The story behind the design of the Ryu theme

I recently wrote a story behind the design of the Ryu theme on ThemeShaper. Check it out.

Behind the Design of The Ryu Theme

WordPress theme for personal bloggers — Ryu is now available on WordPress

The theme this blog uses, “Ryu” is now available on WordPress. Yes, you guessed right. It’s named after the main character of the classic game :) If you know why the character was named Ryu, you will understand why I named this theme Ryu too :)

I’ve created this free theme specifically for the Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter generation of personal bloggers.


Demo site →

What I mean by “Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter generation of personal bloggers” is bloggers who don’t necessarily spend long time writing long articles but often post more shorter ones or just images, videos, links, and so on. As you can see in this blog and the demo site, each post format has own style but the image format has a notable characteristic.

Do you remember the classic theme called Duotone? One of my teammates, Matías Ventura created Tonesque, a fantastic plugin inspired by Duotone. Tonesque lets us grab the average color of an image. Ryu uses it as an instrument to automatically change the background color of each post with image post format.

Image formatted post example

Other main features of the theme are the following:

  • Post formats: Standard, Video, Image, Gallery, Aside, Link, and Quote.
  • Wide width layout. The maximum width is 1272px wide so that you can show off your beautiful images in big size.
  • Site owner’s Gravatar in the header. You’ve set your Gravatar, right?
  • Grand typography.
  • No sidebar. Yes, this is a feature. Let readers to concentrate on the content! For the generation of personal bloggers, the traditional sense of sidebar is often less important and we often just ignore whatever is in a sidebar anyway.
  • Four optional widget areas in the top panel.
  • Social link badges to your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, GitHub, Dribbble, Tumblr, YouTube, and Vimeo.
  • No menu or a custom menu. A blog should have a menu only if it needs one. Ryu doesn’t display a menu as a default to keep it as simple as possible. Of course, if your blog needs a menu you can easily set up a Custom Menu.
  • Support for flexible height Custom Header, a Custom Background.
  • And of course it’s responsive. It looks and works great on smaller screens, such as the iPad and iPhone too.

Check out more info about Ryu on the theme showcase page and the announcement post on WordPress News.

Don’t worry, self-hosted users :) Ryu is going to be also available on for you soon now available in Extend.