Free “Personal” WordPress Theme: Empty Spaces

empty-spacesEmpty Spaces is a single-column, responsive and media-rich WordPress theme which allows you — and your readers — to focus on the content. That’s what matters, right?

Download Empty Spaces! | See the demo

Empty Spaces is “pay what you want”, including free. To download it for free, just enter the amount you’d like to pay as 0 and you won’t be asked to enter any card info.

I’m very excited to announce the release of an all-new free “personal” WordPress theme, Empty Spaces. It’s single-column, responsive, media rich and pretty damn well suited for simple, personal blogs.

I’ve been using Empty Spaces on my blog,, since the start of the year and so far it’s served me very well. It’s simple, yet still interesting and allows you to focus on your content, whilst expanding the narrative through big, bold images.

As is more-or-less a necessity, it’s responsive so your carefully crafted content is readable wherever you go. Even all those images squeeze nicely down to mobile or tablet size.

Media that just works

One of my favourite things about Empty Spaces is that whilst one of the big draws are the huge images at the top of each post which shift from greyscale into full colour when hovered over on the homepage, or display in colour by default on single posts, the whole thing just works automagically. Just drop your images in and it works; no set up required.


Colour fades in when a story is hovered-over on the homepage.

video-featuredVia the quick installation of a very simple plugin, you can replace those lovely featured images with lovely featured videos instead.

A little bit of info on that — obviously the images at the top of each post are featured images. WordPress knows to automatically resize these to a maximum width of 880px and some CSS3 handles making the images greyscale. On mobile, a max-width of 100% ensures the images go mobile out of the box, although I’d recommend installing something like Adaptive Images to reduce the workload on mobile.

Want to use images instead of video? The functionally named “replace featured images with video” plugin has got that covered for you. Empty Spaces is compatible out the box (and looks pretty awesome with featured videos, too).

Custom post formats

What I’ve not actually mentioned up to this point is that Empty Spaces is a child theme of the current default WordPress theme, Twenty Twelve. In practical terms, this isn’t really relevant; you just need to know it means Empty Spaces inherits solid code and some handy features, such as post formats. When you’re writing a post, as with Twenty Twelve, you’ve got the option to publish as any of the following:


All the options you need when writing a post are available… when you’re writing a post. Convenient, huh?

  • Standard
  • Aside
  • Image
  • Link
  • Quote
  • Status

Support for post formats is one of my favourite things about Empty Spaces; it just makes it flexible. This thing can take any sort of content you want to throw at it.

Widgetised header; custom header


Adding to its flexibility, Empty Spaces has various options for its header, supporting custom menus, custom header images and a simple widgetised header area. On I’ve used a simple text widget to show a bio, which makes a good fit, but do whatever you please here — or just leave it blank.


Download Empty Spaces! | See the demo

Empty Spaces is “pay what you want”, including free. To download it for free, just enter the amount you’d like to pay as 0 and you won’t be asked to enter any card info.

Right at the top, that’s your blog title and description, followed by a standard custom menu which is drop-down enabled and will collapse into a nice button on mobile devices.

Simple, light, functional

Empty Spaces is a pretty cool theme. I’ve been using it for two months now, tweaking here and there and I’m now at the stage where I’m very happy with how it’s turned out — which is why I’m giving it away to you. It’d be selfish to keep it to myself, right?

Documentation for Empty Spaces can be found here, and is also included in the zip download.

Empty Spaces is a bit of an experiment for me, in that the download is “pay what you want”, with no minimum price. That means if you’d like to download it for free, you can just enter 0 as the price you’d like to pay and download it right away. If you think it’s worth a little of your hard-earned cash, I’d gratefully welcome any contributions.

The theme is licensed under the GPL, so take it and do more or less what you want with it. If you do end up using it, I’d be very interested to see how you’ve used it 🙂

15 Responses


  • Alex,
    Thanks for creating this WordPress theme. It’s just what I wanted for my blog. The big draw for me was the minimalist design and the huge images.

  • Glenn says:

    Alex, how do you remove the section of the page that lists recent posts, recent comments etc?

    • Alex Denning says:

      Those are just the default widgets, so they’ll disappear once you set your own widgets in Appearance -> Widgets 🙂

  • emeka says:

    hey alex,
    am having a hard time with the header, it’s just showing a full picture under recent post, recent comments etc and i cant write anything on the image, i want it to appear like your widgetized header; custom header image shown above.



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