Pho: A Free Minimalist, Masonry WordPress Theme

The folks at ThematoSoup are in the habit of naming their theme releases for delicious soup dishes. The team, comprised of WordPress plugin and theme developers Slobodan Manic and Dragan Nikolic, is dedicated to creating minimalist-inspired WordPress products.

“We eat, sleep and breathe WordPress and digital clutter gives us nightmares,” the duo expressed on their about page. The design of Pho, their latest theme, embodies this sentiment and follows in the minimalist tradition with emphasis on the content.

The theme was designed to be fast, lean, and easily customized. It showcases images on the homepage with a slider that features content based on a tag that you specify.

pho

Below the slider you can customize the homepage display using the various page templates. The masonry aspect of the design is completely optional, as you can select between masonry (with or without sidebar) or standard (with or without sidebar).

pho-homepage

Pho includes three menus: an understated, simple primary navigation, footer menu, and one at the top for social links. It supports both sidebar and footer widget areas.

All of the theme options can be found in the native customizer, including an option to upload a logo to replace the site title. You can also change the site’s primary color, archives layout, and choose from a few pre-selected fonts for the body and headings. The customizer also allows you to set the theme’s background image/color, and specify the featured content tag.

After testing Pho in my development environment, I found that with a few tweaks in the customizer, you can have your site looking just like the demo in a matter of minutes. Since the options are all in the same place, there’s nothing confusing about customizing Pho to suit your preferences.

The featured content area on the homepage will require the use of some larger sized images in order to truly shine. Pho is retina-ready and will respond nicely to various devices from desktop to mobile.

The theme’s developers did not neglect comments and have styled threaded comments up to four levels deep. Pho also includes support for paginated comments and styles for images, videos, and author comments.

The theme includes built-in support for Theme Hook Alliance, a community-driven project that offers third-party action hooks to theme developers to implement for more flexibility.

Check out a live demo to see it in action and test how elegantly it responds to various screen sizes. If you want to update your blog or website with a new minimalist design, download Pho for free from WordPress.org or add it via your admin themes browser.

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4 Comments


  1. Hey Sarah! Glad you liked Pho and thanks for doing this review. I really hope more theme developers will start using THA hooks in their themes, as that would (hopefully) lead to standardized hooks accross the WordPress ecosystem.

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    1. THA hooks look pretty interesting to me, I’ll give them a try in on the next theme I’m going to build.

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  2. It’s nice, but I would like to see some sort of preloader in place so that on initial page load each article isn’t full width, and once fully loaded then masonry is initialized.

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