NOTE: The Kiwi WordPress Theme is no longer supported by its developer nor available.
After a month and half of extreme hard work, a new WordPress Theme, Kiwi makes an attempt to “break the mold” in WordPress Theme development. Kiwi is more than a WordPress Theme, it is also a Plugin that allows for detailed customization of the Theme.
Kiwi tries to focus on aesthetics and usability simultaneously, with the goal of developing a layout style that differed from the norm. The function of the Kiwi home page layout is to highlight the most recent post and give quick links to other recent and popular posts. The main page was not designed to contain the body of posts, rather to act as a clearinghouse for information the user is most likely looking for.
Since Kiwi is about quick looks on the front page, it uses the_excerpt() for the post descriptions. If you haven’t built your site around using the excerpt, WordPress should take over and use the first part of your post contents, but the results may not be as pretty (not sure, I haven’t tried).
The Kiwi layout has three main zones.
* The First Post, which could also be used as a header image, is at the top. This is the top 1/3 of the page.
* The Body, where you see two columns of recent posts on the main page, the content body on this page. This is basically the second 1/3 of the page.
* The Extras, where you find recent titles, elsewhere links, and comments. This is the last 1/3 of the page.
You can use the Kiwi preference panel to edit some of the content and the number of posts contained within these three zones. Alternatively, you can edit the PHP source to suit your needs.
- Customizable Header Art
- Featured Posts
- Customizable Sidebar listings and information
- Del.icio.us tags
- Custom Archives, Categories, and Topics Pages
The WordPress Plugins that come with the Kiwi WordPress Theme package do not have to be used, but they should to get the full effect. The installation is fairly easy, but the activation of each individual plugin is frustrating, so hopefully a one click option might be in the future.
This is a great step forward towards designing customizable themes that will work with WordPressMU driven sites like WordPress.com, giving users the chance to pick and choose the elements they would like included in their Themes.