Refreshed: Grid Focus

UPDATE #2: A variant of the Grid Focus is now available for download. Feel free to visit the project page for details.

UPDATE #1: I’ve since updated. Feel free to see a preview of Gridded Focus on Flickr.

I spent some time today today making use of some new Moleskine Gridded Journals, a mechanical pencil, TextMate, MAMP, and Transmit to get Grid Focus from paper to front page finished product in about 12 hours. I’d like to take the time to thank the amazing Mr. Vinh for helping me realize a few important points – via email, and Mr. Watson for allowing me to use the helpful grid background. Make sure to check out Vinh Khoi’s Grid Computing and design.

Moleskine Gridded Journal

I decided that it was time for a refresh. For a number of months, I had successfully used and shared the October Special WordPress theme. Although the theme featured SEO optimization by Neil of Pronet Advertising, and a number of contextual advertisement placement opportunities, I was not content.

I wanted to be able to write – both shorts and longer entries. Due to the presentation of the theme, and my own anal-retentiveness, the layout demanded lengthy posts which matched or exceeded the height of the sidebar in order to look "balanced". Anyone who has or is using the theme will surely agree. The demand to write longer entries dissuaded me from updating the site on a regular basis – which explained the dry content periods.

So what was there to do? A full refresh. The creation of a layout that would be both forgiving and open to accepting shorter posts when laziness overcomes all that is blog-productive.

Grid Focus Screenshot

Inspired by content-rich grid focused sites such as the New York Times & Subtraction, the result is Grid Focus – a layout which imitates the background image used to aid in lining-up various elements.

Next on the blog house-cleaning list? The age-old question concerning time limited discussions (comments) on older posts. I’ve received a rather noticeable number of repeat comments on older posts due to some readers neglecting to take the time to read. I’ve contemplated this topic before, and find myself mulling over the idea again. I’ll follow-up the time-locked comments discussion with a realignment & refresh of older public themes and their distribution method(s).

Discuss - 82 Comments

  1. Carlos says:

    Is this available for download? Thanks,

  2. Carlos says:

    Hello Derek,

    Thanks for your prompt response,

    I am would love to use this theme for the music ministry we are developing.
    1- Is there a way to change the navigation bar on the top to use like pages etc.
    2- Also, is there a reason why comments done on pages are not showing. It shows in other themes but not on this one.



    • Derek says:

      You would need to manually change the top / bottom navigation links to reflect the title, description, and URL of the pages you wish to expose to visitors.

      The comments template is not being called on pages. You can enable comments, follow the instructions here.

  3. Carlos says:

    One more thing Derek,

    I am very new at this! How do I change the nav menu. I found the code. but I don’t want to make a mistake when adding the url
    how or where are the url so I can add it on?



  4. Carlos says:


    The only thing I have noticed now is that the page where the pages are that the comment have been enable, is not showing my pages widget! only when I go to home.
    Did I do something wrong?



  5. germaine. says:

    this is very tight in general.

  6. Great theme. Thinking about using it for an upcoming site.

  7. Sasha says:

    How do I change the title to be an image link instead of a text link?

  8. Abe Yang says:

    This theme is awesome. I used it as my base theme for my fellowship website, but I’ve reworked the design around a bit.

    Thanks so much!

  9. C05T1N says:

    Hey, I have a problem with your theme:
    On the browse by topic menu, it shows only a part of my categories.

    How can I modify it so I can see all my categories there?

  10. Where can i get the download link for the new Refreshed Grid Focus?

  11. Can anybody help me find the link to download the refreshed grid-focus? Don’t see a link anywhere.

  12. Hahaha… Thanks Derek. I did find that link earlier in the comments. Was looking for the Grid-Focus displayed in your post – the one with the darker menu bar. Cheers

  13. Pete says:

    Hey Derek. Thanks again for the cool theme!

    1. I’m trying to modify the menu to include multiple sub menus, so that there is a submenu in more than just the ‘Browse category’. You can see what I mean on this site – I have searched the world and cannot find out how. I’m pretty sure I need to add extra submenu DIVs in the navigation-strip.php.

    2. How can I change the order that categories appear in a submenu?

    Any help would be hugely appreciated!!!! Cheers. Pete

  14. Chris says:

    hi, how would I go about removing one of the sidebars to give the content more room for standard pages only (leave both bars for blog and post pages)

    no need to fully explain but any help you can give would be great, even pointing to a tutorial somewhere else on this sort of thing