Wu Wei WordPress Theme

I’m offi­cial­ly announc­ing Wu Wei, a free, open-source, GPL-licensed WordPress theme I designed over the course of a few months.

I real­ly enjoy web design. The only prob­lem is that I when I’m sat­is­fied with a lay­out like this, I don’t feel the need to change it (aside from small tweaks), which means I don’t get a chance to come up with some­thing new.

So I decid­ed to cre­ate a WordPress theme for the pub­lic. That way I can con­tin­ue to flex my design mus­cles, and oth­er peo­ple can have the ben­e­fit of using it.

Wu Wei has been a labour of love. This is the theme I always want­ed to cre­ate — bold fonts, a clean look, with lots of con­trast. The dev­il is in the details, like the way every­thing aligns neat­ly to the grid.

With almost 2000 down­loads so far, there’s been some nice buzz:

Someone also sent me this e‑mail:

Hey Jeff, I love the theme. I was casu­al­ly brows­ing around for some­thing very clean and mod­ern look­ing — I saw the name “Wu Wei” and I down­loaded it imme­di­ate­ly. It turned out to be per­fect!

As a prac­tic­ing young taoist I fig­ured the name was per­fect.

Take it easy,

I love see­ing how dif­fer­ent peo­ple are using the theme, whether they’re blog­gers, come­di­ans, pho­tog­ra­phers, review­ers, or design com­pa­nies. You can check out the demo page here.

This theme is only the first of a tril­o­gy of WordPress themes I have planned, based on Taoist ideas. Wu Wei is ded­i­cat­ed to my Tai Chi teacher, Michael Babin. And since the con­cept of wu wei or “effort­less action” is impor­tant in inter­nal mar­tial arts like Tai Chi Chuan as well, I thought it was only fit­ting that he should have the hon­our of the first ded­i­ca­tion.


  1. I’m not sure that I deserve to have this ded­i­cat­ed to me; espe­cial­ly as I haven’t got a clue what “open-source, GPL-licensed WordPress theme” means. But then again, when hon­or­ing aging tech­no-dinosaurs, it is bet­ter to stick to jars of hon­ey or bot­tles of wine… those I under­stand!

    But thank you for think­ing of me and there will be an extra gen­tle punch to the nose for you at the next class.

    • Open-source, GPL-licensed WordPress theme” means that he released it com­plete­ly for free for any­one to use or mod­i­fy as they see fit, pro­vid­ed they make the mod­i­fi­ca­tions avail­able for oth­ers as well if they choose to dis­trib­ute their deriv­a­tive work.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t under­stand jars of hon­ey or bot­tles of wine. The only way I know how to express appre­ci­a­tion is through geek­i­ness!

  2. It’s real­ly nice!

    Me and a cou­ple of col­leagues are going to be pitch­ing an inter­nal blog for our group in the near future and I’ve tak­en on doing the design. Which is ridicu­lous because I know near­ly noth­ing about how to do that but out of the bunch, I’m appar­ent­ly the expert since I blog.

    I’d be tempt­ed just to use this! Although it’s sup­posed to visu­al­ly rep­re­sent us so I real­ly should be using our offi­cial colours. If I had a word­press blog for per­son­al use though, I would total­ly use it!

    • Feel free to use it. If you want some­thing cus­tomized for dif­fer­ent colours and mul­ti­ple authors though, I’m cur­rent­ly accept­ing new work. :)

      • I’m pret­ty sure I’ll be call­ing you as soon as I fig­ure out where we are host­ing this thing (intranet or not etc) SO OVER MY HEAD!

        Although I may be able to hire for this. Not sure, how much do you charge?

      • Check your e‑mail.

  3. Very nice Jeff, also appro­pri­ate­ly named.

    The theme I made for my blog is called “Tao.” I need to recode a lot of it and hope­ful­ly to dis­trib­ute it one day too.

    • I’m sure a lot of pho­tog­ra­phers would find your theme is per­fect. I don’t think I’d be able to name any of my themes Tao, some­how I feel like I would­n’t be able to do the title jus­tice. :)

  4. Hi Jeff,
    great theme. My blog was in seri­ous need of a fresh design and when I came across your theme I switched imme­di­ate­ly and did only some very minor changes. Love it.

  5. This theme is just beau­ti­ful. However, I’m hav­ing some issues with it. The Menu page won’t appear amongst the Appearance page, so I don’t know how to edit the menu :P Can any­one help me out?

  6. Hey, Jeff!

    I just set up Wu Wei as my theme this after­noon. Super stoked about the change! But still get­ting used to some things. Like the menus. In the demo, how did you add a menu that dropped you down to the bot­tom of the page? I had to incor­po­rate instruc­tions into my head­er telling peo­ple to look down, essen­tial­ly, lol. Also, I see you have a lit­tle grey blurb fur­ther describ­ing your menu tabs above the title of the menu (does that makes sense?) How did you achieve that?

    Also, I can’t get my back­ground images to appear on the page. It says it’s uploaded, but then nev­er appears. Are there some size spec­i­fi­ca­tions that I have to stick to or some­thing? I would just edit it via CSS but I can’t seem to find a place to plug in a back­ground image url.

    Not quite sure if I’m done orga­niz­ing and rear­rang­ing some things, but over­all I’m so pleased with the theme! So sim­ple and love­ly.

    Thanks for your theme and your help!

    Girlish Whimsy

  7. Where can I down­load the theme ?

  8. hey i absolute­ly love the theme, but i know noth­ing about html and have been try­ing to put up 1 sin­gle land­scape pho­to on the land­ing page, with no dates, posts, anything…just 1 pho­to, cen­tered and land­scape, please help me do this. I am so in love with this theme and would be so hap­py to fig­ure out how to fix my problem…thanks in advance :)

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