WordPress Theme: Upstart Blogger Modicus

I’m releasing another WordPress theme, Upstart Blogger Modicus. In keeping with my other WordPress themes, this theme is designed to be:

  1. Minimalist: Very clean, spacious and easy to read.
  2. Fast: Lightweight, for speed.
  3. Ad-friendly: The columns are sized specifically to accept standard ad formats.
  4. Easy to install: You can install without plugins, though five plugins are recommended and included.
  5. Flexible: Includes an optional home page.

Modicus is now WordPress 2.3-ready. I’ve added the code to display tags on individual posts and a tag cloud in the sidebar.

Important Note! Modicus now comes in two flavors: the original 3-column version and a new 2-column version. The new 2-column version adds an Options tab to your WordPress admin, where you can set column arrangement and alignment, etc.

I know, I know. This should be one theme. But this is the first time I’ve created a theme with Options and I don’t have the time right now to figure it all out. Everything should work fine, but putting it all together was just a little beyond my current patience and skills. I may combine these into one snazzy theme with Options at some time in the future, so please subscribe so I can notify you of updates. Also, a special thanks to Christine of b2gs3 for the inspiration.

Here’s a preview (click to enlarge):

Upstart Blogger Modicus Preview

You can also view the demo. Or, see my other blog, Mystics of the Ordinary, for another example of the theme in use.

Here’s a demo of the 2-column version.

And here’s the optional home page (no enlargement):

Modicus Home


Download Upstart Blogger Modicus

You can download the theme, Upstart Blogger Modicus , by clicking here.

Download the 2-column version.

Be sure to subscribe to Upstart Blogger to be notified of updates!


Note: Instructions for the 2-column version are similar, but Modicus 2-Column also includes an extra Options & Help tab to the Presentation tab. Be sure to read the instructiions in the tab.

  1. Open the UpstartBloggerModicus folder, then upload the ub_modicus folder to your WordPress theme folder.
  2. Open the plugins folder inside the UpstartBloggerModicus folder. Open the contents to your WordPress plugins folder. Read the readme files for each plugin for installation instructions.
  3. To select the theme, go to the Presentations tab of your WordPress admin and select Upstart Blogger Modicus.
  4. Click on the Widgets tab to arrange your widgets. You may also want to edit sidebar.php. To find more widgets, check out Plugins/WordPress Widgets.


Four plugins are recommended and are included. Here are the links, if you want to check that you have the latest versions:

Five plugins are recommended and are included. Here are the links, if you want to check that you have the latest versions:


  1. The home page is optional. If you want to use it, just rename _home.php to home.php. You’ll also need to edit it to put in the names of the categories to display. See the comment in the file.
  2. To use your own image for the logo, create an image 100×100 pixels, name it m.jpg, and drop it in the images folder inside the Modicus theme folder.

Upgrading to 0.3 for WordPress 2.3

There are no changes to the style.css files in this update, so if you haven’t altered the template files you can just keep your old style sheet and copy over your old template files. If you’ve modified your template files, there’s no need to copy the new files. Just add the new WordPress 2.3 tags yourself. It’s easy to do. See the Codex on the_tags and wp_tag_cloud.


This WordPress theme is released under the Creative Commons Attribution v3.0, meaning you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, but you should (please) keep the link back to Upstart Blogger, either in the sidebar or the footer. See the README for details.


0.1 First released 06.19.07.
0.2 06.26.07

  1. The logo is no longer cheated left of the post column. I did that to align it with the “M” in the logo, but since I noticed that IE6 just chops it off and you’ll probably change this image with something else anyway, I decided it didn’t make sense to give it a negative left margin. Instead, if you want to indent the left column, you’ll need to edit style.css manually and give either the post or sidebar selector (depending on which column you’ve arranged on the left) a left margin.
  2. Removed extraneous text from comments message.
  3. Fixed missing div tags that were causing layout problems.
  4. Removed “Elsewhere” heading over the Blogroll. It’s now headed the default “Blogroll”. You can change this by changing the name of the Blogroll category (Manage > Categories) in your WP Admin.
  5. A little miscellaneous cleaning of the code. (I still have more to do on this).

0.3 Both versions updated on 10.08.07. This is a minor update. Tags have been added to individual posts and a tag cloud added to the sidebar.


Brad Maheffey of ArtCulture.com has released a great mod of Modicus called Modicus Remix. Grab it at ArtCulture WordPress Theme – Modicus Remix.

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