Theseus, A WordPress Theme for Conquering a Maze of Content

A preview of Theseus, A WordPress Theme for Your Maze of Content

Theseus is the legendary Greek hero famous, amongst other feats, for defeating the Minotaur at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth and finding his way out again, thanks to a ball of string. This theme hopes to do the same, leading your readers through a maze of content, taking them carefully through what they need to see without getting lost.

The WordPress theme, Theseus, does this in two ways; by prominently featuring the latest post in a “feature” category of your choice (conveniently set on the theme options page) and moving all non-essential stuff (you know, widgets) to the page footer.

View the live demo | Download Theseus

Features of Theseus

Optimized for Search Engines

The spread of good ideas in the world is important to me. I want my WordPress themes to help in that cause. To that end, I’ve gone ahead and made sure that Theseus is optimized for search engine findability to the best of my meager ability. Of course, if you just want to blog about why Fords are way tougher than GMs, well, that’s cool too. Theseus will still help your ideas get found.

Optimized for Human Beings

There’s a bit of a push and pull between bloggers and blog readers isn’t there? When I visit a blog I want to read valuable content that will help me, or at least make me forget I should be working on a time sensitive project. As a blogger I just want to post a picture of a LOLcat now and then. What should be done?

Enter Feature Posts. Your latest post from your bestest most value-rich category is now highlighted on the top of your home page. Now when new readers visit your blog you can make a good impression, your best work is right up there at the top, and still keep posting links to icanhascheezburger whenever you feel like it, without scaring off readers.

Actually, I like this “feature” feature so much I may end up using it myself.

Setting the feature post is easy. Just click on the Current Theme Options link under the Presentation tab in the WordPress admin area and enter your “Feature” category ID. No worries about editing PHP files! A listing of all your categories (with their ID numbers) can be found by clicking on Categories under the Manage tab in the WordPress admin area.

Options panel for the Theseus WordPress theme

To top it off, I’ve incorporated my idea about using WordPress conditional tags to increase RSS subscription, targeting readers clicking through to your older posts. Take a look at page 2 of the main index to see what I mean.

A Paged view from the Theseus WordPress theme

Even More Features

  • Special classes for “important” and CAPS
  • Post-author comment highlighting
  • 3 columns of widgets in the footer
  • One content-column=one focus point=no distractions
  • Valid XHTML and Valid CSS (except for one teeny little hack for IE6)

Technical Matters

The eagle-eyed among you will notice something different about the finished Theseus theme: no rounded corners! No, I’m not afraid Elliot Jay Stocks will destroy my theme (but if he even deigned to kick it with a soggy boot I’d be honored). It’s merely a matter of my own incompetence at implementing not one, not two, but every single corner rounding script on the internet. That’s right, I broke them all (I had some help from IE though). Is there some kind of award for that?

On top of that, I couldn’t figure out how to make get_the_category() output just the link for the featured category (I’m using a variable called $ts_feature_post). Otherwise, the featured post would have a heading of “Feature Entry in Category Name” with a link to the feature category. If I ever figure it out expect an update.

Anyway, this theme makes use of two very clever open-source projects:

Theseus itself is free and licensed under the GPL. I like it that way. Plus, the images folder contains all the .PSD files for the theme, just in case you want to make any changes.

Entering the Maze with Theseus

I hope you enjoy using Theseus. Technically, it’s my first official, full-fledged, complete package theme for release. I had a lot of fun working on it—except when the rounded corners weren’t working. I hope you have fun working with it. Next up, I actually design a WordPress theme with multi-column content. I know, it’s crazy.

View the live demo | Download Theseus

81 thoughts on “Theseus, A WordPress Theme for Conquering a Maze of Content”

  1. Hi Ian

    Love this theme, but could not find any information if you will upgrade it to WP 2.7, especially the threaded comments. If this is stated somewhere, please feel free to point me to the resource.

    Thank you.

  2. Hey Ian,
    I’ve made the Romanian translation for theseus.
    If someone is interested, here is it:
    There was also a bug on loading gettext domain. You’ve splited translation into 2 domains, so both those domains have to be loaded in

    # ./library/functions/sandbox-functions.php
    // Translate, if applicable
    load_theme_textdomain('mnml'); // Added for the second text domain

    I also had integrated the gravatars to the theme.
    If someone is interested, just post here.

  3. Hey Ian, I’m now using your theme on my site, it’s pretty good.
    But there’s still only one problem needs work out that I can not find the category ID. I have tried category name and it seems unfunctional. So can you give me an example or something to help me?

  4. Hey Ian,

    i found this (GREAT) theme with google cause it is not listet in your “Thematic Child Theme” – Sub Page?


  5. Hi. I´m glad to use your theme.

    Just a comment.
    Notice that this:

    #content a:hover {
    border-bottom:1px dotted #000;

    is causing problems with images when displaying them in a gallery. Make a test. You´ll see that the dotted border is making troubles in the thumbnails lines. So you should write an exception.

    For me, i´m using simply:
    /*border-bottom:1px dotted #000;*/

  6. I’m using 2.3.2 And I just put the theme back to Theseus. If you could take a look at it or possibly login to it and check it, that would be awesome!

  7. Whenever I try to download the theme. It is taking me to the demo page. Am I missing something?

  8. Hi,

    awesome theme but can’t download the theme… plzz fix it. Love to see it in action.


    Vikas KM

  9. I love this theme, especially the feature post. Could you make it available in other color options?

  10. Theseus looks like a great theme. I naively downloaded from a free WordPress theme site (not sure which one) but it had encrypted code in the footer.php. I figured I should download it straight from your site instead. Now when I try to install, I get the following errors:

    Warning: fopen(~myhostedsite/wp-content/themes/theseus/style.css) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in ~myhostedsite/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3598

    Warning: fread(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in ~myhostedsite/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3601

    Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in …/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3604

    I’m running WP ver 2.9.2. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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