Radcliffe: A Free Image-Heavy WordPress Theme for Writers

Designer and developer Anders Norén has been making a name for himself with his beautifully minimalist WordPress themes. Norén strives for simplicity on the page and in his code, and his five free themes collectively have nearly 130,000 downloads on WordPress.org.

Radcliffe is the newest of his creations, designed specifically for writers. Ordinarily, themes for writers tend to focus primarily on the typography, but Radcliffe is different in that Norén places images front and center.


The theme showcases full-screen featured images along with your writing. Radcliffe is responsive with retina-ready assets, which means that it will respond nicely to devices large and small.

Single posts feature beautiful typography along with a full width header image, making your writing easy to read without distractions.


Check out a live demo of the theme along with Norén’s other themes and his current works in progress on his website.

Radcliffe customization options include support for uploading your own logo, changing the accent color, and three widget areas in the footer. All of the options are built into WordPress’ native customizer.

Radcliffe is a unique writer-focused theme in that it presents images as an equal part alongside the text-based content. It could also easily be used as a photoblog or a photo-heavy personal blog. You can download Radcliffe for free from WordPress.org or install it directly within your admin theme browser.

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  1. Absolutely stunning.
    The typography is still very good and the images on the demo site are an inspiration to us all.

    Thanks for sharing Sarah.


  2. I find the choice of theme name a bit too “coincidental” as it seems to be heavily inspired by the photographer Trey Ratcliff (http://www.stuckincustoms.com/trey-ratcliff).
    If that indeed is the case, then I don’t understand why there are no references to the latter and if it is not, then I don’t understand why the name is not further explained as I am sure I am not the only one “making the connection”.

    Second is that there are no credits for the images used and although that is not required by law under the CC0 license, if you’re releasing a GPL theme, I think (personal opinion) that you might as well add a line that the images are not yours and that you found them on unsplash.com…


    1. As it happens, the theme name is not inspired by Trey Ratcliff (I haven’t even heard of him before). The name of the theme is not in reference to any person in particular.

      Thanks for the feature, Sarah! I’m really looking forward to see what people do with Radcliffe.


  3. beautiful theme. I am having trouble getting the preview pictures to show up with the blog titles. Please help!


  4. This is a great looking theme. I like the typography, the block quote elements and how the post meta information is laid out. I’d still like to know where people get gigantic, bazillion pixel images to use in posts.


    1. I’ve been using unsplash.com for my blog – tons of huge pretty pictures, way better than standard stock photography.


    2. Unsplash
      Mazwai (videos)
      Titania Foto
      Last…. CC stuff on Flickr :D


  5. Well if you are looking for just making your site beautiful and doesn’t care about SEO and all you can go for any theme made by anders…..But his theme sucks in SEO….Just try richsnippets on any of his theme and you will find out that he doesn’t care about SEO …I was really looking forward to use his theme for my website but when i saw poorly structured code on richsnippets i was so surprised that he didn’t took care of Seo,not even a tiny bit.


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