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TL Tweets – Free WordPress Theme

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This is a free tweet archive theme for WordPress, based off of my own tweet archive site. It contains no images and made up of pure CSS (with a few CSS3 properties), and supports custom WordPress 3.0 menu and background support.

TL Tweets screenshot


How To Set Up A Tweet Archive

First of all, this theme looks really weird if you try to use it for an actual blog. It’s designed to be used to as a tweet archive. If you don’t know how to set one up, please refer to this tutorial: How To Create a Searchable Tweet Archive with WordPress.

Basically all you need to do is backup as many of your current tweets as you possibly can using a service like TweetBackup or BackupMyTweets, export them as an XML file, and import it using WordPress’ built-in importer.

Then to automatically grab new tweets, you’ll need to install the Twitter Tools plugin by Alex King and go through the authorization process.


The idea for this theme is definitely inspired by Douglas Bowman’s tweet archive theme and the idea behind it.


Ever since I customized my theme for my tweet archive sub-site, I’ve had a lot of compliments on it. Although I didn’t have any requests to release it, I thought it would be a good idea to develop a “generic” version of the theme without my logo or beaker graphics.

By the way, if you want to see the original tweet archive theme after viewing the live demo of this theme, clear your cookies or click here.

License: The TL Tweets theme is licensed under the GPL, including PHP, HTML, and CSS.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you don’t already: @themelab

  • Eric

    Pure awesomeness. Thanks Leland :)

    • Leland

      Thanks Eric, nice to see the tweet archive theme being used in the wild. :D

  • Omar

    Wouldn’t expect anything less from you Leland!

    Great as always!

    • Leland

      Thanks Omar, appreciate it. :)

  • Darren Nickerson

    Very neat idea, thanks for the info

    • Leland

      Thanks Darren, glad you like it.

  • Calítoe.:. (Cristina MJ)

    I was looking forward to it. Thanks a ton for your generosity. <3

    • Leland

      No problem, glad to see some people are getting some use out of this.

      • Calítoe.:. (Cristina MJ)

        I managed to set it up. :D It was quite easy, actually. You can see it here: I will try to make it look like my main site: the layout is similar. Thanks again!

  • Scot

    Wondering how to grab the Twitter avatar in the stream as well, or at least embed it adjacent to the username in the title?

    Excellent work!

    • Leland

      There’s probably a way to pull the Twitter avatar dynamically, although I’d probably just modify the template files (index.php and maybe single.php if you want it on single tweets) and upload the avatar image myself.

  • James D Kirk

    Just wondering if @Scot was meaning that he wanted to pull each twitter username (twitterer?) avatar into the stream that your theme grabs. If so, guessing their API allows for it considering all the other apps that do it.

  • Scot

    @leland @james

    A number of themes/scripts will pull the twitter avater with the tweet and I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction if you know how to edit the theme to enable this feature. Short of that, I’d like to be able to assign the site user’s twitter avatar adjacent to the site title with some styling. I know you can grab the avatar tied to the email accounts (wp/twitter) but not sure how. I’d like to do this dynamically via the template versus hardcoding so that i can enable it in multisite.

    Great theme…

  • Jordan

    The only unfortunate thing is Twitter not being able to provide past the last 3200 tweets (from whenever you started backing up.) I was really hoping to be able to archive all tweets *sadface*

    • Leland

      Yeah, I had that problem when I was making my own tweet archive. In fact I was only able to archive ~900 or so out of over 6000. It’s definitely best to start backing up as soon as possible so you don’t lose a ton like me.

    • Jordan

      Yeah, I wish I stumbled across this services earlier (or rather they were around sooner) so I only have about 60% that I’m missing of mine. I have about 7500 and was able to grab 3200 of ‘em so I suppose some is better than none.

  • Scot


    Yeah I’ve been down that rabbit hole but the plugin doesn’t seem to be supported right now. Will keep looking though.


  • Jayson Elliot

    This theme works beautifully for me – check it out if you like at

    I was able to import all of my tweets – about 2,000 of them – using a tool called Twitter Importer:

    It uses a little hack in the RSS feed to force Twitter to give up the entire history instead of just a few recent ones.

    Once I imported all my tweets (follow instructions at the link above), I installed the “Auto-Hyperlink URLs” plugin by Scott Reilly, which automatically put the links back on all of my tweets.

    I have one question for the author or anyone else – does anyone know how to add pagination to the theme so people can jump quickly through the two hundred or so pages of tweets?

  • Zoran

    Great work! Thank you. I’ve implemented it on my website without problems. It even matches (roughly) my color scheme.

  • Gabrielle

    This is a very cool theme.

    The issue I’m having is that it’s pulling in wrong tweets.
    I have 2 twitter accounts.

    I keep checking all the settings, account info, deleting,
    unactivating, reactivating, etc.

    I don’t know where the problem lies.
    Any suggestions?

    wp 3.1
    Ozh’ Tweet Archiver
    Twitter Tools

  • Gabrielle

    ok, I made changes AFTER a digest was posted (which was wrong twitter account) and I kept seeing that digest.

    So after re-doing theme, plugins, etc.
    doing manually archiving and it’s bringing in the proper account. So I think I’m all set! : )

  • Jerry Harrell

    First I was trying to use Twitter Tools plugin, but it didn’t really work well for me. I’m so glad I found this. Thank you for sharing it with the world!