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Here’s The WordPress Theme Castmate Uses, For Free

June 25th, 2013 by Andrew Smales

I wanted a simple, minimal WordPress theme for Castmate’s blog, and I created this.

(note: Just put $0 in the payment area there, and it’ll let you download it!)

I was using another theme previously, and it looked okay, but it wasn’t very flexible at all. The width they allowed for entries was very narrow. Since Castmate is a podcast hosting company, I needed to embed some audio players in entries, and several styles didn’t fit.

I’m giving this theme away, because I didn’t bother adding any comments stuff to it. I don’t use comments, but if anyone requests that, I’ll probably add it. I’m using Gumroad to distribute this for now, since they’re easy and I can grab download stats and collect email addresses. I put the pricing as pay-what-you-want, so if you want it free, that’s fine.

The big goal for this theme was something that people could grab, and customize pretty easily. Open up the sidebar.php file and it’s pretty obvious how to put in info about you, or your company. You can see very easily where the 3 boxes on the side are, and remove or edit any you want.

I tried to hack away at the old theme a bit, but I find WordPress templates to be pretty impenetrable a lot of the time. Commercial themes are great, I’ve purchased several (usually from Themeforest), but they tend to try and be everything to every one, and they are overloaded with options, most of which I have never wanted or used. Basically, themes are usually great until you need to change them.

The old theme had something like 15 CSS and Javascript files including – it may actually have been more. There was a lot of code I just didn’t feel like going through, so I grabbed a book on WordPress dev (I’ve been meaning to for ages) and made this myself.

The big goal for this theme was something that people could grab, and customize pretty easily. Open up the sidebar.php file and it’s pretty obvious how to put in info about you, or your company. You can see very easily where the 3 boxes on the side are, and remove or edit any you want.

The typography on this theme will use Google Webfonts by default. It is using Droid and Droid Sans, but if you don’t like them, you can edit the header.php file and take out the 2 lines including them from Google.

I personally use Typekit, and I designed this template using their FF Tisa Web Pro and FF Tisa Sans Web Pro fonts, which are available on their Personal plan ($25/yr).

If you use Typekit and want to use that font, you just need to create a kit with those 2 fonts in it (just Regular – no bold or italic versions), and Typekit will give you 2 lines of CSS. Paste that CSS into header.php and you’re good to go, the CSS already calls FF Tisa.

Oh, and another goal for this design was to be fast! Getting rid of all the unused CSS and Javascript did a good job of this, and the Castmate blog is currently getting a score of 96/100 on Google’s Pagespeed checker (until I start embedding things!).

The blog runs on Linode right now, so they’re part of the reason it’s fast of course, I recommend them highly.

Here’s the link again to grab the theme.

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Castmate.fm provides hosting for podcasts of all sizes. We aim to be the most podcaster friendly thing possible.

This is our blog, check out our main page to see all our features and plans. Contact andrew@castmate.fm with any questions/comments!