In our Early Theme Adopters series, we focus on bloggers creating great sites with recent additions to the Theme Showcase. Today, let’s visit a few sites using Kelly, a personal blogging theme with numerous customization options.
Early Theme Adopters: Kelly
Kelly, which was designed by Automattic’s own Kelly Hoffman, is an inviting, fun theme for bloggers of all stripes. Its clean, one-column layout makes it perfect for text-heavy posts, but can be just as ideal for a tumblelog-like stream of images.
With bold featured images, the ability to customize the header and the background, and three widget areas in the site’s footer, you can make it your own with just a few quick tweaks. Here are some examples of the theme’s versatility.
Curated Style, a Toronto-centered fashion blog, makes great use of Kelly‘s out-of-the-box look. The theme’s cursive font in the header injects a stylish playfulness, while the generous white space in the posts makes the images of Toronto’s fashion scene stand out.
The blogger behind Curated Style effortlessly added a few personal touches, like a patterned custom header image, a splash of bright pink in the custom background, and an easy-to-navigate custom menu.
Created by a photoblogger based in the Southeast (of the US), The Lens Less Traveled shows how radically different Kelly can look with just a few small changes.
The site uses a more neutral palette than the theme’s trademark bright greens and pinks, as well as a serif custom font instead of the default cursive. The focus is squarely on the gorgeous photography, like the picture above, taken in a state park in Georgia. The splashy featured image in each post creates a particularly striking effect, drawing viewers in and enticing them to explore more.
Taking Kelly in a very different direction than its default design, Italian software developer and entrepreneur Lorenzo Setale recognized the theme’s inherent strengths, and used them to create a tailor-made look for his site.
The dark background and sans serif font join forces to become a modern, clean canvas for Lorenzo’s thoughts, while the theme’s original focus on readability and balance stay as effective as ever.
Have you customized Kelly as well? Is there another theme you’d like to see featured in this series? We’d love to hear your input!
Hi Ben, thanks so much for the kind words about my blog, Curated Style! I appreciate the kinds words and promotion.The Kelly theme is lovely although I noticed the formatting changes depending on the screen/browser (ie. pictures and texts won’t always look centered). Not sure if I’m going to stay with Kelly, but it is lovely and I like the simplicity.
Thanks for the insight, Ben. Absolutely stunning what you can do with wordpress nowadays. It’s come a long way from where it was when I first started using the original WordPress templates 4 years ago. I never thought it would take off as big as it has. I remember at the time debating whether to go with a WordPress-based website or another blog site foundation (can’t remember who), but went with and learned everything WordPress. Now it’s just unbelievable what you can do with WordPress, especially via plugins. Practically anything, from shopping carts to SEO to original custom forms can be done with plugins whereas 4 years ago, while everything worked fine, WordPress was much more limited. One thing you should consider featuring the Genesis platform. I’m currently using this for my website paintingscollection.com – and the results are as good as it gets, I’m my humble opinion.
I wish that when you highlight themes that you would state, up front, whether they are free or not. Thanks.
Thank you. I’m using a free theme and want to keep it free (for now). I’ve switched it so many times, I’m dizzy. 🙂 This one seems to have some nice features, though I do also like the Syntax theme, Twenty-ten and have tried, Oxygen.
Just call me confusion. The more I try, the more, “I” confuse “me”. Appreciate all your help!
I actually have Kelly as my theme as well: quite literally out of the box. I haven’t even customized the header yet. It’s a good-lookingt theme, especially on mobile.
I really stressed trying to pick a theme when I decided to start a blog. I found this and fell in love. I didn’t even change the colors. It was like you lovely folks at WordPress read my mind and created it just for me! 😉 Thanks. 🙂
I LOVE Kelly! I used it for my Dreamwater blog (my writing booster blog).
it would be nice if even the free themes were as attractive as those who needed to be purchased.
The Lens Less Travelled is an inspiring blog! Great use of the theme.
I use Kelly for my Website emerancega.com and I love how good it works on both Windows and Android.