Justin Tadlock

Introducing Kirby Junior

Kirby Junior theme
Kirby Junior child theme

I’ve stuck with the same design for just over a year here on this blog, which is the longest I’ve ever kept a single design.

And, to be honest, I haven’t been too motivated in updating it.

But, that all changed when I saw the first version of Ian Stewart’s Kirby theme posted via Twitter.

I liked the clean design and the large, yet elegant, typography. It at least motivated me enough to start using the design from the Kirby theme here on my blog.

I don’t mind using other people’s designs, but it’s tough for me to use other code. Pretty much anything I do has to run on top of the Hybrid theme. So, I set out to make Kirby a child theme of Hybrid.

I’m now using the Kirby Junior child theme on this site.

A new default WordPress theme

The point of this post isn’t to talk about how I’m using the theme on this site, but to make note that I’d love for Kirby to be the new default WordPress theme. On the ThemeShaper blog, Ian has a fairly lengthy post on why it should be the default theme.

I’ve never liked Kubrick (current default theme) enough to run on my blog. Kirby is a theme that I’d actually use on my personal blog, which is something I don’t say often about other people’s themes.

My notes on the Kirby theme

While I am using just the design here on my blog, I did spend some time sifting through the theme code. Overall, it’s solid. These are some of my notes on version 0.3 of the Kirby theme. Let’s hope Ian can make use of these.

  • Integrate post images/thumbnails. So many people use some sort of thumbnail setup these days, that it may as well be added.
  • Add a default taxonomy.php file to handle custom taxonomies.
  • A searchform.php file is needed for users that add a search form to their site.
  • I’m not a fan of the several if/else statements in the header for the <title> element. These could less-messily be done from the theme’s functions file.
  • The comment reply script should be added through functions.php and only active if a user is using threaded comments.
  • Users shouldn’t be required to use a custom field to turn on comments for pages. There’s an admin option for this on the page editor screen.
  • Template code cleanup. I’d like to see a better indentation system in place to help users understand what’s happening.

These are my personal ideas for the theme. Feel free to disagree. And, please offer your suggestions and thoughts on the Kirby theme post.

Or, if you have alternate ideas for what the default WordPress theme should be, share your opinion.

Please note that the design you see here on my site isn’t a completely accurate representation of the Kirby theme. The version I’m using has several modifications. I highly suggest checking out the actual theme to get a feel for how it works.