Software Engineering in WordPress and Musings on the Deep Life

Less – A Minimal WordPress Theme By Jared Erickson

When it comes to sharing resources, I try to do a good job of publishing that stuff that I’ve found useful or that I don’t think is necessarily getting the attention that it deserves.

The majority of my friends who are developers or designers maintain their own blogs and publish their own stuff, so I rarely see the need to cross-post any content.

But there are times I make exceptions and such is the case with Less – a free minimal WordPress theme.

Less - a Free Minimal WordPress Theme

Less is built and maintained by my good friend and business partner Jared Erickson.

If you’re a developer or a designer looking to get started with WordPress development, then I recommend taking a look under-the-hood of Less (which you can do on GitHub):

The theme features:

  • The most minimal requirements for a valid WordPress theme
  • LESS for CSS
  • Follows the WordPress coding conventions

If you’re a blogger looking for a new theme, then be sure to check it out, too.

The theme includes:

  • A single column, responsive layout
  • Large text and full width images
  • No widgetized areas (seriously minimal!)
  • Custom menu in the header
  • …and more

If you’re a budding theme developer or even someone who is simply looking to get more experienced with something like LESS, I recommend checking out the codebase. It’s lean, easy to understand, and freely available. I’ve even contributed a pull request of my own, so why not, right?

Be sure to check it out and give Jared some props on his site.

Along those same lines, what are you guys’ thoughts on themes like this? Rather than trying to “build the world” and include as many features as possible, what do you think of the hardcore minimalistic approach?


  1. Japh

    I’m a fan of the hardcore minimalist approach. It’s effectively making a solid starter theme, right? Might have to give this one a go on one of my blogs :)

    The name is a little confusing… but then, what else could you call it?

    • tommcfarlin

      I am, too. I discussed it a little bit in this comment, too so I don’t want to repeat myself.

      Jared also has another theme called min.

      If he’s not careful, he’s going to run out of “small” words to name his word ;).

  2. Jared

    Thanks Tom!

  3. Curtis McHale

    I’m 100% for minimal themes. Makes it way easier to use as a parent theme (you don’t have to override a bunch of stuff). The theme I use as a ‘starter’ is actually even more bare then that. Only has a CSS reset.

    • tommcfarlin

      From a development perspective, I can definitely see the benefit in a minimal theme (or a boilerplate, a foundation, or whatever you want to call it).

      From a user’s perspective, I have to wonder how they see it, as well. For so long, we’ve loaded up our themes with options, knobs to twist, buttons to press, color wheels to turn, and accordions to expand then swinging in the opposite direction is a stark contrast.

      I’m a fan, but I’m also on the developer’s side ;).

  4. Greg

    Love the concept. I would need a sidebar option though. Just fyi

    • Curtis McHale

      You could just add it via a child theme. Bit of PHP and CSS

    • tommcfarlin

      Depending on your level of of development-chops (or you knowing any developers), a widgetized area could be easily added (like Curtis mentioned).

      Since the theme is open source, it’d be trivial to do so.

      Even still, that’s a good point – can there be too much taken away in a theme? Personally, I think it depends on what the blogger’s goals are – just my two cents.

  5. Salman

    I’m glad I found this site, definitely gonna play with this theme.

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