If you’re looking for a blog design that emphasizes the words of your content without a requirement for big, flashy featured images, Reyl Lite is a super minimalist option. It is one of the most bare bones blogging themes to hit WordPress.org in recent weeks.
Throughout 2015, the single-column, centered layout has been a mainstay of WordPress theme designs that cater to active bloggers. Reyl Lite is a perfect example of this, with its homepage stripped down to post titles, excerpts, and minimal post meta. No featured images are required to make this design work.
Single posts feature a large title, colorful tags and categories, with previous/next post title navigation beneath the content.
The theme includes customizer options that allow you to select a header image, background image/color, and header text color. If you want the design that is shown in the live demo, you actually don’t have to touch any of the options.
Reyl Lite does not include any widget areas, which creates a clutter-free display. This could be a deal breaker for those who need more customization options.
CSS animations are a nice touch, but one thing the theme is lacking is a default set of strong typography selections. That attention to detail would have put Reyl Lite into a more elegant category. Without this, the content falls a little flat. Fortunately, that can be easily remedied with the addition of a Google Fonts plugin or a few modifications to a child theme.
One odd quirk of this theme is that the first break point is right at 1280×1024 screen resolution, which is where you will see the mobile view. Other than that, it responds very well to different devices.
The theme was created by the folks at Quema Labs. The company has several other free themes on WordPress.org designed in a similar style. Reyl Lite’s straightforward layout and sparing use of colored links could lend charm to content-focused blogs that don’t require support for a lot of extra fluff. You can download it for free from WordPress.org.