When Theme Hybrid launched its Stargazer theme, the idea of a design-specific parent theme that would provide limitations landed in stark contrast to the super generic, all-encompassing themes that permeate the market. You’ve probably seen themes marketed as “the last WordPress theme you’ll ever need.” They kinds of themes purport to have so much flexibility that they can be suitable for any kind of website. Stargazer was launched as the exact opposite.
Justin Tadlock is aiming to restore the original design for the relationship between parent and child themes. His post on Designing in a Box further explains the philosophy behind child themes with limitations where the parent theme houses the majority of the design. The Stargazer experiment inspired a flurry of child themes. It represented a shift in how Theme Hybrid themes are built and its overwhelming success prompted Tadlock to create another.
Saga is the next parent theme in Theme Hybrid’s revolution. It was designed specifically for writers and has been stripped of anything that would distract from the content.
The theme was designed with careful attention to typography, since it focuses on the written word. The homepage and single posts display big, bold featured images. The customizer offers custom color options and a header icon option with 400+ icons to choose from. Navigation is mobile-friendly and hidden until clicked.
Saga seamlessly integrates with several of Tadlock’s free plugins for further customization, including Custom Background Extended, Grid Columns, and Custom Header Extended for per-post headers and backgrounds.
The theme is compatible with Philip Author Moore’s new Subtitles plugin, which offers an elegant and portable way to include subtitles even if you change themes.
Saga also includes beautiful support for post formats with a unique design for each format.
Check out a live demo of Saga to see the theme in action.
Build a Saga Child Theme
If you want to build a child theme for Saga, the barrier for entry is intentionally low so that new theme developers can easily get started experimenting. “Like Stargazer, you can literally build a custom child theme for Saga with just a few lines of code,” Tadlock said. Child theme authors who submit their themes to Theme Hybrid and WordPress.org will receive a free, lifetime membership to Theme Hybrid. You’ll also receive a detailed technical review from Tadlock and the WordPress Theme Review Team, which will help you refine your skills as a theme author.
Even if you’re not planning on building a child theme, Saga is beautiful without any modifications. It offers writers a unique design for sharing stories while keeping the focus on the content. If your blog needs a design refresh, you can download Saga for free from Theme Hybrid. It will also be arriving soon on WordPress.org, pending approval.
Thanks for the review, Sarah. Sami Keijonen just released his Vaaka child theme, and Thiago Senna already has a child theme nearly ready to go. One of the things that’s so fun about doing themes this way is that it allows really talented designers like these guys to come up with unique designs without having to do all of the technical work. I’m excited to see everyone’s child themes.