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

    This is a great theme!

  2. 102

    greatest theme of all time!

  3. 203

    the flickr photostream not working..why?

  4. 304

    Nice theme! I love it!

  5. 405

    I love this theme, thank you!

  6. 506

    how to configure post replay for this themes.

  7. 607

    Oh… I got it! Here’s how you enable the flickr goodness in the sidebar: download the flickrRSS plugin, install and activate it (duh!), then go to its setup page. There’s a section called HTML Wrapper. Put (line item) in the before field and (close line item) in the after. Save. Reload the blog. Rejoice!

  8. 708

    Is this theme compatible with WP 2.7?

  9. 809

    At first testing it’s compatible with WP 2.7.

    Only threaded comments are not supported. And the comments are based on the gravatars2 plugin instead of the new native gravatar functions.

  10. 910

    Do not order from Design Disease!!! – they owe me projects for months and they simply do not communicate, or refund payment or nothing at all. Buyer beware!! Now, going to report them to Better Business Bureau and other sites….

  11. 1011

    404 not found

    Guess the theme is dead :(

  12. 1112

    it looks very nice, thanks.

  13. 1213

    The link in the post doesn’t work, but it looks like you can find the theme under:


  14. 1314

    Beautiful theme.. The only part that really bugs me is the way the 2 tabs (recent comments, recent articles) work. In IE, it jumps to the top of the page by clicking either. If your ‘About’ section is long at all (as mine is), it completely takes the reader away from where they were reading. Many people will lose interest and leave your page if they have to scroll back down and search for where they were!

  15. 1415

    I haven’t been able to download, perhaps the link not working? Any other link available please?

  16. 1516

    Love this theme, but after installing there are problems with pictures embeded, text always wraps no matter how many spaces, breaks, etc. are coded in the post. And, it does not work well AT ALL with IE. Does not even line up correctly! Sorry I spent so much time with it.

  17. 1617

    Excellent theme, I have been using dilectio for 2 years.Amazing :)

  18. 1718

    i like it but it couldnt work for buddypress subblogs with buddypress admin bar…

  19. 1819

    link not working…any mirrors?

  20. 1920

    This is just the kind of detail I was searching for. I wish I’d have discovered your web site earlier.

  21. 2021

    is good work

  22. 2122

    I too was impressed with the look of this theme until I found that my comments were getting all screwed up when I tried to make use of it. It looks like another plugin, “Official Comments” by Brett Taylor is also in use here. Bretts “I

  23. 2223

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