t figure out what to put there. If I put a call for “the content” it ends up displaying a blog post!

    If I can get this to work, this theme will work great for me. This is the best theme for my purposes that I’ve found, so someone please help me!

  • Leland

    @Steve: You would probably have to do a custom query to get the contents of a page. This is not how the theme was originally designed.

    More info:

  • Steve

    Hmmm. This is unfortunately getting into a territory I know little about. It’s been a big enough challenge translating the Croatian!

    I tried replacing this code in the “Page” template:

    have_posts()) : $the_query->the_post();
    $do_not_duplicate = $post->ID;

    <a href=”">Read More

    With this code:

    That didn’t work. Any ideas about what I’m doing wrong? Thank you so much for your help. I’m SO close to getting this theme working for me.

  • Steve

    Whoops. Made a mistake in pasting.

    The replacement code was:

  • Steve

    How do I paste code into the comments? Sorry I’m messing things up here.

  • Leland

    Try pasting the code within <code> and </code>.

  • Steve

    I tried that. The comment just didn’t show up at all.

  • Leland

    Okay, try this tool:

    Paste the code on the left, and copy the output on the right.

  • Steve

    Okay… I changed this:

    <div class=”lijeva_rubrika”>
    $the_query = new WP_Query(‘showposts=1&orderby=post_date&order=desc’);
    while ($the_query->have_posts()) : $the_query->the_post();
    $do_not_duplicate = $post->ID;
    <h3><?php the_title(); ?></h3>
    <?php the_excerpt(); ?>

    Read More</a>

    <?php endwhile; ?>

    To this:

    <div class=”lijeva_rubrika”>


    Keep in mind that I’m doing this in the Page.php template. I eliminated the “Home.php” template because it seemed to be causing more trouble that it was solving.

    Here’s the site as it is right now, so you can see where I am with things: . Ignore the fact that it says “familymullen” at the top of a public relations website. I’m using my family website as a testing ground because no one ever goes there :)

  • Steve

    AhHA! I got it! I put this code in the page.php in place of what was under the “lijeva_rubrika”:

    <?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

    <?php the_content(); ?>

    <?php comments_template(); ?>
    <?php endwhile; else : ?>

    <h3>Not Found</h3>
    <p>Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.</p>

    <?php endif; ?>

    It works! Now I just have to tinker a little with spacing, and I’ll have this template the way I want it.

  • Steve

    Hi Leland,

    The theme is fully installed on my site. With a lot of tinkering and modifying, this has become a very good theme for me. Here’s a link:

    Thanks for making this available!


  • Leland

    @Steve: Looks great – thanks for letting me know!

  • Paulo

    Hi! I have dowloaded this theme and it’s great! Just one thing, I would like to know how can I show only “Pages” in the left sidebar? And not Pages/Categories.


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  • Sushil

    Really nice theme. I was looking such theme to make a small website and this really helped. Look forward to get some more such templates. Great job!