Apricot is a text-heavy and graphic-light, widget- and tag-supporting minimalist WordPress theme built on a Kubrick foundation. Apricot validates as XHTML 1.0 Strict and uses valid CSS. It natively supports the excellent Other Posts From Cat and the_excerpt Reloaded plugins, should you want to install them.
WordPress version 2.3 introduces native support for ‘tags’, a method of organizing posts according to key words. Apricot has been updated to use this native tag system. The tag cloud will appear in the sidebar and the tags for each post appear above the meta data.
I used Apricot on this site for over a year, making little tweaks and adjustments the whole time, so the theme is pretty thoroughly tested in a variety of different browsers and resolutions. While the markup is derived from the WordPress default theme, Kubrick, I’ve added a few modifications of my own. I’ve listed some of these changes below.
- Title tag reconfigured to display “Page Title | Site Name”
- Post title is now wrapped in H1 tags
- Metadata shows when the post was last modified (if ever)
- Added links to social bookmarking/blog indexing sites: Del.icio.us, Digg, Furl, Google Bookmarks, and Technorati
I’ve published a fix for the Sociable plugin, which I’m now using instead of hard-coded links
- If the Other Posts From Cat plugin is active, the theme will use it
- Comments by the post’s author can be styled independently
- Displays the page’s last modified date (instead of date of publication)
- Displays the full text of the latest post and an excerpt from each of the next nine most recent posts
- Native support for the_excerpt Reloaded plugin, if active
- Displays tag cloud, if tags are enabled
- If no results found, displays the site’s most recent five posts
- Displays the site’s most recent five posts
- Archive and index page titles + blog name wrapped in H1 tags
Search engine optimization
Apricot takes care of most of the on-page factors that Google values highly. It places the post’s title at the beginning of the title tag and in a H1 tag near the top of the page. It is free of extraneous markup and the navigation is easily spiderable. It generates what I think is a pretty logical site structure from the various post and category pages, though I have yet to study the effect of the new tagging system.
I’ve had a few top-ranked pages with this and other structurally similar layouts. Your mileage with the search engines may vary, but the layout uses fundamentally sound structural markup, which should give your site a good start.
Download the theme from http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/apricot or from the link below.
What if I want to use an image as a header?
Lots of people would rather use a graphic as a header, including me, but the WordPress guys insist on each theme uploaded to http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ display the blog title and tag line.
If you want to replace the blog title and tag line with an image, download this zip file and follow these instructions (also included in readme.txt).
1. Make a PNG image, name it “header.png” and upload it to the /wp-content/themes/apricot/images/ folder. It should be 800px wide by 130px tall, or less.
2. Replace the original Apricot theme’s header.php file with the header.php file from this folder.