Briar: A Free Minimalist WordPress Theme Based on Bootstrap

Briar is a new minimalist theme that landed in the WordPress directory last month. It’s the type of bold, non-flashy theme that puts the spotlight on content and images without trying to stuff widgets into the reading experience.

Briar was created by the folks at Slicejack, a Croatia-based development company and a brand new WordPress.org theme author. The theme uses the Bootstrap framework to provide a responsive layout for desktop, tablets, and mobile.

briar-screenshot

One of Briar’s most interesting features is the ability for users to create a full-width heading using a shortcode. The content and background image specified in the shortcode will have a parallax effect, which you can see when scrolling on single posts.

The theme’s primary menu can be toggled into view using the hamburger icon. It includes support for multi-level navigation.

multi-level-navigation

Briar also has a unique fixed footer with post meta that disappears as you scroll down the page. On mobile the post meta is pared down to just the author and post date.

briar-post

The theme supports more than a dozen customization options for colors, backgrounds, layouts, and social buttons. Its elegant layout and color selections are some of the nicest customizer controls I’ve seen in recently launched themes. The layout controls allow you to select from three different options for the home, blog, single, archive, category archive, search, 404, and default page templates. Briar includes six prepared color schemes as well as 15 different color pickers for customizing individual elements of the theme.

customizer-layouts

The theme supports an optional sidebar widget area, which will appear on the templates where you assign a layout with a sidebar. If you’re using Jetpack, you can enable the infinite scrolling module without having any conflicts.

Briar’s design provides excellent readability with contrasting fonts – Noto sans for headlines and Martel for paragraph text.

Check out the live demo at SliceJack to see the theme in action with the single-column layout.

Briar is Slicejack’s first free theme but they have another in the pipeline for approval. The theme is available on WordPress.org and is also hosted on GitHub. If you’re looking to restart your blog in 2016 with a no-frills, content-focused WordPress theme, Briar fits the bill.

8 Comments


  1. I like this kind of minimalist themes. This one looks cool too. I just don’t understand why on most of these themes I see hamburger instead of normal menu on 27′ screen. It is one extra click for user for not real reason.
    Maybe I miss some “rule of minimalist’?

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    1. I guess the idea is to hide the menu from view until the user needs it, so the header looks cleaner.

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      1. Yeah, this is a design trend, and it’s good in design theory, but terrible usability in practice. How is the user supposed to know what to click on or what content is there that he’s going to need if you’re making them jump through hoops just to find your content? “Every click is a decision,” as they say. Even on mobile, this tactic has been shown to kill a site’s conversion.

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  2. These are the themes I like. Anything with the white crisp background.
    Very good theme for a personal blog.

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  3. Hello Sarah,

    Thank you for the nice review of our theme, much appreciated! We are really proud to be featured on the WPTavern website :)

    Cheers from Croatia

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