Introducing Ex Astris: A Free WordPress Child Theme For Stargazer

Last December, Jeff Chandler and I updated WP Tavern with a new design based on Theme Hybrid’s Stargazer theme. Stargazer takes a new approach to parent/child themes in that it houses the majority of both the design and functionality within the parent theme. The challenge is to make design changes in the child theme, without breaking the purpose of the parent theme.

During the process of learning more about Stargazer, I created a child theme, which has now been approved for the WordPress Themes Directory. Ex Astris was designed with bloggers in mind, since blogging is what made me fall in love with WordPress in the first place.


You can customize the theme with your own header and background, if desired, but the example shown here does not utilize a custom header. The theme supports all of the site layouts found in the Stargazer parent theme and can also render them on a per-post basis:

  • 1 Column Wide
  • 1 Column Narrow
  • 2 Columns: Content / Sidebar
  • 2 Columns: Sidebar / Content

Ex Astris is packaged with editor styles to help match the visual editor’s preview to the fonts and styles used within the theme. It supports all post formats and is translation-ready. By nature of being a child theme, it automatically includes all the features found in the Stargazer parent theme, ie. sticky posts, breadcrumbs, threaded comments, etc.

Check out a live demo of Ex Astris to see it in action.

Originally, the theme was called Intrepid, but when I submitted it to, I found that there was already a theme with that name. Sidenote: Always check before selecting a theme name if you intend to submit to the directory. Given that the directory now contains 2,366 themes, a name with two words in it is less likely to be taken.

This was my first time going through the WordPress Theme Review process and I found that it’s actually fairly quick and easy for child themes. I’ve learned quite a bit along the way, thanks to the Theme Review Team and Justin Tadlock, all of whom are passionate about helping developers create themes that adhere to WordPress best practices.

Download Ex Astris from and feel free to drop me a note on github if you find any bugs.

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