Outline WordPress Theme

Screenshot of the Outline WordPress theme

I’ve had a couple of Hybrid child themes set back for the last few months just waiting to be released. The reason for the delay is because these themes were built exclusively for use with WordPress 3.0’s new features like the new nav menu system and custom backgrounds.

Outline is the first of these child themes for release. While it may look like a simple theme, I’ve put more thought and time into this theme than any other child theme I’ve released, and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

This is a blog theme, so you won’t find any fancy sliders or 100 posts blocked off into different sections on the front page. This theme was made to be elegant and allow your content to speak for itself.


Of course, you get all the features available in the Hybrid parent theme. But, Outline comes packaged with a few extras.

  • Two menus (Primary Menu and Secondary Menu). These menus are collapsible, so if you don’t want to use either or just one of them, it’s your choice.
  • Uses the WordPress custom background feature, so you can change your site’s background from the admin.
  • Twitter integration with author post box. Blog authors can input their Twitter username (from their profile page in the admin) and have it appear in the author post box at the end of posts.
  • Typography. Every possible element has been designed specifically to make your content stand out.

Download the theme

You must be running WordPress 3.0+ and have at least version 0.8 of the Hybrid parent theme to use this theme.

I hope you enjoy this release. Please ask any support questions you have in the support forums.


  1. Really nice to see the first WP 3.0 child theme! One reason this one interests me (apart from the fact that I’m partial to outlines) is that it seems particularly appropriate for custom post types, unless I’m mistaken.
    Will be giving it a try in a minute.

    But, a minor point…
    Is it just me or do your zip files usually create their own folders? I unzipped directly in /themes and it put the archive’s content directly there instead of in a subdirectory.

  2. This is an awesome theme, however would you consider including 3.0’s header function?

  3. super duper awesome theme dude! GJ!
    the perfect theme for a personal blog.
    just awesome!

  4. ilona

    Hi Justin,

    Thank you so much for the new theme. Very crisp.

    Is there any way you could say a few words about what sort of child themes you’re planning to release in the near future? Will there be another magazine style theme like Hybrid news or more personal blog themes?

    I’m now running the hybrid framework on two out of three websites I have (3 of 4 actually, but the fourth is only a test). I will have to convert the third website to hybrid as soon as I can wrestle my deadlines down and because I don’t know what I’m doing, it takes me a bit longer than most. Right now I have a choice of Outline or Hybrid News. They’re both great themes, but the Hybrid news is a bit too complex and Outline might be a bit too simple.

    I have my fingers crossed for a 3.0 release of something similar to Old School, with the ability to feature certain posts. Is anything like that in the works?

    PS. Thank you so much for doing what you do. Hybrid made my life much easier and saved me a ridiculous amount of money and I very much appreciate your work.

    1. I’ve already got another personal blog child theme nearly ready. I’ll probably release it in early August. I do have plans for another magazine-style theme within the next couple of months though. I want to make something that takes advantage of all the 3.0 features. But, I’ll probably go in a very different direction with it than Hybrid News and Old School.

      1. ilona In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Thank you so much! Can’t wait to see it. 🙂

  5. When are you planning to release a photo-blog theme? Something with featured picture with a nice slider, nice categories a nice way to see / comment pics. Planning to release such a thing in the near future?

    1. Adam42

      If Justin has plans for something like this by all means that would be a better solution but I’ve got fragments scattered (gallery views, sliders, and photo loop widgets, etc.) about that put together would make a nice photo-blog theme. I’m in a grinding zone so might try to put something together and get it out there as a Hybrid child theme.

      Not a designer so it won’t look super duper nice but all the functionality should be there.

  6. Adam42

    This theme rocks. Switched a customized look to default outline on my blog while I work on a new custom look. Super clean & crisp.

  7. Adam42

    An added bonus of Outline: super quick load time!

    My blog used to come in just over 2 seconds, not it’s at 1.4 seconds. 🙂

  8. Gary

    Amazing theme and I love how your code is laid out! So squeaky clean. I actually cheered when I customized one of your extra page templates into one of your child themes and it worked the first time!

    However, I seem to be running into an issue with Outline. I know you have to become a member for help on customizing the theme and such but I’m having a much more basic problem that only seems to show up on WP3 with the Outline theme…

    At some point, the Menus section becomes disabled. The Add New Menu box on the right vanishes and all of the boxes on the left grey out. I’ve tried turning on and off the Hybrid Options for using WP’s own menu system but to no avail. I believe I’ve tried this with the Hybrid News and the base Hybrid theme and those work okay.

    Are you aware of this issue? I’m using a minimum of other plugins as well. Just thought you should be aware of this and if you might know of a fix.

    Thanks again for taking the time to build a beautiful framework!


  9. Gary

    One thing to note, the menu-management div is not showing. I confirmed this by loading another WP installation with completely different theme that is working and that’s the name of the div. Not sure if this helps…

    Thanks again!

  10. Top notch theme again Justin. Very easy to attack and manage. I only spent only a couple of hours yesterday (after making a plan naturally) and helped a friend/colleague putting out his official website: http://www.mikaelcosta.com.

    Good work Justin!

  11. Is there anyway to show full posts instead of a summary with the thumb on the side?
    Thanks for any info

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  13. I like how clean the design is, and how it makes your eyes focus on the images for each post. Really grabs your attention to a few selection focal points.

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