Since the launch of Perishable Press way back in 2005, I’ve been working on a series of “alphabet themes”, where each new WordPress theme design is named with a different letter of the alphabet. This began in 2005 with the first alphabet theme, “A” for Apathy. Several months later, the next theme design was “B” for Bananaz. Then “C” for Casket, and so on and so forth.
An entire set of 26 WordPress themes, one for each letter of the alphabet, “A” through “Z”.
Up until around the “V” theme, I used a theme-switch plugin to enable visitors to choose from any of the alphabet themes via dropdown menu. It was fun while it lasted, but honestly trying to maintain 20+ themes and keeping them current with all the changes in WordPress over the years.. well it just got to be too much. So while I continue working on the alphabet theme series, I had to remove the theme-switch functionality. For sanity’s sake.
Yes I know it’s all just so silly. But at my age, pretty much everything is silly. Besides, I started the alphabet themes thing just on a whim, after designing the first several themes: the names happened to begin with A, B, C, so I rolled with it and named the next theme “D” for DOS_FX. Fast-forward 10+ years, and I’ve nearly made it all the way to letter “Z”. After that, I’ll do all of the numbers.
If you landed on this page from somewhere promising the thrill of “switching themes”, I’ve got bad news for you. I disabled theme switching several years ago. Back when switching was enabled, people could visit this page and select from any of the alphabet themes to customize the look and feel of the site. It was fun while it lasted, but the complexity of maintaining and updating 20+ simultaneous themes was just too much going forward. So now this post is just a glorified list of all the alphabet themes used here at Perishable Press.
Alphabet Theme Collection
- Apathy is a three-column newspaper-style theme. This is one of my oldest, least-used themes. It presents a lot of information right up front, which almost seems silly now. As far as I know, this is one of the first themes to employ a fully functional triple loop. Screenshot 1 2 »
- Bananaz is a traditional, two-column, fixed-width theme with all the trimmings. The original version of this theme was created in 2005, back when I was really digging into CSS and XHTML. I like the overall appearance of this theme, but the colors are a bit much. Screenshot »
- Casket is a traditional, fixed-width, two-column theme with a post-modern “gothic” feel. This is one of my favorite themes, designed way back in 2005. Includes lots of nice features, including live comment preview and external link indication. Screenshot »
- Produced on a whim, DOS_FX was inspired by the formatting and presentation of the DOS command prompt. DOS-FX is a fluid-width, two-column theme set in the legendary “Terminal” font. Simple, robust, and retro “cool”. Must see to believe. Screenshot »
- Entropy is simply the DOS_FX theme with an inverted color scheme. Instead of light text on dark background, Entropy features dark text on light background. Just as cool as DOS_FX, but easy on the eyes. Screenshot »
- Finished is a fixed-width, two-column theme with fresh skeleton graphics and minimalist text styles. Maroon on white is one of my favorite blog color schemes, and the Finished theme throws ’em down with style. Features ultra-deluxe sidebar action. Screenshot »
- The Garbage theme began as an old B2Evolution theme before I had discovered the joys of working with WordPress. I have always like the cluttered look of this theme, even if it would never work in the “real world”. The struggle is real, folks. Screenshot »
- Headline is a fixed-width version of the Apathy “newspaper” theme. Over the past few upgrades, Headline has evolved into a solid little theme, even if it looks a bit “old-school”. Lots of juicy embellishments permeate this stylish, triple-loop theme. Screenshot »
- After nine previous stabs at a theme I could live with, I finally designed something halfway decent. The Jupiter! theme will be recognizable to many you, as it reflects the look and feel of Perishable Press from the not-too-distant past. The first theme to feature the official Perishable Press sun logo, Jupiter! is a fixed width, pseudo-two-column theme with toggling meta information for each post. Live comment preview, link indication, Flash titles, and comment quicktags help to round out the overall functionality of this classic theme. Screenshot »
- Another attempt at something different, the Killer theme is more of a study of XHTML markup and floated divs than anything else. Under the hood, this theme is doing things that CSS newbies would not understand. Overall I still enjoy the concept of what I was trying to achieve, but it ended up feeling awkward and “forced”. An interesting chapter in theme development, if nothing else. Screenshot »
- Once the Jupiter! theme had been online for awhile, traffic began to increase, and people were providing all sorts of useful feedback. Inspired, I decided to rework and refine Jupiter! into the much improved Lithium theme. In the process, I eliminated redundancy, streamlined code, and consolidated styles. I also enhanced the appearance of the text, making it cleaner and easier to read. Screenshot »
- The minimalist theme is a sparse, flex-width, two-column theme with a nice, quiet appearance. The minimalist theme utilizes two special menu pages to help streamline links, organize content, and reduce clutter. Other features include comments appearing directly adjacent to posts and an “invisible” search box that I thought was way too cool for it’s own good. Even today, minimalist remains my most popular theme, as measured in sheer number of downloads. Screenshot »
- Designed exclusively for CSS Naked Day, the Naked theme features succinct, XHTML-1.1 markup, ultra-optimized PHP code, and plenty of sweet, behind-the-scenes WordPress functionality. Virtually CSS-free (featuring only a pinch of style for my contact form), the Naked theme may not be the prettiest WordPress theme around, but it happens to be ideal for low-bandwidth users, mobile devices, and anyone who desires a lightning-fast browsing experience. Screenshot »
- Once traffic really began to pick up, I began work on another evolution of the Jupiter!/Lithium theme. Since the release of Lithium, my WordPress development skills had improved significantly, and I was determined to create something representative of my current level of understanding. And so several weeks later, I unveiled the Optimized theme. Similar in appearance to its predecessor, Optimized features better code, faster loading times, and greater functionality. Lots to love about this theme, but alas no screenshot currently available.
- Replacing the Optimized theme toward the end of 2007, the Perishable theme is designed with a serious passion for minimalism and productivity. Of all my themes, I have found this one to be the most inspiring for writing and creating content. It gives me a sense of seriousness, speed, and accuracy that is very rewarding. Screenshot »
- Replacing the Perishable theme in October of 2008, Quintessential is my finest design effort to date. Features include original artwork, translucent backgrounds, triple content-panel sliders, smooth scrolling to internal link targets, imported Twitter and Tumblr feeds, and crowdsourced cross-browser testing. Screenshot »
- Replacing the Quintessential theme in January of 2009, Requiem is a return to minimalism with a strong focus on usability. Features include simplified UI, streamlined archives, toggling metadata, and mega footer. Links kept pure with classic blue underline. Screenshot »
- The Serious theme replaced the Requiem/Quintessential themes on November 30th, 2009. This theme keeps the focus on content via streamlined UI. Features include enhanced code display, Ajax recent posts, and imported photo feed. An actual screenshot of the Serious theme currently is not available. Until I can find a decent screenshot, here is a rough sketch to give you a basic idea of how it looked.
- Tether replaced the Serious theme on February 6th, 2011. Built with HTML5 and liberal doses of CSS3, the Tether theme is the first theme designed for multiple WordPress installations. Designed with readability in mind, Tether was built with DigWP’s Quantify theme. Screenshot »
- The Unicorner theme replaced the Tether theme on March 7th, 2012. A virtual rainbow overdose, Unicorner is super playful and fun. It’s the first alphabet theme to be fully responsive. Also voted most hated alphabet theme, it was quickly replaced by the Volume theme. Basically Unicorner is the result of unbridled creativity mixed with too much coffee. Not many people saw this theme live on the site. Screenshot »
- The Volume theme replaced Unicorner on April 8th, 2012. Built with HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, the Volume theme brings lightweight, responsive design and streamlined, minimal interface focused on better usability. Keywords: details, energy, organic, no hacks. Screenshot »
- The Wire theme replaced Volume on August 15th, 2013. Free of the baggage and entanglements of the previous 22 themes, Wire serves as a breath of fresh air, with its minimal responsive design and streamlined code under the hood. As with previous themes, Wire is focused on performance, security, and usability. Screenshot »
- Inspired by the Perishable theme, the X theme is minimalist with a retro feel. It features user-customizable layout options, light/dark theme switching, and snazzy mega popup menu. The X theme also is aimed at optimal performance, with most peripheral data loaded on-demand via Ajax. Screenshot 1 2 3 4 »
- You are here. This is the site’s current theme. The Yes theme strives for optimal balance between performance and aesthetics, using the least amount of code possible to achieve the best possible user experience. You can learn more and check out screenshots on the Yes theme launch post.