Dilectio: A Smashing WordPress Theme


Update (22.12.2007): the theme had some comment errors; Elena has just fixed them. Please download the new version, you’ll find the links below.

Over the last year Elena Gafita, the creative mind behind Design Disease team, has designed a number of free WordPress themes1, as the Smashing WordPress Theme2 we released as a present for our readers during our One-Year-Anniversary in September’07. Afterwards we’ve contacted Elena and asked if it’s possible to design another WordPress theme for our readers. Elena agreed.

After we’ve discussed the details of the design and the main aims we wanted to achieve, Elena started to do her magic. The result is a fresh, clean, user-friendly and playful WordPress theme “Dilectio” — a smashing Christmas present for Smashing Magazine readers. In the following, Elena describes how the design was created and what the theme has to offer.

Please notice that all images are clickable and lead to the demo-version of the theme. You’ll find the preview- and download-links in the end of the article. There you’ll also find a bonus present for our Smashing readers.

Dilectio: A Smashing WordPress Theme

Dilectio WordPress Theme3
Dilectio WordPress Theme: an overview

This new theme was a quite different challenge for me, because the guys from Smashing Magazine asked something and I quote “simple, beautiful and user-friendly”. I don’t know whether I succeeded in meeting these requirements or not, but what you have in front of you is what came out of it.

Dilectio comes from the Latin Language and it means “love, solicitude, esteem”. It’s a rather atmospheric theme and to achieve this effect I started my scratch from with something that might be identified with this kind of feeling. The element I am talking about is the rounded shape that is repeating randomly, creating a beautiful and original rhythm. I’ve created “About this Blog” area just to give this identifiable element that a site needs, an area that many will remember.

Dilectio WordPress Theme4
Main content area and horizontal navigation.

Dilectio WordPress Theme5
Unordered bullets, headers and comments in the content area.

Dilectio WordPress Theme6
The comment area.

Being a designer, it’s not very common to me to write too much; it’s better to present what this theme offers and how one can use it.

Main Features

  • 3 Column Theme
  • Widget-ready – two sidebars (both sidebars are supporting widgets, but I recommend to use the second one from the right margin.
  • The data of the section “About this blog” is stored in the file about-blog.php, which is located into the main theme directory (see the screenshot below).
  • The theme is using 5 plugins; 4 of them are integrated into functions.php, so there is no need to install them. These plugins are WP-PageNavi7, Recent Posts8, Recent Comments9, Gravatar10 and FlickrRSS11. You can use the last one to present your Flickr images in a Flickr Photostream (see the screenshot below).

Dilectio WordPress Theme12
“About this blog”-section includes an Intro, search, links to RSS-feeds.

Dilectio WordPress Theme13
This is how Flickr Photostream may look like.

Support queries are only answered on my blog and not in this release post. Please don’t e-mail me or contact with support requests.

Preview and Download

The Dilectio Theme is released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License17. This means that you may use it for your personal and commercial projects and you may also make any changes — just don’t remove the credits in your footer. ;-)

A Happy New Year to everyone!

Elena — Design Disease18

Bonus: Dilectio Wallpaper

[Editors:] Elena has also designed a wallpaper dedicated to the Dilectio theme. We’re genuinely happy to offer a Smashing Dilectio Wallpaper19 for our readers as bonus of the WordPress theme. You can also download the wallpaper (see the rescaled version below) in a .zip-package20 (0.1 Mb).

Click to get the wallpaper21
Dilectio WordPress Theme: Wallpaper, .png, 1024×768, 96 KB

Thank you for your work, Elena.

Smashing holidays, folks!


  1. 1 http://wp-themes.designdisease.com/free-wordpress-themes/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/09/07/smashing-freefont-and-wordpress-theme
  3. 3 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  4. 4 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  5. 5 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  6. 6 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  7. 7 http://lesterchan.net/wordpress/readme/wp-pagenavi.html
  8. 8 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/recent-posts/
  9. 9 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/recent-comments/
  10. 10 http://site.gravatar.com/site/implement#section_2_2
  11. 11 http://eightface.com/wordpress/flickrrss/
  12. 12 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  13. 13 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  14. 14 http://wp-themes.designdisease.com/2007/12/21/dilectio-wordpress-theme/
  15. 15 http://www.wp-themes.designdisease.com/testrun/?theme=dilectio
  16. 16 http://wp-themes.designdisease.com/download-manager.php?id=6
  17. 17 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
  18. 18 http://designdisease.com/
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/dilectio/dilectio-wallpaper.jpg
  20. 20 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/pdfs/dilectio-wallpaper.zip
  21. 21 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/dilectio/dilectio-wallpaper.jpg

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  1. 1

    Thanks for the Theme! I really like it!

    I`ve found a (little) Bug and fixed it and here is my (little) present to all who have the same problem!
    The Message: “Call to undefined function: is_wpuser_comment()” can be fixed by replacing a code-snippet in the comments.php.

    It worked fine for now by replacing
    ” to

  2. 52

    Sorry for the last Post!
    I didn`t saw that HTML is not allowed. So here is my second try:

    It worked fine for now by replacing the class-attribute in the li-Tag!
    Just replace the PHP-Code of the class-attribute with Comments (class=Comments)!

    Hope this was helpful!

  3. 103

    I agree, it’s beautiful but try increase the text size, some parts of the design will break.
    I believe in functionality not only in beauty. Design must be flexible. We are not tacking about print here where you have fixed units, on the web units can change, a good design must resist to small changes like increasing the text size.

  4. 154

    Very very cool template , Look very nice

  5. 205

    Can someone help me?

    I haven’t got the slightest idea how to change my wordpress theme to this.


  6. 256

    Awesome Theme! Thank you, SM and ELENA these are a great gift for this holiday. Happy Holidays everybody!

  7. 307

    Nice looking theme…. but it did not work at all…. kept getting php errors… couldnt even run admin section cuz it ruined everything had to log in through ftp to get rid of the damn thing.

    i would expect a big blog like this to make sure a theme works before it gives it out

  8. 358

    i will use this theme.. very nice

  9. 409

    I get WHITE blank screen when I tried to use this theme? Any idea?

  10. 460

    Theme looks very good!

    there is a tiny horizontal scroll for 1024px screen resolution. It is a bug I assume.

    other than that, looking great!


  11. 511

    Thank you for the early Christmas present. You can vote for Dilectio as your favorite theme on wpthemez.

  12. 562

    I already used it on my site and I translated it into German. So if anyone is interested… feel free to contact me.

    @ Elena: Could you make the PSD-Files available so that I can change the “Search”-image to present the word “search” in German?

    Another bug: In the search-form there should be written something, but there isn’t!

  13. 613

    very nice theme. just it seems that it’s been designed for screen with higher resolution than 1024 pixels.
    Anyway, Merry Christmas guys.

  14. 664

    It`s nice, but not that nice to be worth this post on smashing magazine. This theme is for 2-3 weeks only, after that is boring :)

  15. 715

    Nice theme. :) Cheers! Happy holidays everyone!

  16. 766

    This is my first post ! Thanks for this amazing worpress theme.

    View my website with dilectio theme here

  17. 817

    Congratulations for this amazing year, and thanks for all your excellent work, this is my day-to-day-first-visit site!
    My best wishes for all the team behind Smashing!

  18. 868

    Very nice theme the ornaments design is really looking very nice.

  19. 919

    someone port this to blogger, please!

  20. 970

    Love it! It’s obvious that a lot of time and thought went into this design. I looks like every detail was thoroughly pondered. The trebuchet font has become popular and I love the way it makes sites look stylized! Beautiful! I can’t wait to use it on one of my sites.

  21. 1021

    Really Cool =)

  22. 1072

    I’ve ported it for Jogger and use it as my theme. Totally awesome.

  23. 1123

    Hi there,
    I got this error “Fatal error: Cannot redeclare wp_pagenavi() (previously declared in /home/khaiicom/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pagenavi/pagenavi.php:58) in /home/khaiicom/public_html/wp-content/themes/dilectio/functions.php on line 59″

    when using few plugins(pagenavi , gavatar and recent comment ) in this theme.Others theme seem fine with those plugins.

    dload latest ver of the theme and plugins, wordpress using 2.3.2
    thanks in advance

  24. 1174

    got it! (check my site eheh)

  25. 1225

    Beatiful theme, very nice… i append this link to my webDesign blog.

  26. 1276
  27. 1327

    Hi. My search form on http://coolgift-seeker.com/ is not working. Could anybody help me please?

  28. 1378

    i started to use this theme. it is very nice

  29. 1429

    It’s nice, but such a wide theme that has such a narrow area for content is a bit of a waste in my eyes. Great graphics though.

  30. 1480

    Search Results Problem:

    I have a problem similar to Gift Seeker. When I enter a word in the Search box and the search page shows up, when you click on page 2 or 3 or 4, it sends you back to an Index page. You do not get the second, third or fourth page with search results.

    Try it. Go to http://www.rosecantine.com and type in the word: apple.

  31. 1531

    nice! downloading!

  32. 1582

    The theme is wonderful, thank you for such a great work. I will use it on of my future projects.

  33. 1633

    I get an error when I select the theme:

    there is nothing to see – only white sites in my blog and also in the admin interface. I must delete the theme from my webspace, then I can select another one…

    I have the same problem with the smashing theme… :-(

    What can I do?

  34. 1684

    Thank you it is incredible and perfecto!

  35. 1735

    Excelent Theme, I’ll Try it but i will change background coz it’s looking “kampungan”. Thanks

  36. 1786

    I tired to use this theme but it messed up my feeds…said there was an extra space somewhere but I could not find it.
    When using this theme my feeds were unavaibale, switched to another theme and they were back online. Strange and lame because I really like this theme.

  37. 1837

    maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems to me that the site blogday.org was the inspiration for this theme

  38. 1888

    for the search pagination to work the search form must use GET method. :D

  39. 1939

    i love this theme and i am using an customised version of it.

  40. 1990

    You can try to adjust following settings in wp-contentthemesdilectiostyle.css:

    #bgcontainer – width: 999px
    .Header – width: 999px
    .CON – width: 969px
    .Footer – width: 969px

    I quickly tried that on slightly modified theme at http://www.shoethatfits.com, but can’t guarantee that it will not mess up alignment of various elements someplace else.


  41. 2041

    It’s the greast theme that I’ve used and I like it very much.Thank you for your great work!

  42. 2092

    It’s all about making the right modifications to the default theme. I’m using it for Mode Du Jour, and I’m perfectly happy with it.

  43. 2143

    thanks for your subject guys it is v

  44. 2194

    To anyone that wants to fix the horizontal bottom scroll bar issue:

    Open styles.css, change the width for .Header and .Footer to 975px.

  45. 2245

    nice theme…..

  46. 2296

    Can anyone please tell me how to make this switch to my old theme when accessed through Internet Explorer 6?
    Thanks :)

  47. 2347

    very beautiful!
    usarei ele no meu site!

  48. 2398

    This will be just perfect for my scrapbooking blog. Beautiful, gorgeous, lovely!

  49. 2449

    Hello, thanx for great theme.

    There is small bug: there is no pagination appears after pressing any tag. It lists only 10 (or defined number) of related posts even if there are much more posts fot this tag.

    For example http://hinkal.ru/tag/dagestan/
    There are 24 posts for tag “daghestan” at the moment but shows only 10 of them. Is there any idea how to fix this?

    Thanks a lot.

  50. 2500

    And this theme is NOT xhtml valid ;)


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