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Regulus – New WordPress Theme released

Regulus has it’s own theme page here

Towards the end of the Bubble Blitz developement I started work on my first WordPress theme. The making of it kind of stopped and started for quite a while since there were things I wanted to do that I couldn’t.

screenshot of the Regulus WordPress Theme in action

The idea behind the theme was to create a very simple to customise theme for the novice blogger. One of the problems with Kubrick is that it’s the default theme for WordPress but it is not straight forward to edit; therefore many sites use the default layout and don’t change anything. I wanted something that looked equally nice but could be changed easily so that there aren’t hundreds of sites out there using a single theme that look identical. Obviously I don’t expect there to be hundreds of sites using Regulus since it’s never going to be the default theme, but I figured I would make things easy to change anyway.

Regulus Admin panel

screenshot of the Regulus Admin PanelThe main new feature that isn’t hugely common (and the reason it took a while to complete) is an admin panel built into the WordPress admin system that let’s you edit the layout of the site without actually changing any code. To do this I used the wonderful WordPress Theme Toolkit, developed by Ozh, from Planet Ozh.

The admin panel let’s you edit the content of the sidebar so that you can show and hide the things you want to see. You also have the option to change the header graphic, and edit the colour scheme of the site. These edits are hard coded into the site but if (when?) I create another theme I think I will attempt to make it even easier to change things so you can use any colour scheme or graphics that you chose. Obviously more advanced users can change the colours themselves, but they’re not who this theme is aimed at (they’re welcome to use it if they want though :) ).

Regulus Plugins

I also built in support for a number of plugins developed by other WordPress developers. These plugins have been included in the core theme code so that no additional downloads are required. The plugins I used were:

These are all plugins I use here, on Binary Moon, and I really like them so figured I should include them as standard. I changed the plugin names so that if you already have any of them installed there should be no clashes.

How do you get it…?

The good stuff

Known Problems

The only bug I’m aware of is that in Internet Explorer (damn you IE) the label ‘message’ is listed twice when it should only appear once (it’s only in the code once…). If anyone has any idea why this happens I’d love to hear from you.

Anything else?

Since this is my first WordPress theme I’m pretty confident that there are things I have forgotten, or not done, so I will no doubt release a few updates in the next week or two. Let me know if there are any problems and I will do my best to fix them.

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156 Comments »

  1. Good job Ben! Nice colour scheme and I like the use of the admin panel. I’m not fond of the building in of the plugins but apart from that, well done!

  2. Thanks for the comments Phu

    I included the plugins because I wanted it to be as easy as possible to use for everyone. It saves people from having to download, then upload, and then enable, the plugins themselves.

  3. Ben,
    I test your Regulus theme on my WP 1.6 Alpha blog and break it.
    I think is something on the Theme Toolkit.
    And another error when show index:
    Cannot redeclare writeabout() in (…) /regulus/functions.php:61

  4. Oskar – thanks :)

    bicherele – I’m not supporting alpha software. Once WP 1.6 is released I will look into it but until then I don’t care. The writeabout() command is slightly more worrying but I suspect that’s a 1.6 error as well. Thanks for trying it though – it is appreciated (despite how it might sound).

  5. Nice theme indeed.

    I only edited the sidebar.php to allow for a larger listing of monthly archives.

  6. Miladus – thanks for the compliment. The reason I limited the archives was that I figured (and this is an assumption) that people who visit sites rarely use the monthly archive to find things. I don’t have a clue when something was posted unless it was within the last few weeks. Categories and search are far more important so those are listed clearly. Maybe I should add an option in the admin panel that lets you either limit the list as I have it or display everything as you’ve done.

  7. Ivan – thanks a lot – makes me feel good to hear things like that :)

    Everyone – I have made some more changes to the theme and updated it. To get the latest version just download it again from the same location. Changes include a randomized link list, an adjusted category listing (sub categories are displayed as such) and the ability to choose how the monthly archives are laid out.

  8. Very nice theme! A couple of silly questions: do you plan to create a three-column theme out of it? If not (sorry for asking that! :-)), how can I “enlarge” the theme in order to minimize margins?

  9. Mario – I’ve got no plans to make a 3 column version of it at this time. As for an enlarged version… you mean a version that scales with the browser window? That could be interesting, not sure how hard it would be. I’ll look into it – the only problem I can see would be the header graphics not scaling/ fitting, I’d need to come up with an elegant solution to that I think.

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  11. Ben: Adding an option in the Admin Panel is an excellent idea, especially for blogs where the archives tend to be more important or at least attract more readers.
    Another issues is what happens if you have a large number of Pages on a blog?

  12. Hi there!
    I just downloaded your theme and installed it!
    It’s beautiful!
    I love how clean and sharp it is.
    I have a question though?
    What happens to the sub-pages? (parented pages)
    Anything I put another another page I can’t find. Or for some reason is just not showing up for me.
    Can you help me out?
    I’m running it on a test blog for now… but could you pop over to see what I mean… or you probably don’t even need to look at it…

    Thanks for the help in advance!

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  15. Miladus – I’ve added the toption to the admin panel now so you can do whatever you like :) The lots of pages problem is something people will have to work around themselves. The way I have it at the moment is the same way k2 works so I don’t think it’s that bad.

    La Bella – thank you very much :) – Because of your comments I have just spent the last hour adding a sub pages menu to the left hand sidebar. If there are sub pages on the current page they will be listed there. Just download and reupload from the link above. To save editing all of your css again, look for the #sidebar #subpages in the style.css and switch.css files. You’ll need to update the sidebar.php and the header.php files as well. Just redownload from the normal link.

    Dener – I’ve never used any last comments plugins. I will think about adding it but I wouldn’t have thought it was too difficult to do yourself either :)

  16. oohhhh Ben, you RAWCK man!
    I love it!
    I love how they are listed on the side bar.
    LOVE it!
    *whoohoo* I’m so happy.
    Really, thanks so much. A lady appreciates it.
    :-)

  17. Hey Ben! I’m back. LOL [again]
    Ok… Now I’m with Dener here.
    How can we add any other plugin to display on the sidebar? I’m getting confused as to what the default/basic code is to use.
    I’ve tried infinte times already to add the recent commens plugin I have and no luck.
    Would there be anway you can kind of guide me here as to what type of code I am to follow to make it display?

    I hope you can help, if not, I understand.
    A lot of work trying to fix other peoples’ problems!
    Btw, I have it running now on my main blog.
    http://www.la-bella.net
    :-)
    Love it!

  18. Ben, I really appreciate the work you have done. This is the first time I see the theme toolkit in action.

    Two minor flaws that I’ve discovered:

    The em-format is not visible in posts.

    The footer doesn’t show in the Safari browser.

  19. La Bella – loving the pink theme – it looks great.

    I would have thought adding the recent comments plugin was pretty easy. I know others have added it with success. If you give me a link to the plugin I’ll take a look.

    J – thanks :)

    I always forget about the em’s and strongs, I set the font globally at the top of every css file and it overwrites things. If I remember correctly all you need to do is add

    #content em { font-style:italic; }

    to the style.css file. I may have got something wrong there though – I’m at work so can’t test it.

    I don’t have a mac to test things with either I’m afraid. I’ll have to hope someone else can work that one out for me :)

  20. Superb job on this – I’ve installed over at http://www.mattrutherford.com and am starting to tidy up…I’ll also need to get my flickr badge working again – but seriously – its a brilliant theme.

    A couple of questions:

    1. How do I use ‘boxes’ – they look excellent, but can’t work out how to post into one…
    2. Is there a way to ‘omit’ a page from the navbar -I sometimes work in draft there and don’t show them off.

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  22. Matt – I’m not sure what you mean by ‘boxes’ could you explain more?

    Also the ommiting pages from the nav bar, it’s a good idea but I haven’t got a clue how to do something like that. I will see if it’s possible but can’t promise anything.

  23. Ben – in the regulus live preview (http://beta.binarymoon.co.uk/) – under the section titled ‘Your CSS Here – H3 Heading’.

    there are boxes…which are uber-cool! Are they part of the regulus implementation?

    I’m also having trouble getting my pictures to look as they did before…but I know I’ll get there, I’m learning every minute!

  24. That box has nothing to do with Regulus. It’s actually part of some sample code used to make sure themes have all the neccessary styles included.

    The box with the dashed border is a div element with the styles built in. The code is…

    <div style="border: 2px dashed blue; margin: 5px; padding: 8px; float: right; width: 30%; font-size: 85%;">
    The stuff you want to have in a box
    </div>

  25. awwwwww man!
    Ok… LOL So… for the protected page post update, which file am I looking to update here.
    I’d hate to lose all my css settings. :-S

    And thanks alot for updating the theme to show recent comments. ;-)

  26. Awesome!
    Thanks again… btw, I set my recent comments already.
    I think it looks great. Simple is always better.
    :-)

    You know I can honestly say that you are the most “approachable” theme author I’ve come across. You have gone out of your way to help everyone out.
    You don’t get that very often. I gotta be honest and say I only ask for help when I need it. Not cause I am lazy and want someone to do it for me. I am glad you understand that.

    :-)

    Blessings*

  27. gorgeous

    if I hadn’t been spending the last three days working on my own I’d take it in an instant

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  29. La Bella – I live to please :) I’m sure I’ll stop being helpful soon enough. You should make the most of it while you can!

    Jesse & Matteo – thanks

    I’m off on holiday for the weekend so will moderate all the new comments and reply to things when I get back on Monday. Have a good weekend everyone.

  30. Nice theme but few things needs to be fixed.

    1. Paragraph align in id content should be justify to make the text look good

    2. The archive tab should be selected when you view any post. (Currently it selects home tab)

    3. The theme should have archive page included (I tried to add myself with the super archive code but for some reason it did not work for me)

    4. It would have been better if you would have made seperate file for post template i.e. single.php this helps when a user wants to place ads just below the post title…i.e. if the post is single

    But in current theme you are using same title for both single and list, so user have to give php condition to place the ad there

    5. It would have been cool if you would have different options in sidebar for home page and inside pages. i.e. display few things on home page and few in inside page.

    I have modified the theme a lot to get it working according to my needs, you can check it here http://www.whoisdeep.com

    It would have made my / anyone’s job much easier if you had above things already present in your code :)

    Btw let me know if you need the files I have modified..so it can save lot of your time to sit and write the stuff…

    Regards,
    Deep

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  33. I like it. But just one niggle – with other themes I had my blogroll links seperated into catagories, and now they’re all jumbled up. Is a way to catagorise them in Regulus?

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  35. Thanks for the kind words everyone.

    Regarding wordpress 2.0 – I wasn’t even aware it existed. I won’t be supporting it anytime soon since I don’t use it. I’m sure if you’re that far ahead of the game you are knowledgeable enough to fix it yourself anyway :)

    Val – There’s no way to sort blog roll links by category, I’ll look into it though.

    Deep – Thanks for the feedback. I’ll answer them in order

    1 – Justifying text is a matter of opinion. I don’t like it so won’t do it. It’s an easy change to do yourself though.

    2 & 3 – that’s beyond the scope of a theme I think. You should make the archive things work yourself – especially since I wouldn’t have used the archive system you’re using.

    4 – I hadn’t considered that. I don’t blog to make money. However I think the people who use adverts are generally clever enough to be able to add these things themselves (as you have done). I will consider this though as I can see other people thinking it might be useful.

    5 – That’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure how it would work though. I will certainly think about it.

    As I said in my post this theme was designed to be easy for people with no technical knowledge to use and abuse. People like yourself who are obviously capable of changing these things wouldn’t need something like the control panel since you can do it yourself. I appreciate the feedback though.

  36. Ok – just seen the wordpress 2.0 beta. I will install it at home later but I suspect the problems will all be down to the theme system I’m using. I believe the new version of wordpress has it’s own control panel system so I will simply switch from the system I’m using to the new one. There’s no point doing this until something more official is announced though.

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  38. Val – I’m guessing you know what Regulus is (I saw the magazine you edit on your about page), and yes, it’s the reason there is a star based header graphic.

    I actually chose Regulus because of one of my more popular posts on this blog, which is all about Harry Potter.

    I think any future themes I release will have star based names as well.

    I’ve just had a quick look at the what you would need to change to get the link list working. The easiest thing would be to change

    <h2><?php _e('Categories'); ?>
    <ul>
    <?php list_cats(0, '', 'name', 'asc', '', 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0,'','','','',''); ?>
    </ul>

    to

    <ul>
    <?php get_links_list('id'); ?>
    </ul>

    in sidebar.php

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  40. Thanks Ben! I’d have got that bit of code myself eventually, but I’m a PHP beginner and I’m terrifically busy this month.
    Keep doing with the star names – did you know that Regulus was one of the four “Royal Stars” of the Babylonians and thought by them to have great importance in predicting the fate of kings and states??

  41. Carl – Currently wordpress 2.0 is out of the question but obviously I want it to work for as many people as possible so I will be looking into it. I have now tested it in the wordpress beta and can see what the problem is… I just haven’t worked out how to fix it :(

    Val – I must admit I didn’t know that much about the Regulus system. I guess the next themes will have to be named after the other Royal stars. I was going to go for Sirius next (Regulus brother in Harry Potter) – and am guessing that’s one of the others?

  42. No, the others are Aldebaran, Fomalhaut (sp?) and Antares. But, hey, this is your project – choose what names you want!
    And the code works fine.

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  44. Ben, the only problem with the WordPress 2.0 it’s functions.php, if you put the functions.php content into the themetoolkit.php, the problem solve.

    Sorry, with my english.

  45. spyn_et – that sounds good. I’d worked out it was loading the functions twice but didn’t even consider something like that. Far too straight forward for me :)

    And your English is fine. I know not everyone speaks it as a first language.

    Val – Ah, oh well. I’ll still go with Sirius next but will use the nicer of the others in the future :) – glad the code worked for you.

  46. I just rolled this into WP.com but had to make a few changes:

    * Search form has wrong target
    * Template toolkit incompatible with WP 2.0 and the new functions.php system
    * No screenshot.jpg
    * Comments don’t detect logged in users
    * Header include invalid in 2.0

    And a few other misc changes. I’d be happy to send you the code if you’re interested.

  47. Carl – Not yet – it’s been added to wordpress.com though… hoorah. I am looking into it, but the fixes I have seen so far remove the admin panel which was the unique selling point (erm… unique giving away point?) of it in the first place.

    Matt – that’s really cool. Thanks a lot – I’ve sent you an email to get the changes off of you.

  48. Ben, great theme, I love it! Thanks a lot!

    2 questions about the configuration panel though:

    1. Your name and your e-mail address are used for comment highlighting, but what does that mean? Where can I see it in action?

    2. The last option “Show all archive months” doesn’t work for me (version 1.5.2). Checked or not checked, I always get all archive months in the sidebar.

    Hope you can shed some light on these issues.

  49. Uh, ignore that last post. I’ll answer my own questions:

    1. When viewing comments, your (actually, my) own comments are in a box, easily distinguishable and editable.

    2. When the option is off, by default 15 months is the maximum, but this is adjustable in sidebar.php.

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  51. I really like the theme… and I just posted a modified version on my site. (I widened things to add a del.icio.us feed and changed the colors around a bit…)

    But I’m having a problem with the search and it is probably the same thing that Matt alluded to. When I search from the home page, everything works fine, but when I search from within a particular post, I get errors. If you have any ideas on fixing this, I’d sure like to hear about it!

  52. I just remembered one other thing I had to change…

    You should probably call get_sidebar from within the index.php instead of the footer.php. This is because the page.php calls both the get_sidebar and the get_footer, so get_sidebar is called twice.

  53. I really like the theme which has just been added to the list of available themes on WordPress.com. One question – unbulleted lists appear in bold which looks odd. Is this intentional or a bug ? My blog exhibits the behaviour. Cheers.

  54. Guido – well done, you got the answers correct – gold star to you :) – glad you like it.

    Dustin – that looks nice. The changes are interesting as well. It’s good to see it being used for things like this. I’m not sure what the search problem is but Matt has fixed it on wordpress.com. I’ve emailed Matt asking what he changed but have yet to receive a reply.

    Andy – Just had a look at your blog. The unordered lists are a different colour, not bold, and it’s unintentional – I have some changes I want to make so I will add this onto the to-do list. Thanks for the feedback.

  55. Great theme, Ben! One small change – i changed .widgets to add “clear: both”. Now, if i have an image in my post that i float: right (or left), it doesn’t flow over into the following post.

  56. Hi Adam – I thought I had added that already, it’s more than possible that I forgot though :) Thanks for the heads up

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  58. Hey, I’m trying to use this theme with Measure Map and I’m not very good at code, so how would I put some code that is supposed to go into the post template into the theme, seeing how there is no post template?
    The Instructions:
    Step 2: Edit the “Post Template”
    WordPress Post click to zoom

    Next, click on the Post Template from the list on the right. Copy the code in the box below, and paste it into this template right above the line that reads:

    Click in the Update File button.

    “;
    //–>
    mmdate: mmurl: mmtitle: –>

    Thanks for your help, and your great theme.

  59. Lol whoops that was supposed to be the code they tell you to put in but it’s javascript, sorry.

  60. Necrogeist – I haven’t used Measure Map and since it’s a closed beta can’t look to see how to get it working. I’m guessing you would just add the code to the head of the document, which means putting the javascript into the header.php file. Add it just before the </head> bit of the code – that should (might) work.

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  63. Did you ever hear back from Matt? I looked around and noticed that the search problem is occurring on many of the sites using this theme…

  64. Ben….I managed to get the blogroll split into categories…by duplicating the whole of the blogroll section, and then changing the category number in the get links statement – it seems to have worked on my site quite nicely.

    ‘, ”, ”, FALSE, ‘rand’, FALSE, FALSE, -1, FALSE ); ?>

    If I didn’t explain this well – then please let me know and I’ll show you the full code.

  65. Dustin – I haven’t heard back from him, no. However I have looked into it and I think if you change the action in the form tag (in sidebar.php) to

    <form action="/" method="get" id="search">

    Then the problem should solve itself. I haven’t tested this though so it may not work but I’m quietly confident it will fix things.

    Matt – I thought I had changed the theme to use something similar. I guess since you have customised it you don’t want to download and overwrite things. Don’t worry about the comment. WordPress strips out all code and javascript to prevent evil code from running. You have to change the tags so they use html entities (eg &lt; – btw I have to use the ampsersand entity to render the less than one :) )

  66. Hi very nice template but I think there is a small url bug in the “oldest” and “newest” link at the end of the page… There is a “/” at the end of the link and we don’t need it…

    On my blog you could see it

    http://www.2803.com

  67. henri – I think that’s a server setting. The page links are a part of WordPress itself, and I don’t have anything to do with how they are set. The links work fine on WordPress.com and I’m not sure what a solution would be I’m afraid. Maybe if you ask on the wordpress.org forums someone more knowledgable would be able to come up with a solution.

  68. Henri – The trackbacks should just appear. You need to get someone to link to one of your posts in their own blog post and then it will appear in the comments. You can see this in action on my wordpress blog

  69. I like it at first sight then activated it at my http://sfong15.wordpress.com/ I will also play around with it at my other hosted WordPress installations. I think all themes should come with admin panel type customiziation such that coders and users can make full use of the robust database at the backend. Everyone likes to demonstrate their own characters by showing their their unique blog outlook.

  70. Hi, I have it also activated at another hosted WP installation.
    I have optioncount turned on for categories but it looks a bit crowded for 2 columns on sidebar. Can you make it selectable in Admin panel in your next release for number of columns in sidebar? How do I manually make it one column now?

    Also where about in the CSS that I could indent children categories? Thanks in advance

  71. Hello Ben,

    first of all: Thanks a lot for this awesome WP-Template!!!

    I’m a beginner both with WordPress and all that sourcecode editing/hacking and I achieved some things with the Kubrick-Template, which are not working with your template:

    1. Not working: Formating text with for italic text in the ‘About your site’-field at ‘Configure Regulus’.

    It even not works if I put the text into the sidebar.php between the lines and inside the text normaly hides the text behind this command tag, but it is not working with your template.

    3. Not working: Link Categories for the Blogroll.

    All the links appear in one list and not sorted into the groups (a.k.a. Link Categories) I had defined.

    You see, that I’m a newbie with a strange approach to solutions for the appearance I have in my mind.

    But perhaps you can help me with telling me, where and what for I have to look in an Tutorial or at the WP-Codex because I’m not so familiar with the exact names of most of the entities etc.

    Thanks and greetings from Berlin,
    Oliver

  72. My mistake:

    This ‘more’-Tag is working, when you turn “Post Display”-Options to “Full Posts” instead of “Post Excerpt”.

    Now its working as I want to have it working :-)

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