Simplicity Thesis Skin

Simplicity: A Crisp, Clean Thesis Skin

by Ben Cook on January 29, 2010

As WordPress design has evolved over time there’s been an emerging trend of cramming more and more information into designs.

With the advent of “magazine style” themes bloggers were able to give their readers glimpses into almost every facet of their site.

And, while there are several visually stunning magazine style themes out there, it’s easy as a blog reader to begin suffering from information overload.

If crisp, clean designs are more to your liking, I think you’ll enjoy my newest Thesis skin…


As you can see from the demo, Simplicity is designed to put the focus on one thing and one thing only… your content.

Using a vertical menu and a single sidebar, Simplicity blends the structural elements of the theme into the background allowing readers to instantly be drawn into the content you’re presenting.

While the skin can certainly handle a 3 column design it, in my opinion, loses a little something in the transition.

Similarly, child menus in the navigation are a possibility, but the design admittedly doesn’t handle them as gracefully as a single layer.


The only requirements for using this skin are the Thesis theme (naturally), and Greg Boser’s Thesis Import/Export plugin. That’s it!


Installation of this skin is almost as simple as the design.

In order to download the skin, you’ll be required to enter your name and email in the field to the left.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to spam you. I just want to be able to alert you to future updates and any new skins I release.

Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you’ll be immediately sent an email with a link to the zip file.

Unzip the contents into a folder and drop the custom.css and custom_functions.php files into the Custom folder of your Thesis folder. (It should be something like

Next you’ll need to install the Thesis Import/Export plugin. You can do that quickly and easily by going to the Plugins/Add New link in your WordPress sidebar.


On the Thesis Import/Export page (as seen in the screen shot above), you should be sure to download your current settings and save them as a backup. That way you can always go back to the design you have now if you decide not to use the skin for some reason.

Once you have backups, select browse under Thesis Options and select the simplicity-thesis-options.dat file and click Import Options.

In similar fashion, under the Design Options section select the simplicity-design-options.dat file and click the Import Options button to the right.

Warning! Importing these options will overwrite any of your current options. However, it also saves me from having to explain every single option I’ve clicked as I did with previous skins.

Once the settings have been imported, I recommend deactivating the Thesis Import/Export plugin until you need it again. The last thing you want to do is get your site set up just the way you want it and then accidentally overwrite something.

Once you’ve imported both option files, you should be all set!

Note: I personally would recommend also changing the number of posts that display on your home page to a lower number (I picked 6) to further reduce the clutter on the home page, but that’s obviously up to you.

Customize to Taste

As with any of my Thesis skins, please feel free to make any changes or modifications that your little heart desires. But be sure to come back and share your adaptations here so we can all ooh and ahh over your fine work!

Of course, if you have any questions or run into any problems using this, or any of my other skins, please feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you sort it out. Although, I will admittedly be a bit more motivated to help if you haven’t removed my small attribution link in the footer 😉


Update 2.20.2010: If you have long list items in your sidebar that spill over onto a second line you may want to institute this fix.

In your custom.css file search for the line .sidebar li.widget li {
text-indent: 15px;

and replace the “text-indent” with “padding-left” so the new version reads:

.sidebar li.widget li {
padding-left: 15px;

That will ensure all lines of your list items are indented.

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