“Elegant Grunge” WordPress theme

“Elegant Grunge” is an unwashed yet crisp WordPress theme inspired by It features:

  • Layouts options
  • Support for custom background and header
  • Widget-ready footer
  • Optional full-width page template that removes the sidebar


Get Elegant Grunge

If you like Elegant Grunge, please consider buying one of my products.

Version 1.1 has been updated to the version.

This version no longer contains automatic image framing, or a photoblog template, so if you wish to continue using these features, please use version 1.0.3.


  • Layout updates and fixes
  • Fixed deprecated function calls and PHP errors
  • Code cleanup to match WordPress theme style guide: spacing, syntax, comments, package description
  • Added author comment highlighting
  • Added support for empty post title and styles for all heading sizes
  • Fixed bugs with theme options menus
  • Simplified custom functions and removed unneeded theme options
  • Remove custom header image support and use default WP header image functionality instead
  • Added image.php template
  • Added RTL language support
  • Changed post timestamp to use the WordPress global date format
  • Remove unused template files
  • Implement WordPress 3.0 features: Custom Menu, comment_form()
  • Added default WP style support: body_class(), post_class(), comment_class() and remove unneeded definition for EG_BODY_CLASS
  • Removed unneeded function_exists() calls
  • Simplified image display: no frames or photoblog page
  • Nicer typography and updated grunge images for sticky posts, trackbacks, and new date format
  • Styles for sticky posts
  • Added newer/older single post navigation links
  • Better class attributes to avoid collision with WP default classes (author, post, date, etc)
  • Remove sidebar logic check in every template (once in sidebar.php instead)

Note: If you have problems with this theme, please post your question at the WordPress forums. Please don’t contact me directly, as I don’t have the resources to help you.

Language Packs

Many thanks to contributors!

Casual German/Deutsch – by Markus Bischof

Formal/polite German/Deutsch – by André Heil

Italian/Italiano – by Paolo Lucciola

French/Français – by Arnaud Ball

Romanian – by Adrian Nitescu

Arabic/العربية – by Mena

Finnish/Suomi – by Antti

Turkish/Türkçe – by Mehmet

Brazilian Portuguese – by Jandeilson S. Barbosa

Spanish/Español – by José Vergara

Norwegian/Norsk – by Vipblogg

Russian/русский язык – by Sergey aka Cepxuo

Czech – by Bengo

Lithuanian – by Valentinas Bakaitis

Belorussian – by Marcis G./Galina Miklosic

Polish – by Grzegorz ‘ixcesal’ Lasecki

Dutch – by Rene (WPwebshop)

Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia – by Kelayang

Filipino – by Mikael Riec

Danish/Dansk – by Morten Elm

Latvian – by Johannes Rau

To use these language packs, you must download the WordPress language pack first, copy it into wp-content/languages, then edit wp-config.php and set the WPLANG value to the appropriate language abbreviation (eg ‘fr_FR’). Then unzip the Elegant Grunge language pack into the wp-content/themes/elegant-grunge folder, and you’re set.


WordPress Theme Elegant Grunge Template Addon for built-in WordPress GallerySebastian Graß

Paul Kaiser has written a great article on how to add navigation menus to older WordPress themes, using Elegant Grunge as an example.

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  1. Posted November 30, 2008 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I apologize if someone has already asked this but my site is not loading in IE7 or earlier. The only changes I made to the theme was I added an image for the blog name and I reworded the footer.

  2. Posted November 30, 2008 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Correction IE6 and earlier.

  3. Posted December 2, 2008 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Hi, Thanks for the great theme! I have a weird problem on my site: lightbox-pop-up works fine on the home-blog page, but on the “english”-page pop-ups behave strange. Any suggestion?

  4. Posted December 4, 2008 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the awesome theme! I am using it on a new site we’re working on, but am receiving an error when a single post is viewed. You can view it here:

    This is WordPress version 2.6.3. It happens on any browser as it is an issue with the file itself. I have not modified the file in any way.

    Can you tell me what I need to edit in the file to fix this?

    Thanks in advance for your help. Oh, do you have a date for the next release of your theme that allows for three columns? Also do you know if the theme will be compatible with the new version of WordPress launching this week?

    Thanks again. :)

  5. Posted December 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Question – not sure if it’s for your elegant grunge theme or wordpress in general (I’m a new user) On the “Links” page, there is quite a gap between the link category and the links in the category. Can that space be adjusted somehow? And while I’m at it, can I adjust the space between the last link in the category and the name of the following category below it?

  6. Todd
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Michael, i love this theme! great work! Is there a way to add a picture to the header?

  7. Todd
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry Micheal, one more question… i noticed when i posted my comment that I could get notified of replies… how do I get that option on my blog? I think that’s a great tool!

  8. Posted December 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting this following error:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function: array_combine() in /home2/rahabmi1/public_html/paulsworldphotography/wp-content/themes/elegant-grunge/functions.php on line 195

    Thanks for the great theme otherwise. If I can’t fix this I’ll just drop the photoblog portion, but would like to have it.

  9. Posted December 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    OK, so I updated WordPress to 2.6.5 or whatever the last stable one is. When I did that my site no longer works right at all. Before just the photoblog didn’t work, but now that I have the photoblog in the sidebar via widget I have a permanant error and can’t edit the widgets. I have no option to edit them, but only have an error where the widget should be…

  10. Posted December 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Ended up deleting the photoblog.php or whatever and that got rid of the error, but was never able to get the feature working…even with updated wordpress…


  11. Donovan
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant Theme, one of the best that I have seen in a very long time! – is it compatible with the up and coming 2.7?

  12. Posted December 7, 2008 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Very nice theme, i like the Subscribe button and other little features, a good font to use for the logo is Tallys.


  13. Todd
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know what music player Michael is using on his latest post on his home page? I really like and would love to implement that into my site!

  14. Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Donovan & Matt: Cheers guys! Yes, this theme will definitely support 2.7 when it’s out: I’ve held off trying to support the betas until now because they’ve been extremely buggy for me (I wasn’t able to import posts properly to test, etc).

    Todd: That’s the XSPF music player; I’ve written a WordPress plugin for it that’s available here.

    Everyone else: Sorry about the delay in answering your questions, I’ve had a very busy few days working on my iPhone application, with the aim to get it on the App Store before Christmas (or at least, next Christmas, knowing Apple’s review procedures). I haven’t forgotten you, and will get to you soon!

  15. Todd
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you Michael, I downloaded the music player for wordpress, dropped it into my plugins folder but I have no clue how to get it working… I read the directions where I downloaded the file but I must be missing something. I don’t see anywhere in my settings where to configure it or set the path. :(

  16. Todd
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    For this music play… is there a button that I’m supposed to press or something… like when I write a post… i’m so confused! lol! I’ve read everything tried the code… I could get the button player to show up but the mp3 doesn’t play. :( help!

  17. Nick
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Mike, Is there any quick fix that you have for your search ad hoc box cutting off the bottom of letters? it cuts off the bottom of letters such as p,q,y,j.. Thanks in advance

  18. Posted December 9, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Nick; You could try lowering the font size for the search box in the CSS. What browser are you using where the letters get cut off? I’ll need to fix that I guess

  19. Nick
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Im using firefox 3.0.4

  20. Posted December 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Just a note, this theme appears to work fine in 2.7 – I just upgraded my blog and it seems to be working fine. Let me know if there are problems.

  21. Posted December 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Hey Michael! Threaded comments don’t seem to work.

    Btw… Great theme!

  22. Posted December 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Hiya. Is there a way to put a picture in the header? Thanks!

  23. Donovan
    Posted December 13, 2008 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Elegant Grunge seems to be working fine with 2.7, except for threaded comments. I’ll take a look at this in the new year if you don’t have time.

  24. Posted December 13, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Cheers guys – right you are! Paged comments also don’t seem to work (the plugin does, but the inbuilt feature doesn’t appear to).

    I’ll sort this out, once Loopy‘s submitted to the app store.

  25. Posted December 13, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Serena, not unless you’re willing to dig in and do it yourself. I may consider it as a future feature

  26. Posted December 15, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michael. I’ve read thru Q&A posts and thought I found answer to my dilema but when i edit CSS, I don’t see any change so I must be doing something wrong.

    First I want to say you’ve done a beautiful job; however I’d like to tweak it a bit for my site.

    1: I’d like my post titles to be a bit smaller font size.

    I would like to decrease the space between the post title and the actual post for a tighter/cleaner appearance.

    In CSS, I scrolled down to content section and changed margin-bottom setting for h2 from your 1.8 and first changed to 1.0em to .5 em and never noticed a difference.

    I also followed someone else’s advice and went to area and changed your “top: -70px and reduced to -50px but didnt notice a change there either.

    For font size in h.2 content I changed from your 2.4 to 1.5. Saved/Updated when I was done. Again no difference in appearance so my guess is that i am definately making changes in the wrong places or with wrong values.

    Please help! Thank you!!!!

    • Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Hi Tammi; please excuse the long delay getting back to you. It’s hard to say what’s going wrong from here; are you definitely editing wp-content/themes/elegant-grunge/style.css? And are you reloading your browser properly? (As in shift-reload). Try making some radical changes to see if that modifies anything (like add a border to some prominent element and see if it’s there). Good luck!

  27. Posted December 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to bother you again but…is there a way to change the header? I know you said you can’t put a picture in it. I’m trying to figure out a way to keep this theme (because I really love it) and also have a customized header with my company logo. Is this possible? Thanks again!

  28. Posted December 15, 2008 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    serena, you can do that by replacing the image file for the header. It’s called header.jpg and it’s in the images folder in the theme folder. It’s easy if you have an ftp connection to your site on your server. If you don’t, you’ll have to find another way to replace it.

  29. Nick
    Posted December 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mike, I have been stumped trying to figure out how to change the color of the text that says “no comments” or “1 comment” on the index. I know you use “comments_popup_link” to call it but i can’t find anything associated in the css file. and i thought this was going to be the easiest fix that I have done so far.

    Also are you still thinking about adding another sidebar? One on the left would be pretty sweet! :)

  30. Posted December 18, 2008 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Hiya Nick,

    You’re after the ‘metadata’ class (Look for “.metadata” in style.css, then change the numbers after “color:”)

    I am indeed planning on making sidebars configurable, an am halfway there already. I’ve been sidetracked by my iPhone app, so it may be a little while coming, but it is definitely on its way.