Original Theme for WordPress (1.3)

This theme is a clear three column view with a useful toolbar on top. It has support for easy customisation (per category, author and whole site).

screenshot of theme

This theme is originally a conversion of my site when moving from a MovableType setup to WordPress. Because of that I added a lot of extra functionality into the theme but don’t worry, it’ll work out of the box on a new system without any plugins. (If your interested in the code, most of it is in “tdo-functions.php”).

This theme is for WordPress 1.5 or better. It has been successfully tested in WordPress 2.0. Download it.

It uses CSS to have two conceptual menus. The one on the left is the traditional WP sidebar. The one on the right is customised to the section being displayed (i.e. for category archives, pages, date archives, author archives, etc.).

It is entirely built up on the idea of categories represent sections of your site. In my old MT setup I used to split my page into several “blogs” with their own categories. Thanks to the wonder of WP’s proper implementation of subcategories, I can do away with that and treat my entire website as one site. So the top level categories represent major sections, thats why they are listed in the sidebar. If you browse to one of the sections, the sub categories are shown on the right side. You can of course browse to sub categories of sub categories etc. Category descriptions are used.

I’ve also verified that the theme works in IE, Opera and Mozilla but I haven’t tried it on other OSes besides Windows.

For an example of this in action, check this site (one of mine) and the ‘looks’ of the different subcategories: ‘Game’ pages on MOC.


You can download it from here. Once downloaded, extract the contents. You should have a directory called tdo with several files in it. Copy this directory and files to your wp-content/themes directory. You can then activate the theme from your admin panel.


If you are using an older version of the theme, first remove the functions.php as this will cause WordPress 2.0 to crash. Then just overwrite the old files with the new files.


You can personalise in many ways without modifying the template files

You can specify a different icon (IE’s favorites icon), stylesheet, banner image and background image for the whole theme or just specific categories and authors.

Sub categories will take on the properties of their parent category and single posts will take on a stylesheet of the parent category or author. I implemented this because on one of the sites I use, a category can represent a logical grouping including subcategories and individual posts. The author thing I just added because I could.

The order of preference is this:
1. Category
2. Author (if applicable)
3. Sitewide
4. Defaults

To do all this is quite simple. Just drop in a file in the the tdo directory with the correct name. They all start with the prefix “my”:


For example to specify a new stylesheet for the site, it would be:


For a category with id 2:


And for an author with id 4:


For the banner and background images for category with id 4 you would have:

mybanner-cat4.jpg and mybg-cat4.jpg

And to change the icon for the entire site you can use:


Because I’m such a nice person, I’ve include a selection of alternative banners and background images which you can just rename to use. They are called tdo-banner-alt-"name".jpg and tdo-bg-alt-"name".jpg.

If I do any updates to this theme, you won’t have to modify your files, just overwrite the update theme files.

Extra Bits

Hmm. Well you have a “Logged In as ‘username'” in the header with quick links to register, login and logout. Additionally, the category path is printed here too.

On the main page, you’ll see that automagically on the right side, an extract from the latest post from each major category is shown. Additionally, the last five comments are listed too.

If you go a author’s archive you’ll see some details are displayed about the author (including the profile). If you’re logged in, you’ll see their full details including email. By default in WP you can’t really display this information without additional code.

The “path” is displayed at the top. The path is the category path and post. For posts that belong to more than one category, the first category found is used.

Hope you like it and if you do, you can drop me a line on my website. I’m not really vain, but I would appreciate it if you left the “Theme design by Mark Cunningham” in the footer (though you could rename it to “Original Theme desiged by Mark Cunningham”, that’d be okay). :)


10 February 2006: Version 1.3

* Fixed custom category stylesheet, banner and bg. It was broken by WP 2.0 but I hadn’t noticed. It’s possible that some of the other features are broken.

4 January 2006: Version 1.2

* Updated to WordPress 2.0
* Added screenshot

17 May 2005: Version 1.1

Some general fixes and updates.

* Comments and trackbacks were not displayed correctly. This is fixed.
* The banner image scrolled weirdly. This is now fixed.
* If a post had no title, the browse arrows and the link in the ‘latest’ column would not work. This is now fixed.
* The entry ‘path’ links work correctly for pages now.
* Updated to be compatible with WordPress 1.5.1

2 March 2005: Version 1.0

First version

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